Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New Modern Wing, Art Institute of Chicago


The new Modern Wing of the Art Institute of Chicago opened to much fanfare last year. Designed by renown architect Renzo Piano, the architecture features much of his famous style, including a "flying carpet" roof design.

Admittedly striking from the outside, if fully achieves its purpose within. The main hall is a welcoming grand space, perfect for evening receptions and midday rendezvous for separated families. The space sets the tone for the eclectic modern art housed within mostly on the second and third floors.

One of my favorite interior features are the suspended stairways. The floating impression is facilitated by slender cables hanging from the ceiling. It's a simple but elegant design. Having worked on many monumental stair designs, I'm always disappointed in other architects desire to do more complicated designs just for the sake of being unique.


However complex the actual design and construction process of the new modern wing, the simplicity of the final work is much appreciated. Setting up beautiful panoramas of Millenium Park and well lit spaces for the artwork, the architecture is as much a success for the views it provides as its own appearance.
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This work by Ken Maschke is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.