The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago has revealed plans for a $16 million renovation by the Los Angeles architects Johnston Marklee, led by Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee.
Although the new plan will not involve an increase in the museum’s footprint at its downtown site, the exhibit space, the public space will be redefined and rethought. Madeleine Grynsztejn, the museum’s director said, “Bigger is not always better. (the aim of the redesign is to find) new ways to bring art, learning and food together, reflecting how people like to experience culture today.”
Chris Ofili, the British Turner Prize-winning artist currently living in Trinidad will create a mural for the museum’s new restaurant, the highlight of the redevelopment. This will be his first permanent museum commission in the US. With Jason Hammel, the founder of Chicago’s Lula Cafe, as its head chef and entry via both the museum and the street (unlike the existing cafe), the June 2017 opening represents an exciting time for the museum, which specialises in post-WW2 visual art and is one of the world’s largest contemporary art venues.
On Ofili’s involvement, Ms. Grynsztejn said, “The entire restaurant is his commission. He will have a hand in all surfaces, from the patterning of the leather banquettes to the glass of the dining room doors. And the mural will be the basis for the palette of the rest of the restaurant.”
There will also be a space inside the museum called the Commons, to be designed by the Mexico City design team Pedro y Juana (above). Functioning as a lounge, a workshop and a performance space, the Commons will also showcase custom furniture that will be flattened and hung on the walls when not in use.
Image at top: Credit Pedro Y Juana