The Art Institute of Chicago now has an extension of a new Modern Wing which designed by Renzo Piano. The extension had cost about $300 million and is being the centerpiece of an ambitious building project that will reorganize the entrire museum by 2010. It is assumed that the extension would expand the total gallery space by 35% and doubled the education space.
Upon the extension project, the Chicago Art Institute is now being the 2nd largest museum in the United States, right after the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The premiere public opening is scheduled on May 16th, 2009.
The Modern Wing is clarifying the Institute’s campus which will enhance visitor’s experience and orientation, and also define a seamless connection to its main building and to Chicago’s Millenium Park. A bridge of 600 feet long called the Nichols Bridgeway, also by Renzo Piano.
The building which occupied about 264,000 square feet is featuring an expanded education center and galleries; an outdoor sculpture terrace; a fine dining restaurant; and a double height entrance and “main street” known as Griffin Court. New public spaces inlcude a museum shop and garden at street level. The second and third floors of Modern Wing and the restaurant offer dramatic views of the Chicago skyline andMillenium Park.