The Art Institute of Chicago – The Modern Wing

The Art Institute of Chicago – The Modern Wing

This structure of glass, stone and steel unifies and completes the cultural and urban campus of the Art Institute. The lightness, transparency and marked verticality of the facade, composed of glass and metal elements, recall the Chicago skyline, while the use of solid walls of Indiana limestone pays tribute to the original Beaux-Arts building. The roof structure floats above the pavilion and it works like the shutter of a giant camera, letting in just the right amount of light to show the works at their best.


Project data


2000 - 2005


2005 - 2009

Site area

13.904 m2

Total Floor Area

Moder Wing 24.500 m² 

Educational center 1.850 m² 



28 m


2 + 3 basements

Nichols Bridgeway

190 m lenght

At a height of 18 m 



The Art Institute of Chicago


Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with Interactive Design Inc. (Chicago), architects


Ove Arup & Partners (structure); Ove Arup & Partners + Sebesta Blomberg (services); Patrick Engineering (civil engineering); Wiss, Janey, Elstner Associates Inc.(structure for bridge interface with Millenium Park); The Talaske Group (A/V consultant); Gustafson Guthrie Nichol Ltd. (landscaping); Morgan Construction Consultants (cost consultant); Carter Burgess (LEED consultant)