In order to meet both present and impending requirements for the University of
Chicago’s Smart Museum I proposed to expand both the gallery and back of
house spaces in the institution. The goal of this addition was to add these
programmatic elements adjacent to analogous program in order to provide a
seamless transition between the current museum and it’s future expansion.
Along with simply expanding current program I proposed to add an additional
public exhibition landscape to provide exterior performance space for community
artists and campus leisure. As the Smart Museum’s current placement on Ellis
avenue is secluded and tucked behind vegetation, this expansion aims to create a
more inviting environment and a new access into the museum. This entry, clearly
visible from Ellis, guides visitors bellow a public exterior plaza to a new entry on the
west face of the current museum.
As one of the most important features of an institution such as the Smart is to
provide storage and administrative program to curate exhibits, the direct connection
to the existing storage bellow grade helps to expand and unite the two projects
below the surface of the exterior public plaza. This helps to seclude and protect the
art while allowing visitors to glimpse at the everyday activities curators undergo
through a courtyard that punctures the three levels of the new addition.
Overall the parti is simple in that public and private circulations are kept completely
separate as one hovers above the other. That being said there is still is a sense of
translucency as several vantage points in the project allow for these opposite
programs to connect visually.
Status: School Project
Location: Chicago, IL, US