A not-for-profit organization plans to use donations to fund the construction and maintenance of a new facility, dedicated to the exhibition of the work of emerging artists in Chicago. An infill site in Wicker Park was selected, due to the neighborhood's established art scene and vibrant street life.
N Milwaukee Avenue, which fronts the site, is a very active vehicular and pedestrian thoroughfare. The elevated rail line runs directly behind the site, adding another layer of activity. The site shares an axial relationship with Wicker Park to the SW. The design response must consider these different edge conditions so that the public realm is as open as possible, but there exists some buffer between the galleries and the train.
The project is a brick volume lifted off of the street with a transparent lobby at the ground level. A monolithic ceiling plane establishes a subtle transition from interior to exterior. Galleries are located on the second floor, accessed via a large open stair.
The plan is organized around an exterior court that brings natural light into the galleries, as well as the administrative spaces on the third floor. On the roof level, a translucent glass box houses the multipurpose space, which may be rented for events/ exhibition openings.
Status: School Project
Location: Chicago, IL, US