World renowned architect Renzo Piano said his desire was to root the Art Institute�s new Modern Wing deeply in the ground while also giving it the air and lightness to levitate.
His first major design in Chicago has succeeded. On the first floor, a daylit court is flanked by new educational facilities, galleries, and a garden, all actively linking the Art Institute with urban life.
The second and third floors are dedicated to the viewing of art. The third floor is lit by sunlight filtered through a “flying carpet” sunshade hovering over roof-mounted skylights. Large curtainwalls offer clear views of Millennium Park’s Lurie Garden.
The 620-ft-long Nichols Bridgeway rises 60 ft as it reaches from the heart of Millennium Park to the public terrace on the Modern Wing’s third floor. It crosses high above Monroe Street like a fine blade, giving pedestrians beautiful views of the park, Chicago skyline, and lake.