Ando Gallery Opens in Chicago

 John Hill
15. October 2018
Photo © Jeff Goldberg/Esto
Wrightwood 659, a new exhibition space designed by Tadao Ando, opened on October 12th in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, next to a house Ando designed two decades earlier.
Ando's Eychaner Lee House, completed at the end of 1997, was the Japanese architect's first freestanding building in the United States, coming a few years before his first public building in the US, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis. (Chicago is also home to Ando's first US project, a gallery for Japanese screens at the Art Institute of Chicago.) The house for Fred Eychaner has Ando's signature, well-crafted concrete; in turn, the house is an introverted shell that greets passersby with a solid concrete wall.

Wrightwood 659, whose name refers to its address, 659 West Wrightwood, sits immediately east of the house. The exhibition space was designed by Ando and was built by Eychaner: specifically, his Alphawood Foundation. Like Glenstone Museum, which opened recently in Potomac, Maryland, Wrightwood 659 is a private institution that was started by a wealthy patron and is open to the public by reservation. Unlike its neighboring house, Wrightwood 659 is the renovation of an existing building, a four-story brick apartment building. Ando gutted the old building and inserted new steel and concrete structure to create three floors of galleries.

Wrightwood 659, which does not possess a collection and is not intended to be a collecting organization, will host exhibitions that alternate between architecture and socially engaged art. The inaugural exhibition, Ando and Le Corbusier: Masters of Architecture, occupies all of Wrightwood 659 and is open until 15 December 2018.
Wrightwood 659 on the left and the Eychaner Lee House on the right. (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)
The atrium behind the gutted, brick facade of the old four-story apartment building. (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)
New floors were inserted into the masonry shell of the old building. (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)
A corridor in Wrightwood 659 overlooks the neighboring Eychaner Lee House by Ando. (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)
The inaugural exhibition at Wrightwood 659 is devoted to Tadao Ando ... (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)
... and Le Corbusier. (Photo © Jeff Goldberg-Esto)

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