Chicago Architecture Biennial
19. September 2017
Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, artistic directors of this year's Chicago Architecture Biennial and head of the Los Angeles firm Johnston Marklee, have wrapped up their redesign of the MCA Chicago.
Designed by Josef Paul Kleihues and completed in 1996, the building that is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago is known for its unrelenting grids, which cover its facades, articulate its plan, and define its gallery spaces. Anybody responsible for reworking the museum's spaces would have to confront the building's rigor, and the LA duo hinted at how their design might do that in 2015 (during the inaugural CAB), when they unveiled A Grid Is a Grid Is a Grid. Installed in the museum's double-height cafe space, the piece served to delineate the new one-story room created by the insertion of a new floor above. Yet, as World-Architects saw firsthand last week, the final result of Johnston Marklee's efforts was anything but more grids.