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MCA Chicago announces creative design team for MCA building redesign

By FEDERICA LUSIARDI - November 30, 2016

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Madeleine Grynsztejn, Pritzker Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, has announced the names of the creative team that will reimagine many of the MCA’s public spaces as part of an architectural redesign of the building, led by the Los Angeles architects Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee of Johnston Marklee.

cover: Conceptual drawing for Commons by Pedro y Juana. Courtesy MCA

The team includes renowned Turner Prize-winning British painter Chris Ofili, who will create the restaurant environment, Mexican design duo Pedro y Juana who will design the Commons, a new social engagement space, and Chicago chef Jason Hammel, who will be the new chef for the restaurant.
The major redesign of the MCA building begins this fall, converting 12,000 square-feet of the building into public spaces that is free and accessible, from day to night, all while staying within the existing footprint.  This will create three important public offerings: a destination restaurant on the ground floor that connects to a new engagement space on the second floor, and a new third floor with classrooms and a flexible meeting space that puts learning at the physical center of the museum.

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Conceptual rendering of the MCA by Tom Hancocks. Courtesy MCA

The award-winning architectural firm Johnston Marklee, who were recently named the Artistic Directors of the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial, re-imagined the layout of the museum in a new master plan. Pedro y Juana, architecture and design studio in Mexico City founded by Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo and Mecky Reuss, have been commissioned by the MCA to design the Commons, a multi-use engagement space in the center of the museum. International artist Chris Ofili will create an environment for the newly redesigned restaurant at the MCA to include at its heart a permanent, large-scale, site-specific artwork-his first museum commission of this kind in the United States.

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Left: Sharon Johnston and Mark Lee, photo Eric Staudenmaier. Right: Chris Ofili. Portrait, photo © Grant Delin.

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MCA Building exterior at night. Photo: Peter McCullough, © MCA Chicago.

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