Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

Prints & Drawings. The first of seven galleries designed for the Art Institute of Chicago, this gallery was articulated by a series of simple planes that define the exhibit space and ceiling plane. A movable wall in the main gallery allows for flexible use of the space to accommodate various options for the display of the art work. A simple pallet of materials, colors, and detailing allows the artwork to be seen without distraction.

Japanese Galleries. The Japanese Art Gallery is one of seven galleries redesigned for the Art Institute of Chicago. Working diligently with the Art Institute's master plan, the goal was to create galleries that respected the original building, while simultaneously bringing a fresh perspective to the many exhibitions. Understanding the harmony that must exist between the parts, each of the galleries was seen as a piece within the overall whole.

Within the essential objective of this project, was the desire to provide discrete environments for the different eras, and phases of Japan's history, without turning the gallery into a maze of pigeonholed, overly decorated rooms. Japan's island geography, the source of Japan's varied culture, was looked to for inspiration. As such, the exhibits are organized along a continuous thoroughfare punctuated by peninsulas and islands of displays that engage visitors without directing their path.

Executed by Yo-ichiro Hakomori as Architect and Partner at wHY Architecture