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Art Institute retains acclaimed architects to plan future of museum

Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga have been brainstorming since the Art Institute hired them in the summer of 2017.

The Art Institute shown on Dec. 8, 2018. | Provided by the Art Institute of Chicago
The Art Institute of Chicago
Provided photo

The Art Institute of Chicago has retained two acclaimed architects who are working to craft a long-term plan that could drastically change the design of the iconic Michigan Avenue museum.

Fabrizio Barozzi and Alberto Veiga have been studying and brainstorming since the Art Institute hired them in the summer of 2017.

“The idea is to look at our campus, identify opportunities to engage with both the space and the community in better ways and imagine possibilities for what the Art Institute could be,” said Kati Murphy, the museum’s executive director of public affairs.

The proposal that Barozzi and Veiga submitted focuses “primarily on improving the experience of visitors in and around the museum.”

Murphy added that the two are still “very much exploring what the possibilities for the museum campus may be,” but the museum hopes to be ready to share its long-term plans within the next 18 months.

Barozzi and Veiga founded their Barcelona-based architecture practice in 2004. Since then, the firm has designed structures for cultural destinations around the world. In 2015, they were awarded the Mies van der Rohe Award for European Architecture for their work on the Szczecin Philharmonic concert hall in Poland.

The new undertaking will be the first at the Art Institute since the addition of the Modern Wing in 2009, which was commissioned to Italian architect Renzo Piano a decade earlier.