redesigned by LA-based architects johnston marklee, the museum of contemporary art chicago (MCA) opened its doors officially to the public last month during the chicago architectural biennial 2017. the renovation features a multi user engagement space designed by mexican architecture and design studio pedro y juana. called the commons, this dynamic and flexible space at the heart of the museum offers an area for gathering, learning and engagement that responds to what’s sharpening in the world today.

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
the commons is a multi user engagement space designed by mexican architecture and design studio pedro y juana
above and main image by kendall mccaugherty, © hall+merrick

 

 

‘our design will create a learning environment that opens up new possibilities to engage and think about the fundamental social, political, and critical framework of art,’ comments pedro & juana. ‘we are working on translating these ideas into a social typology of a third space, a place that you frequent outside of home or work. we imagine the commons as an egalitarian space in constant motion that is flexible and creates a sensation where all kinds of things—even those that are unexpected—can and will happen at all times.’

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
it features a total of 221 plant lamps
image © designboom

 

 

introducing warmth and color, the mexican duo has created a geometric hanging-indoor garden oasis for ‘the commons’ engagement space. including a total of 221 plant lamps, the installation recalls mexican paper cut-out art through their form while adding greenery to the space. overall, the space aims to allow for experimentation and risk-taking, fostering a greater sense of empathy, openness, curiosity, and citizenship.

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
the hanging indoor garden adds warmth to the space
image © designboom

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
located inside the museum of contemporary art chicago, the commons is an area for gathering and discussing
image © designboom

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
the installation recalls mexican paper cut-out art
image © designboom

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
different shapes and colors make up the lamps
image © designboom

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom
the project was first presented at the chicago biennial 2015
image © designboom

pedro y juana the commons museum contemporary art chicago designboom

the space aims to allow for experimentation and risk-taking
image © designboom

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