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MCA Plaza
Chicago, Illinois

The project invigorates the Museum of Contemporary Art Plaza by bringing outside many of the various activities that now exist only on the inside of the museum. The new Plaza Landscape makes what was formerly an ideal (or at least mostly “untouchable”) pedestal seem malleable and animate. The relation of the museum building (figure) and museum plaza (ground) become blurred as the landscape becomes a programmatic graft that merges the museum and city. In this way, the figure of the landscape and the fabric of the city unite as the ground reaches out beyond its current public and programmatic spatial boundaries. Figuring the ground “removes the pedestal” by re-relating the material reality of the plaza to the city.

By invigorating the plaza with event-space we provide several opportunities for the MCA to function more like a Kunsthalle, allowing the public to participate and experience more directly the work and ideas of contemporary artists. With new public spaces for performances, exhibitions, information displays, lectures, gatherings, tours, and special day/evening events, the project re-figures the landscape of the plaza and blurs the boundaries between the museum and the city.