Exclusive Tour of Renzo Piano’s New Modern Wing, Part One

Rare is the day this writer is allowed to venture beyond his front door. But it’s even more remarkable when doing so involves going out and doing something special. Last night was one such occasion, when we hitched along as the “plus one” to a private party at the Art Institute of Chicago‘s new Modern Wing. As far as we’ve been able to ascertain, this is something of an exclusive, as we’ve nabbed a whole slew of non-construction photos from inside starchitect Renzo Piano‘s newest creation before it opens to the public. So instead of this writer’s usual Friday morning babble, we thought we’d take you on a quick tour, in three posts, through the building and what you’ll see once it opens on May 16th. First up, we start outside of the building, which is downright beautiful and instantly recognizable as the work of Piano:

Next we move inside, which is just stunning. Simple, clean, and white? Check, check, and check. And the skylights running up top are just beautiful:

Another view, back toward the entrance:

Of interesting note: the guests of the party, Art Institute employees, were served white wine, sparkling water, light beer, fruit, and cheese on the lighter shade. Reason being: the floors haven’t been finished yet and if someone spilled, they wanted it to be something that would clean up easy. Also, we noticed throughout the new wing, placeholders for pieces that haven’t gone up yet:

As well as bits and pieces, like this outdoor deck on the first floor, that haven’t been quite finished yet, but should be all the more beautiful once they are.

We’ll return here shortly in just a little bit, once we finish going through all our photos, for part two of the tour.