May 3, 2009

Art Institute of Chicago has new wing

The Art Institute of Chicago says its about-to-open Modern Wing cost $294 million to build.

When the institute's 264,000-square-foot addition opens to the public May 16, visitors not only will find many more works of art to enjoy but also new views of the Chicago skyline and Millennium Park , the Chicago Tribune reported Sunday.

The new wing, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, effectively increases the art venue's available space by a third.

Piano's design is based on his stance that museums connected to nature and their surroundings offer the best experiences to visitors.

The noted designer has employed this concept in other tourist sites worldwide, including Houston's Menil Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas and the Beyeler Foundation Museum in the Swiss city of Basel.