By Jenny Berg Posted May 22, 2009, 1:13 PM EDT
Open to the public since May 16—and the cause of 26 opening events—the Art Institute of Chicago's new modern wing devotes 264,000 square feet to modern European painting and sculpture, contemporary art, architecture, photography, film, and video. Events hosted within the space—which has a capacity of about 2,500—can involve open viewing of some or all the galleries, with additional fees for museum security.
Designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano, the wing comprises two pavilions that surround the first-floor Griffin Court. The bilevel circulation space can host 1,800 for receptions or accommodate seated dinners for 350.
On the second level, the Nichols Trustee suite—which has already hosted a conference for the 2016 Olympic Evaluation Commission—overlooks Millennium Park. Accessible via a private elevator, the space offers a 16- by 16-foot drop-down screen and seating for 65 at a U-shaped table. A pantry, lobby, and smaller conference room with seating for about 16 also occupy the second floor.
With a menu of Mediterranean-Italian fare created by chef Tony Mantuano (of Spiaggia), Terzo Piano restaurant is located on the wing's third level. The restaurant's patio provides seating for 60; inside, the space can seat 300. Mantuano can create customized menus for private events, and Bon Appetit Management Company—the museum's in-house caterer—can also create food stations, plated dinners, or passed appetizers for events held in the restaurant and throughout the modern wing.