Part of the reason that the Modern Wing feels so harmonious is because, well, it is. And the secret behind that lies in one measurement: 6 ¾”, aka the width of the oak floorboards in the Modern Wing. That’s right—everything in the building is based around that one tiny measurement. Of course, not everything in the building is 6 ¾”, but everything is a multiple of that number. To lay it out for you:
Not that I don’t trust the Renzo Piano Building Workshop, but I decided to test this for myself. . . photographic evidence is below.
Width of a floorboard: 6 3/4"
You'll have to take my word for it, but each of the large wall panels is 9' wide. . .
. . . and dividing each of the panels at exactly 4'6" are horizontal poles attached to the lighting fixtures. Also, as you look higher, each of the beams that divide the skylights are also 4'6" apart.
Here's a view of all of Griffin Court so you can get a better sense of the panels/skylights.
And it's not just the architecture that follows these rules. Here's a bench in Griffin Court. It lines up with the floorboards exactly, coming in at 2'3".
And here's one in the Balcony Cafe: 4'6"
Finally, I headed into the galleries and you guessed it. . . even this stand (holding de Kooning's Head #3) is 2'3" wide. Also, for our loyal readers, please note the "reveal" at the bottom, previously discussed here by Erin H.
As you can tell, everything was just as precise as I expected. So the next time you enter the Modern Wing and wonder why you feel so peaceful, remember it’s all in the math.
1 day 7 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago OPENING TOMORROW—Jacques-Louis David’s "Napoleon"
French painter Jacques-Louis David created the quintessential image of Napoleon in 1812 and this rare loan provides occasion to highlight related works in the Art Institute's own collection as well as an interactive digital reconstruction of the artist's sketchbook
2 days 3 hours ago The Art Institute of Chicago #TBT 1924: An old favorite—The Art Institute included German Shepherds as part of our crackerjack security team from the 1920s until the 1940s. Here we see guard dogs Billo and Bella posing with their handler, along with a few paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir.