DePaul Museum Takes Contextual Approach, Foregrounds Art Inside

Midwest

The new DePaul Art Museum (photos courtesy DePaul University)

A passerby might mistake the Art Museum at DePaul University as an enduring Lincoln Park fixture, even though the brand new building just opened. Bucking the trend for cutting-edge art museum architecture in favor of a contextual approach was a deliberate decision by the university and its longtime architect, Antunovich Associates.

“Given the proximity of the building to the Seminary Townhomes, which are on the National Register, a modern building just wouldn’t have flown with the neighbors,” said Joe Antunovich, the firm’s principal. “Lincoln Park is a very particular community.”

Inside, however, the galleries meet all contemporary standards, with 19-foot-high ceilings on the first floor and 17-foot-high ceilings on the second. Thick foundations, highly insulated walls, and triple paned glass keep the noise and vibrations from the adjacent L-tracks at bay. “When you look out the window, it’s like watching a movie with the sound turned off,” Antunovich said.

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