Floating World Gallery

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The project, a gallery for Japanese contemporary prints, is located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Initially, the owners requested that the gallery be located on the second level of the existing 1920’s structure to allow for a commercial tenant to occupy the ground floor.

The challenge was to create a quiet space to view artwork amidst a bustling urban area. Movement is guided and revealed by the element of light. A garden path along the south side of the building begins the entry sequence to the gallery. Upon arrival, the all bamboo stairwell marks the journey from the outside world into the “floating world” with light emanating from small slots within the stair risers, punctuated only by a few glowing lights peeking from above. This bamboo millwork “capsule” transports the participant into the cerebral world of the gallery. The linear circulation with its north facing skylights links the gallery to the roof garden.

Upon completion of the second floor, the owners decided to create another gallery on the ground floor. A new challenge arose – how to provide two galleries and differentiate them – one public, more experimental gallery for the neighborhood and a private gallery for the cognoscenti.

S. Conger Architects LLC
  • dbHMS
  • Rockey Structures
General contractor
W E O'Neil Construction
Chicago, Illinois