659 is a new exhibition space conceived for the presentation of exhibitions of architecture and of socially engaged art. It is designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Tadao Ando, who has transformed a 1920s building with his signature concrete forms and poetic treatment of natural light.
In a city rich with art institutions and internationally known for its architecture, Wrightwood 659 is designed as a site for contemplative experiences of art and architecture, and as a place to engage with the pressing social issues of our time. Located at 659 W. Wrightwood Avenue, in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood, it is a private, non-commercial initiative envisioned as an integral part of the cultural and civic fabric of Chicago, as well as a new kind of arts space and cultural resource.
Ando created the new gallery in an existing brick shell by removing the entire interior structure and inserting a new steel and reinforced-concrete skeleton. The building contains 35,000 square feet on four floors — with 18,000 square feet of exhibition space — and has the highest levels of museum- grade environmental and mechanical controls.
Wrightwood 659 will be open to the public in the spring and fall, presenting two exhibitions a year, generally alternating between socially engaged art and architecture. It aims to provoke consideration and activism on behalf of a more just society, while simultaneously providing an environment that enables quiet contemplation and thoughtful looking. Wrightwood 659 does not have a collection, and it is not intended to be a collecting organization. Admission is by online reservation only. Walk-ins are not allowed.