With a prime main floor location in The Modern Wing designed by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, the Ryan Education Center serves hundreds of school and other groups that visit the museum daily. A dedicated entrance takes students from the bus drop-off area directly into a series of orientation classrooms. After their museum visit, they return to a series of activity spaces where they can discuss their observations and share their experiences, and further have the opportunity to create art projects that can be displayed in the corridors that serve a dual function as gallery space. The center also includes the Crown Family Educator Resource Center that educators can use to prepare for their visits as well as ensuing classroom teaching in their own schools, and a family activity center to engage in art-related activities.
One of the Chicago Building Code requirements is that walls of all circulation corridors in an assembly use have a one hour fire rating. To achieve the transparency desired by Renzo Piano Building Workshop, IDEA worked closely during the design process with a supplier to develop an all glass storefront that met the code requirements and design intent.