Museum of Contemporary Photography

Chicago, Illinois

The Museum of Contemporary Photography (MoCP) is an innovative forum for the collection, creation, and examination of contemporary imagemaking, both in its camera tradition and its expanded vocabulary of digital processes. Founded by Columbia College Chicago, the MoCP is the leading photography museum in the Midwest, presenting projects and exhibitions and acquiring works that embrace a wide range of contemporary aesthetics and technologies.

The museum presently occupies approximately 6,500 sf on the lower floors of Columbia College’s flagship building along Michigan Avenue, facing Grant Park. The museum spaces, originally designed as an engine showroom, are spread out over three levels, without a dedicated elevator or bathrooms. Because wall space is presently lacking, the existing storefronts have been walled over, compromising street presence and creating wayfinding challenges. In 2013, VHA was selected for a comprehensive renovation and expansion.

Existing exterior photos show how the current walled-over storefronts obscure the museum's spaces and compromise the overall image for Columbia College.

VHA's renovation proposal opens up the building's historic storefronts, reconnecting the museum with the city  and establishing a strong identity for Columbia College.  The existing mezzanine will be removed, and the building's second floor given over to galleries and museum operations.

Inside, the main floor gallery features two permanent walls that are hung from supplemental steel structural members.  These walls can be repositioned to create numerous possible gallery configurations, and can be used to block daylight and views from the storefront windows when required.


Structural Engineer: Enspect, Inc.

M/E/P Engineer: McGuire Engineers

Lighting: Lux Populi

Photographer: Tom Rossiter

Render images ©Vinci | Hamp Architects, Inc.