Defining A Common Space

Building Chicago Avenue Renovation

The founders of Pedro y Juana talk about the challenges of creating the Commons, a new space in the MCA's redesign.

Mecky Reuss: They defined it a little bit as a third space within a private institution that opens up to the public and basically gives them a space to be. I think that describes it as a—

Ana Paula Ruiz Galindo: Well, I think that last part was one that we were very interested in, in the idea that you also could just come and be in the space. Because it was going to be free also; you can be in this area without paying the entrance ticket. That was also a very nice thing. But it had to be extremely flexible. And a spatial restraint because I mean, you know, we are kind of narrow; you have the floor, you have the windows, and then you have the walls and the ceiling, and so there was not a lot of play besides the furniture, and that the furniture had to be able to clear out. So that was kind of a bit of the constraints that we were faced with, a very ambitious idea, but kind of little surfaces to play with.

Mecky: To operate on.

Ana Paula: Yes.

Mecky: But I think the main part is that programmatically—a super-diverse approach of what was supposed to happen in the Commons, because it's part educational, part the extension of that. And so it goes from performances, readings, workshops, and then the MCA rents it out—

Ana Paula: Weddings.

Mecky: So it has to get cleared out—Weddings, so fundraising. And so the space has to do everything, which is—it asks a lot of 2,000 square feet of space.

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