Pedro y Juana’s Cultural Center – Mexico City – designed by Ana Paula Ruiz and Mecky Reuss.

Pedro y Juana have perhaps one of the most visited exhibitions in the entire Chicago Architecture Biennial. A network of hanging paper lanterns on pulleys, accompanied by custom-designed tables and chairs – strategically furnishes the entirety of the Chicago Cultural Center, also known as “the living room of the city.

The lighting system serves more of a social purpose than anything, as visitors tested the limits of the pulley’s strength or pulled a lantern towards them to show a friend.

Randolph Square is the main entrance foyer of the Cultural Center, where people come to linger regardless of exhibitions happening inside. As such, Pedro y Juana’s installation had to be ready for use, relatively hardy, and manage traffic flowing in and out of the Center. Their coordinated wire-mesh rocking chairs, sofas and tables became an easy complement to the heavily marbled Beaux-Arts interior, providing a much needed space for reflection, resting and discussion throughout the Biennial.