Sorry, full access to our website is available to Only!
Become a Member today and get benefits listed below.
As part of the NewCity Mixed-Used Development, the team was hired to design a public installation that would preserve the site’s heritage by celebrating the spirit of a former YMCA that stood onsite. Designed in 1981, the building featured a brightly colored glazed brick facade and served as a pillar of the community for over 25 years, uniting two racially and economically diverse groups of residents—some coming from the affluent Lincoln Park neighborhood and others from the nearby Cabrini-Green housing complex.
To reimagine the building’s great sense of vibrancy and impact on the community, the team created an installation made of three structures, each constructed of salvaged glazed bricks from the original building. The bricks—appearing in a state of reconstruction—are raised above the floor within raw steel frames to symbolize the rise of a community. Each side of the installation also represents a defining aspect of the former YMCA, with the front design referencing the original building’s facade and the back mosaic symbolizing the notion of “two worlds coming together,” a grounding concept behind the architecture of the original building.
Complementing the structure is an expansive wall treatment featuring a modern typographic pattern of statements. It verbally expresses what the YMCA meant to the community, while reflecting the contemporary design of the development. Together, the structure and wall treatment unite to create an engaging installation that symbolizes a celebration of diversity and community for years to come.
Following project completion, the client praised the team and final outcome saying, “You are all to be commended for executing this under great pressure and strict deadline. The design and install of this art installation has exceeded my expectations and everyone I have spoken to has been very impressed.”