Exhibition & Installation
Each side of the installation 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.
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 this great sense of vibrancy and connection, the design team created an installation made of three structures, each constructed of salvaged glazed bricks from the original YMCA. The bricks, appearing in a state of reconstruction are raised above the floor within raw steel frames expressing the rise of a community.
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.
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. – Jeff Berta, Structured Development