The design for the KLEO Art Residences builds upon the legacy firmly established by the KLEO center. The new design seeks to enhance and expand the mission and services which are currently a cornerstone for the Washington Park community. These key services include real estate development, education programs, and violence reduction initiatives. Furthermore, the design will provide retail space, additional community activity space, several artist studios, as well as expansive outdoor recreation space to accommodate safe after-school programs.
The Residences were designed to become a catalyst for further retail and mixed-use development along the Garfield Boulevard corridor, creating a literal connection from the Garfield Blvd Redline station to Washington Park. Besides the ground floor retail and communal components, the upper residential floors and artist studios of the project create a metaphorical connection between the arts and higher education prominent in the area. KLEO will build on the momentum created by the nearby University of Chicago’s Washington Park Arts Incubator and offer affordable rental apartments and amenities for artists, students from the University of Chicago and Illinois Institute of Technology and workers from the University of Chicago and other employers nearby and in the Loop. There will be collaborative programming with the KLEO Center and the Washington Park Arts Incubator that coalesces the art-centered activities along Garfield Boulevard. While the form and mass of the building are designed to fit seamlessly within the neighborhood, the translucent façade is designed to do exactly the opposite. This provides optimal daylighting for residents and artists on the inside, while in the evening hours, the building literally glows and becomes a beacon within the community, eliciting pride and hope for residents within Washington Park and well beyond.