Sanjay Gangal is the President of IBSystems, the parent company of AECCafe.com, MCADCafe, EDACafe.Com, GISCafe.Com, and ShareCG.Com.
Mural Park in Chicago, Illinois by JGMA
July 23rd, 2017 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: JGMA
Design Studio JGMA Celebrates Pilsen’s Identity with the Creative Office Campus ‘Mural Park’
JGMA to rehab two vacant warehouse buildings in Chicago’s Pilsen community
Chicago, Illinois: Pilsen, in Chicago’s Lower West Side is well-known for its richness in culture and diversity as well as its abundant public art, particularly, lively murals. Chicago common brick façades have become canvases for local artists that frequently embody Mexican heritage and American dreams. To encourage the sustainable development of Pilsen by respecting the resident’s vision for their community, design studio JGMA, Condor Partners and Chicago Development Partners are collaborating with the National Museum of Mexican Art and community groups to create the innovative office campus ‘Mural Park’. Mural Park is designed to be an inclusive organic community accessible to existing local businesses, new economy users and more traditional flex-office users.
Pilsen’s fascinating cultural heritage has created a utopia for artists, makers, and creatives. Mural Park, designed by Juan Gabriel Moreno’s studio, JGMA, embraces the culture, diversity, and economic development of Pilsen. Besides functioning as a creative campus, the project is aptly named for the transformation of its surrounding public spaces. By repurposing two 19th century warehouse buildings, the project aims to fill the urban gap with space available for those looking to realize their dreams and mend a disjointed fabric into a rich tapestry of civil programs.
A linear park called Paseo, or path in English, is planned for construction in place of a former ground-level railway to the west of the site, along Sangamon Street. The design team views this as an opportunity to bring the park space into a new courtyard formed by the two buildings. This highly vegetated public plaza will complement the new Paseo and add much-needed park space to an industrial area south of the project site towards the south branch of the Chicago River. The design strives to connect the buildings through the courtyard to create a campus fully integrated with the public space.
The tall concrete wall of the train line near the Paseo has become an outdoor gallery of murals created by local artists. Mural Park will celebrate that tradition and embody Pilsen’s outdoor mural gallery by providing additional canvas connecting from 16th Street, through the Paseo, and into the public plaza. Thus, the project will create a strong connection between the local community artists, creatives working in the campus, and the public at large.
An integrated rail system, referencing the former railway of the Paseo, allows murals to slide north to south with the intention of allowing the users of the plaza to create small outdoor offices for meeting and working, or large public gathering spaces for farmers markets, outdoor movies, and the like.