KLEO Art Residences


The KLEO Art Residences project is one piece in a greater comprehensive strategy for reinvigorating the Washington Park community on Chicago’s South Side. The inspiration for the Art Residences project emerged from KLEO’s mission. K.L.E.O. is an acronym for Keep Loving Each Other, but most importantly the KLEO

organization is continuing the legacy of Kleo Y. Barrett, who was a victim of a domestic violence incident that took her life.

The KLEO Art Residences are to the west of the KLEO Life Center. Intentionally, the two buildings are meant to have a conversation with one another. On a grander scale, the location of the Art Residences on the southwest corner of Garfield and Michigan Avenues provides the opportunity to rethink the experience within this neighborhood. It is a neighborhood undergoing significant positive change given that it is the gateway to the shore of Lake Michigan, the University of Chicago campus, as well as the future Barack Obama Presidential Center.

KLEO and JGMA used the opportunity to meet with the artists in the community to understand what living means to them. The common denominator in the exploration of what living means was a very benign and important response; it was to provide daylight. The design investigation looked closely at this need for daylight and quality of life so those living within the building have the opportunity to explore their work as artists and also live in a more dignified way. The exterior of the building is predominantly made of polycarbonate panels.