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HYLE Sculpture

Architecture, Public Art

HYLE is a public art sculpture commissioned by the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events as part of the City of Chicago's one percent for art program. The sculpture was designed by artist Juan Angel Chavez and was conceived as a space for gathering within an underutilized triangular plaza fronting the newly constructed Twelfth District Police Station. The plaza sits between Blue Island Avenue, Racine Avenue and 14th Place.

The name "HYLE" originates from an ancient Greek term for "matter," emphasizing Chávez's focus on the transformation of material and space. The sculpture was based on the dual forms of a morning glory flower and the gramophone - both present in multiple forms throughout Chavez’s work. Between the sculptures steel members are beautifully crafted steel panels that evolved through conversations with local community members and provide shade and shadow throughout the day.

Chávez collaborated with Borderless Studio for the technical development of "HYLE". Borderless managed the technical development, project cost analysis and minor improvements to the landscaped plaza. Together, Juan Angel Chavez and Borderless Studio explored pathways to construct the sculpture out of heavy timber or corten steel.


Form as metaphor

These forms are metaphors for tenacity and social change, which the community mutually seeks to transform the local social environment for the better.

Multiple scales of legibility

Photo: Tom van Eynde
Photos: Tom van Eynde
Photos: Tom van Eynde