Caracol

Chicago Park District
Written By Chicago Park District

The Chicago Park District owns more than 8,800 acres of parkland, making it the largest municipal park manager in the nation. Visit the Chicago Park District's 597 parks, 26 miles of lakefront, 70 nature areas, & hundreds of programs.

Contributing artist José A. Terrazas discusses the concept behind the design of the Caracol Gathering Space. 

“The caracol can take its home with it anywhere it goes, on any journey, and we want to exemplify that by bringing the community to the space.” -José A. Terrazas, Lead Artist 

Caracol means "snail" and "shell" in Spanish

Caracol represents the immigrant's desire to belong while maintaining the core of memory and identity. Snails perform a critical role in the food chain, breaking down plant matter and aiding in the nutrification of the soil. Likewise, immigrants economic and cultural contributions enrich and revitalize the host society. Caracol´spiral-shaped structure suggests ongoing movement from the core to a widening exterior—from the familiar to the unknown. 

The artists who created Caracol did computer renderings and made a paper pattern of their design before building the furniture elements and installing them in the space. 

The symbols you see on the hopscotch game are the Mesoamerican numbers 1 through 10

meet the team

Caracol was designed and created by artists Georgina Valverde, Diana Solis, and Jose Terrazas along with nonprofit partner Contratiempo in Pilsen.

Contratiempo preserves and highlights the cultural identity and contributions of the Spanish-speaking Latino population in the United States.

All photos ©Sandra Steinbrecher 2016  //  Video by Amber Mohammad Castañeda

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