Cushman & Wakefield sought to consolidate its real-estate footprint, which in turn presented an opportunity to create a headquarters reflecting their new global brand and culture. Our firm crafted flexible and collaborative workspaces, capitalizing on existing vistas and outdoor access in an effort to enrich the social experience of Cushman’s employees. Cushman’s new “home” also presented a series of challenges that in the end yielded dramatic and inspiring results. We converted a 10,000SF law library into a shared work lounge; featuring a 22’ barrel vault ceiling, sweeping views of the Chicago River, and a 16’x9’ media display embedded in a towering millwork feature. One of the greatest challenges was providing a holistic work environment. Together, our teams achieved LEED and WELL Certifications, encompassing good design practiced; such as height-adjustable workstations, concentration spaces, social hubs, healthy food access, and access to a rooftop patio with green roof and walking path.
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Clark-Lindsey completed a master plan and phased campus repositioning. Following a first phase addition of new villas, the organization focused on expanding wellness offerings and providing a new environment for long term care residents. Clark-Lindsey partnered with The Green House Project and design team to help usher in a new standard of care for those experiencing Alzheimer’s and dementia-related illnesses. Two new Green House® residences will provide an atmosphere designed to feel less institutional and more like home. Each Green House features 12 private bedrooms, specially trained caregivers, and spaces designed to feel like home and encourage social engagement. From the outdoor courtyard, library and den areas to the open kitchen providing home cooked meals, the amenities encourage social interaction among elders and caregivers. The interior design reflects a residential composition balanced with the necessary senior friendly attributes. A required commercial kitchen is disguised and adorned with warm wood and beautiful quartz, covering up the functional stainless steel behind and presenting a more home-like setting. Soft muted tones on the floor afford an easy transition between materials, while splashes of color are found within the textiles on the furniture and accent pieces throughout, both at a closer reach to the resident to touch and feel. Clark-Lindsey’s new Wellness Center provides a range of health-focused amenities for older adults to thrive and connect to their community. The Wellness Center includes a rehabilitation and therapy suite, a warm water therapy and exercise pool, and a wellness and fitness suite with a welcoming lobby. Its position at the front door of the campus is a testament to the community’s commitment to wellness, while its strategic location between pieces of the continuum creates interaction amongst all residents within the community. Biophilic elements are incorporated all through the wellness center, the flooring throughout the lobby and corridors resembles the soft texture of river stones and mixture of warm and cool neutrals. Natural woods are found in furniture, ceiling materials and artwork, emphasizing the experience with nature. The therapy and exercise pool offers an expansive connection to the outdoors all while providing some privacy with the leafy pattern etched on the glass panels. The additions and renovations are aimed at extending Clark-Lindsey’s presence as a highly regarded center of excellence in the care of elders in the larger central Illinois region.
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CBRE, a well-known global real estate company, decided to consolidate several Chicago suburban offices and its TCC subsidiary into its Oak Brook location and expand and renovate its current space. The newly consolidated office incorporated CBRE’s Workplace 360 initiative, which has no assigned seats and creates various work settings, encouraging employees to be mobile and work anywhere. The workspace types include sit/stand workstations, focus rooms, huddle rooms, conference rooms, touchdown stations, as well as open collaboration areas. The two main collaborative spaces are the HEART and the RISE café. The HEART is a dynamic space simultaneously serving as a concierge, lobby, meeting, and workspace. The RISE café serves as a lower key collaboration lounge with a café function. Both these areas showcase the power of the global CBRE brand, as well as express unique local brand and connections to the suburban Chicago market. These are expressed through a feature map graphic wall, custom glass patterns, as well as glass artwork and local art throughout the space. The CBRE renovation in Oakbrook elevates its connection to the global CBRE network by celebrating growth throughout the greater Chicagoland market. Driven by connections between the urban grid transitioning into the lush pastoral landscapes that surround, this story has been told by balancing warm natural materials with textural urban finishes. Refined details inspired by local fashion and country club culture help to articulate unexpected elements of surprise throughout. The new CBRE space delivers a sophisticated and exciting new experience for clients and staff alike.
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The Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education is responsible for the identification, development and promotion of standards pertaining to the ongoing education of physicians and medical personnel. Their mission is to constantly improve the performance of physicians and the medical care that they provide to patients. We partnered with ACCME to create brand-new headquarters that accurately align with the goals of the organization and the needs of those who use it. Through a visioning session, two overarching themes that emerged were precision and a nurturing engagement, which drove our design in creating a less corporate, but more residential environment by balancing the needs of employees, stakeholders and visitors in a collaborative, warm and elegant atmosphere. The space strikes a balance between these two concepts resulting in a beautiful environment highlighted by strong architectural detailing and hospitality-focused breakout spaces. We specifically designed areas to be welcoming and relaxed to promote interactions that build consensus with ACCME’s various constituents. The space also balances the needs of the public and ACCME staff. A central corridor links the public reception space with the staff space to create a modular office that can be easily modified to suit the varying needs of employees, stakeholders, and visitors over time. Finishes and architectural elements include white marble, rich Walnut and infusions of royal blue. Windows are exposed to bring in natural light and showcase the architecture of the Chicago skyline.
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The Chicago office of a globally-recognized integrated architecture, interior design, engineering, and planning firm seized a unique opportunity to not only build-out new space to accommodate a growing team, but also redefine and reimagine its office structure by evaluating the way teams worked, identifying aspirational goals and transforming its business strategy. The design team led a series of internal strategy workshops to identify areas of improvement. A lack of necessary space for project teams, an inability to promote the firm’s innovative work and support the creative process, and insufficient space to support diverse work modes and thinking were among the key findings identified. The new workspace needed to support their growing interdisciplinary, multi-generational and multi-market office. Business drivers defined in the workshops set out to encourage collaboration within disciplines, break down silos between disciplines, create a sustainable and energy efficient space, and in turn, change the office culture to increase engagement among employees. Completed in October 2016, the new office transitioned both physically and organizationally into an agile work environment. The renovation is the first of the company’s twelve locations to pilot an agile workspace where employees have the flexibility to select the space and typology that best suits their various individual, team and collaborative work throughout the day. A wide range of typologies allow for team-based work, social interaction, informal touchdown, focus work, and collaboration. For those specific tasks requiring focus, a quiet zone, wellness room and phone rooms were incorporated into the typology mix. Employees may choose from sit-to-stand desks with ample daylighting, team-based bench-style workstation seating with movable pin-up ideation boards, conference and huddle rooms, inviting nooks with great city views, and teaming areas with a variety of reconfigurable furniture. A centrally located maker space provides hands-on experiences for enhanced design visualization including 3D-printing and virtual reality technology. A spacious lobby and café provide further options for breakout, large group activities, and industry or community events. Open ceilings and exposed concrete flooring within the studio space support the collaborative environment and encourage teams to utilize the space as a living, learning laboratory. A subtle, natural finish palette acts as a backdrop to the teams and their work displayed throughout the office. Subtle wood tones and textural carpet define the spaces intended for client interaction or more formal team meetings. Adaptability was paramount in all portions of the design including lighting, which through an advanced lighting control system, enables automated customization of light levels and effortless reorganization of space with the click of a mouse. Supporting one of the firm’s core values, sustainability, the space is targeting LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors Silver Certification. One main contribution to the certification are the lighting fixtures. Every lighting fixture is dimmable and equipped with daylight and motion sensing. The space beats ASHRAE 90.1-2013 lighting power density requirements by 48%. Defined as one of the initial design problems, the framework of the new office space has increased collaboration both within and between disciplines. 93% of post-occupancy respondents feel the new workplace supports collaboration with colleagues; a 74% increase from the previous workplace. The appropriate mix of typologies to support multiple work modes has also been validated. 90% of post-occupancy respondents feel the new space supports necessary focus work and almost 90% of respondents believe the new office reflects their typical collaboration method.
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TruQua wanted to move away from their disorganized furniture and technology into a space that would allow them to grow and that reflected their smart, forward-thinking nature. The building that TruQua moved into is a historic art deco space filled with unique angles and attributes, through close attention to detail and smart design choices such as finishes and textures, we created a mature yet approachable office for this tech company with a limited budget. At the heart of TruQua’s new office is the café which is centrally located to provide employees a convenient place to eat, meet or work and is surrounded by a variety of workspaces including lounges, bench seating and offices. TruQua works with a variety of confidential clients and projects, keeping this in mind, we designed a hybrid open office environment that allows for collaboration and spontaneous interaction but incorporates security features like automatic locking features on office doors to ensure privacy and confidentiality. The office environment allows staff, who often work long hours, access to food, home-like amenities and a flexible space that supports a wide range of tasks for both individuals and groups. The entry space is designed as a flexible reception and collaboration zone, without a traditional receptionist, guests are greeted by staff meeting and interacting, which showcases TruQua’s brand and values immediately, while channeling a welcoming vibe. In addition, the entire office incorporates a range of different sized meeting rooms and writable walls and surfaces throughout to maximize opportunities for collaboration.
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When Savills Studley moved its Chicago headquarters to a new tower in the city’s West Loop, it sought new ideas to create a space that met the diverse, changing needs of its team and industry. Occupying a single floor of the tower, the new 16,500-square-foot office is infused with daylight and incorporates a variety of workspace typologies to meet a wide range of the team’s needs. Employing a palette of dark wood, polished stone, and finished metal, the space offers team members refined spaces for collaboration, client meetings, focused solo work, casual conversation, and relaxation. To maximize the tower’s floor-to-ceiling views of the Chicago River and the Loop, meeting spaces, conference rooms, and equal-sized private offices are glass-enclosed, while semi-private and collaborative workspaces are open to allow daylight to permeate the space. Small, private study rooms provide interruption-free, quiet spaces for calls. At the heart of the office, a café and lounge—furnished with couches, booths, café tables, and a counter lined with stools—features a stunning view of the city and fosters interaction and a sense of community. A second café area adjacent to reception provides space for informal client working sessions. Designed to facilitate well-being, collaboration, and community, the new Chicago office efficiently meets the diverse needs of the firm’s growing team.
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The design concept was to provide a private, soothing and peaceful environment for our clients to reconnect and relax in an urban setting. The 5700 square foot residence is a short walk from the Pacific Ocean and the downtown streets of Venice, California. The house’s H-shaped plan, with its wings overlooking serene interior gardens, hides the extreme density and adjacent homes. The architecture, which was originally designed by the previous owner, was updated to improve the flow and functionality of the home. The clients were impacted greatly by the new design. New furnishings, landscaping, and mechanical systems all were selected and designed to enhance the peacefulness of the house with sound proofing as a priority. An upgraded lighting system and lamping throughout the house increased energy efficiency and added to the owners’ usability. The design scheme was kept simple and casual. Iconic and vintage pieces mixed with contemporary furnishings complement the urban beach setting. Combining many of the objects and art that had been collected over years of travel bridge the old and new. The color scheme is serene but has contrast with pops of color to provide visual interest and keep the space young.
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Design Concept: Situated among rolling hills on a heavily forested 23-acre site in Western Michigan, the context provides privacy and a peaceful respite from the traditional suburban office environment. The undulating site created challenges and the orientation of the building and parking structure were driven by the site’s unique topography. The design team used a variety of technologies to understand the tree cover, topography, explore options for the building’s location on the site and ultimately maintain as much of the tree cover and natural topography as possible. The building was placed to form a bridge across the two most prominent hills. This preserves the natural watershed through the site to an on-site retention pond and minimizes the building’s footprint on the land. To further protect the forested land, the design consolidates the significant parking requirement into a single 3-level structure recessed into the site’s largest hill to minimize its physical impact on the overall experience of the site. The parking garage is the first in Texas Township, MI, where the building is located, highlighting the uniqueness of this urban approach to parking in a suburban/rural context. The minimalist site design focuses formal landscape spaces under and around the building, protecting the plant life from harsh weather. Visitors access the building from a meandering approach road that provides the full experience of the forest and a sense of discovery upon arrival. A series of fitness and wellness trails connects users to the natural surroundings. Paramount to the site design is the awareness of a small footprint and minimal intervention of the building. Composed of brick, metal, glass and concrete, the building palette contributes to an understated simplicity in contrast to the visual activity of the site. On the southern façade, the glass curtain wall maximizes natural light and views, reinforcing the verticality of the forest through the vertical expression of structure and façade elements. A brick façade along the north references the regional vernacular and protects the structure from harsh northwest winds. Window boxes provide daylight and views for meeting rooms while projecting a dynamic display of light patterning visible to those experiencing the building while traveling the heavily trafficked Interstate 94. To take advantage of sunlight during Michigan’s lengthy fall and winter seasons, the interior environment is organized around a three-story, south-facing atrium. As the heart of the office, the atrium culminates in a large ceremonial stair that serves as an informal auditorium and company gathering space fostering a familial workplace community, integral to the culture of Consumers Credit Union. Brand-building: The design of the headquarters building was a defining opportunity to tell the brand story of Consumers Credit Union. As a rapidly growing organization, the building was designed to serve as an expression of Consumers Credit Union’s values and growth trajectory. In turn, the design is decidedly contemporary and amenity-rich, helping recruit and retain talent while continuing to grow the organization. Collaboration + Consolidation: Centered on the idea of creating controlled collisions, the new workplace brings together nearly 150 employees previously working in four separate buildings. The open office environment is designed to foster collaboration and innovation while capitalizing on the efficiencies of bringing staff under one roof. Informal gathering spaces encourage further collaboration while building a defining culture for the organization. The Class A facility is designed to emphasize flexibility and interactivity. The open concept space is supported with modern workstations and a learning lab with state-of-the-art technology available to facilitate training and staff development. The open atmosphere is balanced with quiet, private spaces for concentrated work and private conversations. Regardless of the location within the building, staff and visitors are never more than 30 feet from views of the surroundings. Designed to encourage staff to move throughout the space regularly, the internal and external environment makes the workplace an amenity in itself. Staff can work on an expansive outdoor patio overlooking nature, sit in one of many communal gathering spaces or enjoy an outdoor seating area between the hills. Other amenities include a food café, coffee bar, bike racks and a fitness center to support the organization’s cultural focus on wellness. The design process began with programming the building, define operational needs and outline their vision. Once we established a realistic budget based on space requirements, we developed several concepts. The preferred design concept strongly emphasized their company culture, preservation of the natural site and their community-focused brand. It also included a number of value added features and spaces that were not included in the initial programming and budgeting. Achieving the design vision posed certain challenges related to cost, technology and client values. The client embraced the design vision and was eager to achieve as much as possible under their cost constraints. Working with the local Construction Manager early and throughout the design process, we identified the limitations of local trade and material availability. Using 3D modeling and testing, we compared cost and constructability of concrete versus steel structural systems to arrive at a budget-feasible solution. We also consulted the CM to evaluate the use of wall systems and material technologies, arriving at the use of brick for the north wall rather than a prefabricated panel system that, while similar in cost, was deemed too complicated for the local trades. These are just some examples that illustrate our research-based approach to achieving the design vision and meeting client needs while conscious of budget limitations. Every project poses unique challenges and opportunities related to aligning the vision, needs and budget. In this case the client increased their budget slightly after the project went to bid to achieve their desired outcome. But the process of information gathering, testing and design research and exploration kept the budget in line throughout the project while achieving all of the design and programmatic wants of the client.
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The interior design concept has the feeling of bringing the outside to the inside. The challenge was to create a space has to support the process of teams while allowing a constant change in team sizes. The proposal is a reconfiguration of work areas with mobile desking depending on the occasion. The bi-fold doors that allow the offices to be more private or public depending on the user's needs. For evening expositions, the bi-fold doors are fully open creating a free-flowing space. In addition to the dedicated team spaces, each corner has an amenity to encourage employees to frequent all the spaces. This turns the office into a collaborative brainstorming session for more efficient results.
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The recently renovated CalEdison building in downtown LA sets the stage for the relocated leasing office of GGP. Established to attract their retail clientele, this energetic and welcoming environment reflects the casual culture of the west coast by greeting visitors with an open café and laptop lounge, complete with a ping pong table. The raw concrete and exposed ceilings subtly echo GGP’s core values of humility and transparency, accenting the coming together of old meets new at every intersection of the art deco style building and the contemporary interior aesthetic. Low panels at open office workstations and lounge seating for impromptu meetings are designed to cultivate collaboration, set in surroundings that are highlighted with graffiti art by a local artist to celebrate the local art scene and convey an edgy, street-smart vibe.
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The goal was to create a space that was designed at a high level, yet still understated in its furnishings. Durability and comfort were key to withstand traffic and heavy usage as the client is the pastor of a Chicago city church and often hosts retreats for members, friends, and colleagues. The lines of the furnishings were kept simple and clean to complement, and not overshadow, the modern architecture of the home. Neutral fabric choices throughout the home serve as a canvas with pops of oranges, greens, and blues to accentuate the expansive views of Lake Michigan. Designed as an entertaining space, furnishings play double duty throughout the home. Dining room chairs can be placed in rows for enjoying a piano performance while extra chairs are easily stacked away for storage. The pair of dining tables can be placed separately, or combined for a long banquet gathering. Multiple conversation spaces in the living room were created with flexible seating. The swooping curves and angles of the architecture posed challenges for placement of furnishings, but as a positive, added great interest to the understated power of this contemporary lakeside home.
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The leadership team of this design firm wished to build a transformational culture, rather than a transactional one, in their Chicago office. We strove for transparency, accountability, open dialogue and constructive criticism, with the goal of creating an inclusive process involving every team member. Three years in their original location, the shortcomings of their space began to impede their work and undermine their cultural aspirations. The office did not speak to their process or facilitate it, nor did it offer the ability to host clients, speak to their brand or help recruit talent. Realizing the urgent need for a new office space in Chicago, the design firm’s leadership team began an honest, open dialogue to ensure that everyone was aligned. The team included trusted partners advising on real estate, construction, lighting, acoustics and engineering. They drew upon internal talent in building systems, energy modeling, place performance, WELL buildings, LEED and lean process improvement to bring the same level of critical thinking that they would utilize for a client. They conversed with the firm’s leadership to understand their vision for the Chicago office, and what we proposed represented a dramatically different approach than had previously considered. In a series of dialogues, they engaged their colleagues about what worked, and what did not, to help envision a space that would encourage the culture desired. Their guiding principles became a touchstone throughout the course of the project. To better understand how people worked, they engaged in research. Through an inclusive approach, they moved toward solutions that would achieve results based on acceptance by the users. The result is a living studio supporting their growth and evolution. A space that offers them, creative, entrepreneurial people with diverse personalities and needs, the choice of environments for group and individual work. It challenges and pushes them to rethink their engagement and relationships with vendors, partners and clients. Their people and process are visible, allowing them to invite clients in, not as someone to be held at arm’s length, but as a partner and a co-creator.
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The facility is designed to suit the needs and growing demands of the college’s student population as well as allow for future expansion for various additional curriculum needs. In traditional campus planning, each campus building has a specific purpose or use in mind, but in this location, the design team was challenged to fit many different uses and occupants under one roof. The college campus consists of administration spaces and faculty offices, large community room, traditional college classrooms, three science labs, computer labs, student commons, library, café, campus store, and simulation center for the healthcare learning environment. The critical challenges of the project were altering an existing “big box” store where light is minimal, ceilings are high, and the human scale factor is often lost. The design solutions focused on a bright color and finish palette, including windows at the end of each corridor to provide for a view out and sunshine in, and maximizing the tall ceilings as a positive design feature. We paid much attention to lighting choices and how those choices enhanced large open areas to provide students a place to gather and/or study. Since flexibility was important and growth is inevitable, main corridors were designed to accommodate the college's needs to expand. The design team used the college’s school branding, as a kick start to use fun pops of color amongst a gray neutral base. Specific finishes were chosen to reflect the combination of spaces to the learning environment as well as the social atmospheres to entice future students.
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In the year of 2016, Grand Rapids had the fastest growing economy which caused an influx in people and jobs. Grand Rapids is home to many colleges and universities. Many students attending these colleges from out of town are moving back to the city for work. As more people move to the city, rent and mortgages rise. As the rent and mortgages rise, the wages are not. This is leaving many individuals and low-class families displaced, often single mothers and in this day-and-age, recent graduates with loans. The Keeler building was once a furniture exhibition in 1914 when the city became a major lumbering center, processing logs that were floated down the river. The river and its tributaries gave rise to dozens of communities across the midwest. The ready supply of timber lead to one of Grand Rapids major industies, it's fine wood furniture. By utilizing the natural trandsportation of the river, the city of Grand Rapids kept growing. The inspiration of my designs come from the use of the Grand River and its metephor to keep moving forward. The growth rings in the timber lof anad the tributary patterns of the river are all symbolic od the growing city of GRand Rapids, and the indiciduals residing in the Keeler Building.
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Transformation requires equal measures of nature and nurture. When untapped human capital and the conditions for growth combine – life flourishes. This non-profit organization’s new facility provides the opportunity to help Chicago’s teens discover and stretch their potential. As part of a predesign workshop, students, staff and alumni of the after-school and summer teen programs shared their vision for effective learning spaces. The resounding desires were for flexible spaces linking the activities of one program space to another and creating an omnipresence of the organization’s culture. Previously an insurance headquarters, this donated building was transformed into a four-story setting that responds to student input for spaces that reflect their personality and encourage collaboration. On each floor, garage doors connect perimeter studios to a central flex space which invites educators to open the doors and create a single free-flowing learning space. Students of all programs share ideas over casual pin ups or gallery displays of their work. Bookended by a commons/lobby and a teaching kitchen, the ground level circulation “boulevard” affords glimpses into vocal, dance and tech studios, creating a dynamic and interconnected community of performance. The new facility will have a huge impact on the organization’s mission of positively transforming the lives of teens and their communities, with approximately 1,500 neighborhood teens annually being served by the new center. The center represents the organization’s first owned space and will serve as a model for teen programming across the city. Finishes include OSB and cement board cladding the walls of public spaces, daring teens to nail to, paint over, mosaic tile on or otherwise customize them to express their creative energy. Vibrant, saturated colors reflect the organization’s brand identity, brighten the studios and simplify wayfinding. Sustainability was at the forefront of the design of the center. The design team’s goal was to re-use as many existing elements as possible while retrofitting for the new use and code compliance. By exposing the existing structure and celebrating raw concrete flooring, the team created an aesthetic from materials already in place, minimizing the carbon footprint. New materials are composed of natural elements – cement board cladding, oriented strand board and steel trim. To provide natural light, new window openings were cut into the building shell, allowing daylight to shine through the glass-clad garage doors of the perimeter studios and into the shared spaces. Civically and socially, the facility offers the community a haven for teens to explore their interests and develop their talents. The new teen center serves as a neighborhood beacon of cultural display and celebration. As the donation of the building met long-standing organizational vision, the organization is itself transformed from a tenant into an owner and operator.
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THE DESIGN INTENT WAS IMPLEMENTED UTILIZING AN EVIDENCE BASED DESIGN STRATEGY INCLUDING RESEARCH, INSPIRATION AND CASE STUDIES OF EXISTING SPACES. THE CO-WORKING COMMUNITY IS DESIGNED TO MEET THE NEEDS OF VARIOUS TYPES OF NEW BUSINESSES - WHETHER IT BE A QUICKLY GROWING START-UP, OR A ONE-MAN SHOW, THE SPACE ACCOUNTS FOR EVERY NEED AND FUNCTION OF A SMALL BUSINESS, ATTRACTING YOUNG PROFESSIONALS TO STRIVE IN THE FLEXIBLE WORK ENVIRONMENT. AN ADDITIONAL FEATURE OF THE SPACE IS ITS ABILITY TO CONVERT INTO AN EVENT SPACE AFTER PEAK WORK HOURS, UTILIZING THE GALLERY, PANTRY, CONFERENCE ROOMS AND AUDITORIUM.
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As part of an efficiency initiative, the corporate office of this global automotive retail industry technology provider wished to consolidate customer service offices from various regions around the country into a single location housing 1,200 employees. They chose a vacant complex built on property previously home to General Motors in the 1990s. Since this consolidation involved offices across the nation, it was imperative that the new facility be a draw to encourage existing employees to relocate, as well as a magnet for attracting new talent from the area. Additionally, since significant attrition within the existing employee base was anticipated, the facility needed to be up-and-running quickly, and provide space suitable for on-site training of new employees. The facility has been transformed into an agile, world-class customer service center rich with amenities. Design Challenges • Support 1,200 employee capacity in an agile, technology-rich environment • Serve as a magnet for new talent acquisition and employee retention • Rapidly accommodate the first round of new employees, and train them on site • Deliver a fast-track build-out in two phases, within a total of nine months Guiding Principles • Embellish brand as an expression of culture • Maximize natural daylight and sustainable practices • Provide state-of-the-art enabled technology • Support social/work collaboration (open and closed hubs, Avanti Market, café) • Enhance employee wellness (fitness, lockers, etc.) • Ensure high employee satisfaction to increase retention Design Solution Once the real estate team and owner zeroed in on the prospective headquarters building, the design team quickly determined through the use of benchmark data (120 sq. ft./person) that the complex could support all 1,200 employees. Buildings 1 and 3 would hold 850 employees. Building 2 would be reserved to house the remaining employees at a later date. Final plans and design were based on established space standards previously developed by the design team. The design solution addressed the company’s fast-paced, highly collaborative, and interactive work style. The agile workplace environment supports open clusters of product teams comprised of developers, analysts, testers, and managers. Low height panels provide open lines of visual and verbal communication. Quiet rooms, hubs, and team rooms provide a choice between independent and collaborative work. Previously established benchmark statistics, such as the ratio of workstation to conferencing and collaborative seats (1 : 2.5), were used to plan a balanced distribution of benches, workstations, closed hubs, quiet rooms, and open collaborative spaces. Special attention was paid in positioning the amenity spaces on the first floor where traffic could be monitored and controlled by security. When the design team discovered there was an internal stair buried in a drywall enclosure which was structurally suitable for an open stair, they capitalized on this by redesigning the stair to become a feature element in the center of the floor plan. The new stair provides vertical access for employees to the adjacent lounges, and encourages informal social interaction. Other creative design elements include the use of LED lighting to replace fluorescent and reduce electricity usage, the addition of bold graphics (local architect themes), and shaped accent walls denoting the brand color. Brand expression can be found on both featured drywall forms through applied brand color and in the graphics applied to the glass hub fronts. The variation in architectural graphics on each hub’s glass front provides wayfinding and names for room scheduling. Renderings of the facility interior, which showcased the numerous amenities and natural daylight-infused spaces were shared early in the project with both current and potential employees as a mechanism for recruitment. The project has been well received by executives and employees alike. At the grand opening, the CEO expressed his satisfaction with the fact that this former GM property is once again home to an automobile-related enterprise, and a vibrant part of the business community. The circle is now complete.
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The homeowners came to us while their home construction was already underway in Lakeview East, just steps from Lake Michigan. Their aesthetic preference was a modern and minimal home and they talked mostly about their love of the ocean. We created a palette of rift white oak floors, blues and greens in the wall paint, and stunning stone and wallpaper accents. The furniture and fixtures were also organic in nature to contrast with the minimal interior. Custom pieces include a desk and dining room made of reclaimed locust trees, a full height marble vanity and ceiling hung mirrors.
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This successful relocation of a 168,000 SF corporate headquarters proved to be the perfect opportunity to create the highly transparent, collaborative and branded environment desired by GGP. Fostering a democratic approach to sharing the daylight, private offices and conference rooms are internalized while most employees sit near the glass line. Low-height furnishings ensure unobstructed views, allowing for an abundance of natural light throughout the space, and team collaborative areas occupy the space normally reserved for prestigious corner offices. A centralized conference center, along with interchangeable private offices and smaller meeting rooms, provides for future flexibility; a mandatory consideration in the eyes of this forward-thinking organization and today’s ever changing office environment. Strategically placed communal “Hubs” create a common area on each floor that’s designed to gather, promote impromptu meetings, encourage a culture of teamwork and foster knowledge sharing. Ordered with an elegant palette of white walls, warm ceilings and textured floor finishes, with lighting systems that highlight this logical and structured environment, the design solution weaves the interactive areas and mix of workspace types together to create an intuitive system of wayfinding over this 3 floor project. Designed and constructed within a 10 month timeline, this collaborative project serves as testimony to the power of teamwork, proving the impossible…is possible!
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For more than 25 years, Optimo has been a leading maker of handcrafted hats for a global clientele. Located in Beverly, Illinois, a historic neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side, Optimo’s recently completed headquarters consolidates its design, operations, and production spaces inside a renovated 100-year old former City of Chicago-owned firehouse. Designed to create an efficient and collaborative workflow, the new headquarters more than doubles Optimo’s production capacity while accommodating future expansion. Expressed as a contemporary workshop with an industrial aesthetic, the design draws from a palette of refined, understated materials, including blackened steel, walnut, and cork. Elegant steel casings frame task and ambient lighting above workstations; custom floor-to-ceiling shelving houses unique hat forms and molds; rolling racks mobilize and organize hats for seamless access on the factory floor; modern and antique machinery are finished uniformly in matte black, and restored glazed-brick walls wrap the daylit double-height space. On the second floor, an expansive studio space serves as a design atelier to host clients and guests. Remnants of the original firehouse can be seen throughout, including porthole windows flush to the floor where firepoles once stood, allowing visual connections to the workroom below. Mounted to the ceiling, a 10-foot-wide handcrafted circular light fixture anchors the room, while an immense walnut table recalls the design of the factory workbenches below. Framing the east wall, full-height steel shelves display a collection of objects collected from decades of hat making. Adjacent to the atelier, a private office is delineated by open shelving designed in the same style as the industrial carts used on the production floor. Leather sofas, brass light fixtures, and dark walls create a comfortable ambiance in the lounge area. Located behind the south wall, a full-scale kitchen is finished with marble repurposed from the original firehouse showers.
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Acting as Interior Designer, Environmental Graphics Designer and Architect of Record, the firm’s goal was to develop a store that was saturated with the storied history of the Chicago Cubs and pay homage to the legends both on the field and off. The client requested a retail setting that not only allowed the customers to stock up on the latest and most unique Cub’s gear quickly before the start of a game, but an experiential environment that allowed the fans to view the team’s trophies and create a memory on the second floor with Augmented Reality green screen installation. In order to satisfy a customer that, at times, would need to check out quickly to get to their seats for the first pitch, the firm efficiently laid out eight cash wraps to meet demand when lines become long. Movable fixtures allowed for space adaptations and reconfigurations to accommodate always-changing and seasonal merchandise: from blankets to backpacks to jerseys. Under the grand central stair, the firm designed glass museum vignettes of rarely-seen memorabilia from the team’s 148-year history with the goal of not only delighting the Chicago Cubs fan, but also to visually drawing the customer The customer is welcomed into the store through one of two entrances next to Wrigley Park. Drawn in by the gleaming ‘C’ logo lit by LED, the fan is greeted by two monumental hat walls featuring styles only available at Flagship. From there, the stair landing features a spectacular 9-flatscreen video wall streaming up-to-the-minute Cubs content, including live games. Journeying across the second floor, an inviting green screen utilizes augmented reality technology to transport fans to a number of locations throughout Wrigley Field, virtually capturing realistic photos and sharing the photos instantly across social media platforms. Real ash bats were cut in half for the backdrop of the video wall, while aluminum baseball bats were used as accent pendant lighting. All signage was specified with the custom Pantone of ‘Cubbie Blue’ and the stairs were designed with a nod to the iconic ironwork at Wrigley Field. The firm collaborated with a local Muralist to honor Cubs legend, Ernie Banks, on the reclaimed ash wood wall behind the cash wrap. Additionally, all apparel brand signage on the store perimeter was designed as magnetic, allowing for flexibility in merchandising, adding new brands as partnerships are forged. Laying out the store for counter clockwise shopping, jerseys and hats were given prime placement in between the store’s two entrances as the top-selling SKUs. Adjacencies were strategically planned with women’s and children’s items occupying the rest of the first floor and higher-ticket, game-used merchandise upstairs. Mobile checkout and cash wrap stations were developed and integrated for peak, game-day sales. Upstairs, next to a second cash wrap counter, a computer-controlled embroidery station creates the perfect, personalized jersey for the die-hard. All fixtures, with the exception of the slat wall, were custom-designed by the firm and fabricated by the Millworker. Industrial in nature to reflect the materials of the ballpark, the fixtures were designed to be flexible with locking casters at the base and constructed out of wood and iron. Wood, concrete, iron and steel were utilized throughout the store, not only as durable materials for this high-volume store, but also because of their relationship to the ballpark. Additionally, automobile paint was used for the ‘C’ logo hat display to draw reflect the recessed LED-lighting. On the exterior façade, the team custom-designed catcher’s mask sconces in addition to miniature, backlit baseball bats on the overhang underneath the channel LED logo and store signage. Above the grand staircase, the statement piece is a baseball fixture, resplendent with red accents. The floor fixtures, while custom, were designed simply, so as not to impair sightlines. Along the perimeter of the space, displays were raised in order to showcase merchandise while creating visual interest. In the summer, Renlita doors are opened to allow a seamless shopping experience and bring in the neighborhood. The Chicago Cubs’ singular goal is to reward generations of Cubs fans’ support and loyalty. The year that the store was designed, the Cubs ‘broke the curse’ and won the World Series for the first time in 71 years – time to celebrate! The Grand Opening of both the store as well as the Park at Wrigley was on opening day of the following year, April 10, 2017. The brand speaks true throughout the store, from the mannequins proudly wearing Cubs gear on the custom-designed ‘home plate’ at the entrance to the colloquial nod to Cubs trivia above the cash wrap.
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What is occurring in malls throughout the United States and their ability to adapt to cultural change, is a significant challenge for the retail industry. This project is an adaptive reuse, transforming an underutilized part of the Mall at Wellington Green and bringing it back to life. This process required some of the most complex, sophisticated, and programmatic challenges that one can encounter. We took a big box furniture retailer and turned that former use into a thriving entertainment district for the mall. The project makes a visitor rethink the psychology of the arrival to the mall. The former dock, what people recognized as the back of the building and a neglected part of the building, became the formal entry into this new entertainment district. This has dramatically transformed the image of place at that part of the mall since its inception. The Starwood Entertainment Complex at Wellington Green is the first of its kind in the Miami-Dade area. The client and theater operator tasked the design team with creating a unique theater experience through textures and materials to be used in clever and unconventional ways. It was imperative that wayfinding and circulation be intuitive and natural while forcing patrons to observe and interact with other mall tenants. Starwood wanted to create a spark of excitement at the mall through dynamic and innovative architecture. The design team achieved these goals through use of lighting elements, colors and textures as wayfinding devices. The renovation has cleverly transformed what was perceived as the service end of the building into a bright new welcoming entry. An existing loading zone, trash enclosure, and transformer yard have been reconfigured and concealed utilizing new architectural elements that initiate an intuitive wayfinding journey. To provide optimized sightlines and acoustics, the existing roof was raised 15’-0” above the its existing position. Using patented technology and techniques, this engineering feat created an overall volume that provides theater goers with an exceptional movie experience. Through use of color and material, the interiors are activated to define the various functions, lounge areas, ticketing, and restaurant entries. All 10 theater auditoriums have a distinct color that is associated with them, providing a playful interaction with movie-goers as they navigate from color coded walls and floor patterns that lead them to their movie experience. The ultimate goal of the project was to increase visibility, awareness, and sales. The theater and adjacent restaurant have been wildly successful and continue to increase foot traffic. The transformative design of the project has cemented itself as an icon for the Wellington community.
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MilliporeSigma’s purpose is to solve the toughest problems in life science through collaboration, and that purpose drives its new Life Sciences Center. From closed huddle rooms to training rooms to open teaming spaces, the workplace offers options for staff to choose the right location based on the type of work. On top of spaces intended for work-related meetings, the social hubs are spaces on each floor that allow for less formal collaboration and encourage social interaction among employees, which in turn spark innovation. While internal collaboration is important, Millipore also addresses the need for collaboration with clients with the M Lab. The M Lab is a space where Millipore is able to interact with their customers and clients, showcasing their work within the first floor of the building. This space allows Millipore to train new customers and tackle troubleshooting issues for clients. The design powerfully represents the MilliporeSigma’s brand. Against a crisp white surround, bold brand colors burst in vibrant blues, magenta, chartreuse and purple. Hexagonal forms, both suggestive of molecular formulas and forms within MilliporeSigma’s brand. The shape manifests as portals, surrounds around seating areas, and perhaps most evocatively in the ceiling over the two-story reception and mezzanine space. The company and the research center were created by chemistry, and the design announces that to staff, guests and clients—from the historical displays of milestone products to the windows into the development of tomorrow’s innovations.
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Code 42 is a global leader in security software who believes that a better workplace leads to an improved product and therefore a better customer experience. Their new office in Minnesota’s technology hub offers a variety of collaborative spaces and destinations designed for bringing people together and improving communication, including a town hall space for company-wide gatherings and a monumental stair connecting all three floors. Amenities include a “genius bar” for walk-up IT support and a central pantry equipped with snacks and beverages, including a nitro cold brew on tap. Everything is designed to keep the Code42 team feeling happy, focused, and energized, with the end goal of creating the best possible experience for Code42 users.
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A high-profile corner lot presented the opportunity to create a striking entry. Corner glass and a grandiose black metal cantilevered canopy support a refined and classy greeting as visitors step inside. The corner location also proved challenging, however, as usable space became limited after setbacks and parking needs were accounted for, and fire safety requirements restricted where to build. The highly efficient space planning practices resulted in double the treatment rooms of River Walk Family Dental's former office, in a space only slightly larger in square footage. Differing aesthetic tastes between the two doctors, as well as city design guidelines, lead to the design team's clever juxtaposition of otherwise opposing themes. Modern elements are cunningly incorporated into the traditional design through color, detail, and materials. On the exterior, black shingles and white fiber cement siding are accented with black metal windows lending to a modern feel. Natural stone adds warmth and connects the building to its contextual history. Intersecting masses are cloaked in traditional residential materials, yet dramatically defined with geometric shifts in direction and detail. Harking back to the town's farming and agricultural history, the simple forms rejuvenate an architectural style accustomed to by local residents, seamlessly connecting the time honored architectural tradition to the present. Contemporary and traditional aesthetics are unified in the interior by mixing a light, neutral color palette with boldly dark accents. Black light fixtures and trim, and a walnut-stained sculptural staircase centerpiece are energetic and eye-catching against their calm surroundings. Patients enter at ease, feeling an air of class and luxury, and leave feeling positive and comfortable about their visit.
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Specialty Rooms: Test Kitchens (6 fully functioning cooking kitchens: 50% electric range & 50% gas range), Cake Decorating Studio, Photography Studio, Videography Studio, Staging Studio, Prop Storage Rooms, Climate Controlled Cake Storage, Industrial Design 3-D Printing Studio, Renovation & Rebranding to an existing internal staircase. Client Culture: Wilton asks their customers to be creative, therefore their new office space needed to exemplify the creativity of the brand. Their past office space was spread across 4 different buildings, some locations over ½ mile away from each other, therefor as to promote communication, the goal was to infusing curiosity throughout the office. Client History: Client products infiltrated the design in the most casual of ways, for example stacked rolling pins created a separation wall between the café and corridor and wooden spoons which were strung together provided a screening device in other areas. Early Coordination: The full project team was brought on early during the real estate search in order to confirm that the specialty requirements could be met at the final selected location.
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Problem: Create a Dynamic, 21st Century School in a Small Community Where Daylight is Scare During Much of the School Year Designed with current best practices of flexibility and collaboration in mind, this forward-thinking elementary school addresses overcrowding in the district while creating a bright, light-filled learning space for students who experience very little daylight during most of the school year. In addition to maximizing daylight, functionality and community were at the forefront of design. The area around the school is growing, thus Dena’ina is designed as both a school and community center. Spaces are multifunctional, and the school provides after-hours use of select areas while integrating programming with the new middle/high school to bring the community together around its children. To create a strong sense of place and local identity, colorful hanging sculptures and paintings were commissioned from local artists to build cultural pride, and color-changing lighting in the commons area maintains light after the sun goes down. The interior design decisions capture the scarce daylight during the long winters, while creating a sense of community and providing multi-functional spaces in this remote, but steadily growing, part of southern Alaska. Problem: Create a Sustainable Building that Responds to the Unique Climate and Landscape of Southern Alaska The team also followed environmental considerations to create a sustainable facility that responds to the natural landscape. All classrooms face south, providing maximum daylight where students spend the bulk of their time. Spaces shared by the school and community, such as the stage and gym, are located on the north side of the corridor where there are fewer openings to limit climate and wind exposure. Part of the building was constructed underground, significantly decreasing operating costs. Additionally, Alaska is an active seismic zone with a high earthquake hazard rating by the U.S. Geological Survey. The abundant bracing required became a design element: it is visible from the commons and gymnasium, and is the impetus for the design pattern of the interior windows into the classrooms which include lateral bracing behind the solid portion of the walls. This efficiency in planning allowed the creation of additional spaces such as windows, display areas and storage zones in the voids of the structure.
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Gary Jet Center’s new private airport project had one goal: To convince clients and crew that Gary was worthy of luxury travel. A boutique experience was created with a concierge greeting upon arrival, an espresso bar, and luxurious powder rooms crafted specifically with Beyonce in mind. Seating areas were designed for user comfort for both solo travelers and entire entourages alike to feel private or spread out, all with integrated power for work on the go. Textures and upholsteries of deep greens and rich blues offset the softer blush and salmon tones, providing a refreshing and uplifting palette for travelers about to take flight. Airy, cloud-like pendant lights provide a landscape of visual interest while a warming central fireplace grounds the lobby space. For the pilots, customized lounges with unique amenities allow for areas of refuge and recharge after a long flight. Additional amenity areas including conference spaces, game rooms, and nap rooms were designed with a residential approach for maximum comfort. The careful consideration of each user’s experience throughout the space results in the Gary Jet Center feeling like a boutique hotel escape for even the most luxurious traveler.
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DLA Piper, a global law firm located in more than 40 countries, needed their new Chicago office to act as a platform for their international practice business model. The office design was to establish new standards of workplace performance and intelligence, becoming the new standard by which future DLA offices can be measured. The design creates a high performance, functional workplace and platform for dynamic global collaboration, community outreach and client engagement. Gensler's analysis of current DLA cultural behaviors and aspirational objectives revealed the design's fundamental measures of success: Functionality At a DNA level, the design needed to support highly effective attorney work patterns; recognizing the primacy of supporting focus activity and the pace at which work needs to flow across the floor layout. How well does the space support the function it needs to serve? Agility The design needed to be as adaptable as possible; possessing an inert intelligence to its fabrication and assembly so as to allow for rapid re-configuration to support client-driven case needs. How successfully can the space shift from function to function? Connecting Spread vertically across multiple floors, it was essential that the design provide both a social center to each floor - enabling a sense of community within practice areas - and to create a robust central environment, gathering all levels of the firm in one place to interact socially, to learn and collaborate - both internally and with clients. Is the space successful at bringing people together? Enabling The design creates environments which supports DLA's role as facilitators of conversations impacting the Chicago staff/client community and effecting global business and enabling a global organization. Does the space enable DLA Piper to achieve its goals? A functional, agile design connects and enables a rigorous professional community in an intelligent and inspiring environment of simple, honest materials expertly-crafted, representing—through form and light—the practice core's character and futurized vision.
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We were hired to perform comprehensive design and documentation services including needs assessment/programming, schematic design, design development , contract documents and contract administration for the total renovation of a 2-level campus bookstore. We were challenged to re-think what a campus bookstore should be to a college or university. The company intends for their store to be a one-stop shop for class and campus living, so we planned and design 3 key propositions into the concept: 1) Resources: online faculty collaboration, academic support, tech services and demonstration. 2) Branded sports and excellence: legacy and spirit to be communicated. 3) Social: seating, food and beverage, multiple ways to sit, recharge mobile devices, meet, study or collaborate.
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Housing Morningstar Chicago’s Agile Development team, the 14th floor is the first space within Morningstar’s Global Headquarters to be custom designed to suit the occupants. Each space reflects an aspect of the agile development team’s process – the flexible open workspace with moveable sit-stand desks for changing team dynamics, standup meeting rooms for daily morning scrum meetings and “The Drum”- which serves as an auditorium with bleacher-style seating shaped like their signature logo for mid-sprint cycle and final presentations. Morningstar’s open office environment is easily reconfigurable, with movable light scale desks on casters and floor power and data connectivity laid out on a grid. The new floor was intended for engineering and developer teams, and light controls and versatility of space were key to assuring we met this need. Writable surfaces, lockers, and phone rooms also support impromptu needs and a mobile lifestyle within the office. The overall space was planned as a series of boulevards and pavilions, which defined neighborhoods for the teams. The over-sized boulevards create opportunity for impromptu gatherings, while brightly colored pavilions provide identity and support to the neighborhoods at each of the quadrants of the floor plate.
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One of the biggest design challenges that we faced on this project was to take a large empty warehouse space, and convert it into the modern functional job training facility that Aspire needed for it's participants - adults with intellectual & physical disabilities . This project was adaptive reuse at it's finest. The 'pod' idea was introduced to break up the large open warehouse space into specific job training areas. These pods were designed to emulate a cityscape, with a center compass design detail to centralize & direct flow. Color coding was also incorporated to individually brand each pod for it's training function & help with wayfinding. With no full height ceilings, sound control also became a challenge for our team. Carpet was an intentional flooring choice to help reduce sound reverberation. Partial soffits & suspended acoustical clouds were placed within each pod to help reduce noise & create the illusion of an enclosed space. SQUARE FOOTAGE: 15,000 SF BUDGET: $1,282,560 COST SAVINGS: $190, 516
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When the Napleton Automotive Group invested in new corporate headquarters building, they wanted to "Cool it up". The goal was to reposition Napleton’s national corporate brand to reflect next generation thinking and Family ownership transitions. To do that, the architect deconstructed the existing typical office build out and reduced it to express the bare concrete structure and developed an open plan that would reflect stair stepping exterior walls. By integrating expanded metal ceilings with alternating stepped LED lighting and primary color accent strips in floor, the plan took on a completely fresh appeal. Interior Branding included integrating 60 years of dealership neon signs on stepping walls that provide open visibility across the open floor plan from east to west. An unexpected display of two mint condition classic cars as you step off the 6th floor elevator makes this a memorable statement for a true "Captain of the Industry".
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A family of five sought a home that eliminated the typical distinctions between formal and informal spaces. We responded with a home designed to be thoroughly lived in, bridging the classic French Provincial style of the exterior with relaxed, informal finishes and furnishings. A playroom, loft, craft room, roof deck, and lower level pool provide ample space for spending time together. A gracious skylit stairway brings natural light to the center of the home, while metal and glass doors in the dining room and office allow the natural setting to extend into the house. The lower level spaces, including a pool and workroom, provide a contemporary departure from the rest of the home. Ipe slatted walls cleverly conceal a changing space and wet bar bringing in warmth and texture to the otherwise clean-lined pool deck.
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Founded in 1857 and based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Northwestern Mutual is the nation's largest direct provider of individual life insurance and a leader in financial services. To facilitate their continued growth and industry leading performance, Northwestern Mutual expanded their existing downtown Milwaukee corporate campus. Northwestern Mutual’s leaders envision a world-class facility that provides a robust and modern business platform for their current and future needs; is a desirable place for its employees and financial representatives to work and gather; that will help to recruit and retain employees. Research The project began with an extensive research and visioning program. John Schlifske, Northwestern Mutual’s CEO, and the corporate leadership team had established a vision to transform the company, introducing new work practices, re envisioning the company’s product offerings and interaction style with its policyholder/owners. Building on extensive stakeholder interviews, immersion by the team in emerging work practices, utilization study, best practices study and workshops with company leaders, the design team established a vision for the new Northwestern Mutual headquarters offices. The Commons A new campus “Commons” provides circulation and shared campus amenities for three existing office buildings and a new 26 story office tower. Employees are encouraged to dine at the 1800 seat dining facility which provide free lunch and an extended day place to meet and work. The companies 5000 field sales agents are welcomed to a corporate identity center and to a state of the art training facility. A multi purpose room hosts town hall meetings and community events. Also within the commons are a fitness center, business center, lobby café, and shop. Work Place A constant at this time in Northwestern Mutual’s history is change. The headquarters staff innovate new approaches to the way that they work and how teams are organized to meet new initiatives. Office floors were designed to be highly flexible with employees in open office neighborhoods. Within each neighborhood are enclosed places to meet, to complete focused work activities, to have private conversations, to make social connections with fellow employees, or to brainstorm a new product offering or operational approach. Enclosed, more formal conference spaces are segregated to one side of the office core allowing employees work spaces an expansive view of the lake front. At the center of each floor is a central hub with coffee and a place for informal meetings.
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Sunstar Americas acquired nearly 80 acres of land along Interstate 90 in Schaumburg, IL from the Archdiocese of Chicago, infusing new life into Chicago’s “Golden Corridor” with the development of a new corporate campus. Sunstar Americas’ new 300,000 SF North American Headquarters and Manufacturing Facility overlooking natural wetlands and a prairie floodway preserve, consolidates clean manufacturing, within a “Class A” corporate office headquarter campus. The three-story building features a 350-foot long gallery running north-south between its offices and factory floor. The gallery “lanterns” on the north and south ends act as beacons drawing attention from the motorists on the Jane Addams Tollway. Gallery and cafe are central shared community gathering spaces that integrate manufacturing with corporate office populations
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The Forum is a new building on the Midwestern campus for a Swiss company, and it is the first building to open as a planned revitalization of that campus. An amenities building housing dining with servery, coffee bar, fitness center, health clinic, conference center and campus security, it is also the front door to the campus for all visitors. The company has prescribed Modernist design principles adhering to Bauhaus beliefs in simplicity, efficiency and honesty of materials. As designers, our challenge was to balance those principles with Midwestern culture to create a vibrant, engaging campus hub. The space is comprised of pure forms with minimal pattern or color, allowing the natural materials—wood, marble, basalt—to be highlighted. All areas of the space are amply lit with natural light. Exterior sensored sunshading, coupled with interior sensors help balance interior light levels, while clerestory windows bring natural light into the mostly internal shared space of the conference center, helping to enliven it as a place to connect with colleagues between meetings. A curvilinear stair, which prominently spirals through the three-story building, contrasts against the rectilinear form. The dynamic wood enclosure makes the stair a sculptural focal point, and provides wayfinding clarity, both as a point-of-reference and as the primary means for moving between floors. It greets guests as they enter the building, carries them up to their meetings in the top-floor conference center, and conveys them down to café and casual work areas—a helix binding all together.
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The formula for an echo is Velocity=Distance/Time. This equation is the backbone of transportation logistics and the driving force of Echo Global Logistics’ 135,000 sf headquarters expansion within a building that was once an old catalogue warehouse. In total, the expansion doubles the size of the headquarters, adding 1,000 seats. At a deeper level, the great opportunity of this project was to create an experiential brand. This brand is apparent upon entry of the new street-level lobby. Sculpted as four massive voids spelling out ECHO in steel, the lobby sign is weathered like the existing column wrappings. The letters are set at different angles to create an experience for passersby as to how each letter is viewed. Upon entry, the E is perfectly aligned and luminous, while the O appears darker and more abstract. As the individual moves, each letter comes into similar focus as the others become more abstract, changing perception with distance and time. A massive new stair connects the street level with the majority of the new space. Its industrial aesthetic of concrete, steel and chain link feel true to the building’s history—as if it has always been there. Frustrated that stairs from their upper level read simply as negative space, we designed a canopy of undulating, highly polished steel above to reflect the visual energy of the stair, further reinforcing the importance of movement. One’s natural progression from the stair is to the large café. The café is meant to be the social heart of the space. Anchored by a leaderboard of 16 60” monitors, it can be a place for craft beer night or to kick off the NCAA's March Madness tourney. It supports the company’s work-hard-play-hard culture. The main area of the workplace is organized around two main streets, wide enough to be actual streets, which run the entire length of the space north to south. The streets can host all sorts of activities, from quick team meetings at one of the several breakout spaces to outreach fairs for charities. Backing onto the streets are four necessary additions to the building—restrooms. We wrapped the blocks, roughly the size of semi-trailers, with graphics interpreting Echo slogans in the bad-ass vernacular of custom rigs, creating distinct points of reference within the large space. Continuing the allusions to the trucking industry, team huddle rooms are realized as loading dock bays, lined up and numbered with signage that illuminates as the bay is occupied. Steel anchors the far end of the space. One feature wall is inscribed with US shipping routes. Lastly, is the formula itself, again, illuminated voids of letters within the weathered steel, which acts as a beacon to employees entering from the company’s other floor within the building. V=D/T, a billboard preparing those who enter to be changed as they experience the space.
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Atlas Financial Holdings develops and delivers automobile insurance for light commercial vehicles such as taxis and limousines. They wanted a workplace that reinforced and reflected their culture, attracted the best young professionals, and created a strong sense of community. The challenge was the redevelopment of two floors and a roof deck, totaling 70,000 sf, in a typical 1980s concrete office building in Schaumburg. Connection to another building created an incredibly complex path to code compliance, achieved through close coordination with the Building Department during the entire design process. The team worked seamlessly to transform the less than inspiring 80s environment into an interpretation of airy Brooklyn Loft with the energy and movement of transportation through the use of unique branding features. Structurally challenging was the centerpiece, a new connecting stair and opening with a collaboration area at the bottom and library at the top reinforcing connectivity and community. A unique custom 2 story kinetic fin wall allowed the stair to be open or closed to the collaboration areas. The subtle color and material palette support the graphic branding throughout the space– from the greeting area, kitchen and library to conference rooms, boardroom and flex meeting area.
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In less than two years, marketing software company ActiveCampaign quadrupled its staff, becoming a buzz-worthy name in the tech industry and one of the fastest growing companies in Chicago. The CEO and founder envisioned a new office that was truly employee-centric, and wanted to avoid the monotony of a large corporate office. Our challenge was to create a warm, energetic workplace that embodied the company culture, while creating zones for presentation, collaboration, focus and relaxation in the new headquarters. In order to make the workplace functional and comfortable for the staff, we created a variety of spaces to suit all kinds of work styles: large and small, formal and informal, open and closed, high tech and low tech. Bold branding enhances the perforated metal and light reception desk, capturing the company’s unique spirit with a memorable first impression. Original crown molding and large windows hint at the history of the building, melding with rustic, industrial materials, and references to ActiveCampaign’s fantasy and sci-fi loving nerd culture. The space was chose to eventually accommodate 350 people, since ActiveCampaign anticipates reaching that number relatively soon. However, when they began occupying the space, they had less than half of that number of staff. So, another challenging aspect was making a thoughtful plan for them to grow into the space, and keeping the open office from looking like a field of desks. We also wanted to make sure the staff was near the abundant natural light at their workstations, and knew we needed to make the best corners shared lounge space. We helped the client maintain team morale by collaborating with staff on some of the quirkier design elements. Colorful LED lights and textured paneling enhance a whopping 57 conference rooms, named by the staff after fictitious locations from comic books, video games, movies and novels. We also used bright, corner lounge spaces to break up color-coded “neighborhood” zones. Coined the “sad space” by the CEO early in the design process, a remote, alley-facing, dark area of the office was transformed into a shelf-lined game room and leisure area with the feel of an old-fashioned men’s club. In the aptly named Knowhere, one bookshelf doubles as revolving door, hiding a speakeasy-style lounge for all of those happy hour strategy sessions.
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Libraries connect people to the information they need to solve problems, push boundaries, and shape the future.” OCLC, a global library cooperative, does just this by developing technologies that support thousands of libraries to make information accessible and useful to people around the world. In August of 2014, our firm won a design competition to update and reimagine the OCLC headquarters in Dublin, Ohio. The focus of the project was the public spaces of the building, namely, enlivening the dimly-lit, foreboding four-story atrium, which had been walled off from floor, yet is the focal point of the building. Bold moves were made in the design solution to help solve the separation of space – from repurposing unused exterior plazas to be transformed into useful, lively interior spaces, to designing a completely new, cantilevered stairway that is both sculptural and functional in connecting people throughout the building. In addition, existing stone panels that previously shielded interior spaces from access and daylight were removed to unveil a new tier of enclosed, state-of-the-art meeting rooms. A repositioned building lobby enhances the security of the building, while also creating a grand entry experience for both employees and visitors. The Third Place, a social café and gathering space, was designed as an extension to the upgraded dining and servery, to foster employee connectivity across the building. Overall, clean lines and a refined palette of materials, including oak wood, terrazzo, and decorative glass enliven and reinvigorate OCLC’s spaces while also creating a timeless, long-lasting design.
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I wanted to attempt to bring eastern tea culture to midwestern culture in an authentic way. I achieved this through using a traditional Asian design aesthetic coupled with a western style of shopping and dining making the space approachable. My concept is combine Eastern tea culture with Western culture. Unlike traditional order-and-go tea stores, my concept only offers in-store consumption of tea to ensure customers have a proper Asian experience with the teas.
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The space required flexibility as it functions as a coworking office space during the day and an event/retail space in the evening. A large, convertible conference center and lounge are in the two corners of the building intentionally adjacent to the centered reception space. Requirements included open and closed collaboration, 4-person private offices, a 3D printing workshop, and workspace for 70 coworking tenants. The requirements were exceeded in several areas including 76 coworking tenant spaces, an additional private office, extra storage space, and flexible seating placed throughout. Acoustical treatments were used in ceiling elements as well as furniture and applied wall decor. Some tenants require more open collaboration, whereas others must have a heads down focus place to work. These diverse needs and more are met with a variety of working environments from private focus rooms, to benching, and more traditional workstations. Wayfinding elements include flooring, the use of lighting in the corridor and wall color.
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Vue53 is the newest addition to the rapidly evolving skyline of Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. A mixed-use development with 267 units, modern amenities and 28,000SF of retail space, Vue53 offers contemporary living space in a historic area. The architecture carefully responds to its context. The 10-acre Nichols Park extends from the university campus on 55th street all the way to 53rd street, where Vue53 acts as a bookend to the park. The mass of the building is divided into two towers. The south tower is on 53rd street; voids in the elevation minimize the structure’s perceived mass while framing views of the park across the street. The north tower is set 100 feet back from the street to minimize its mass. Parking occupies the two floors above the retail level, screened from 53rd Street by apartments and amenity spaces lining the south facade. In addition to studios, one- and two-bedroom apartments, Vue53 offers communal space such as a game room, an exercise room, and outdoor sun decks, including a large communal roof deck that provides sweeping views of the city to the south and west. Although open to all, Vue53 is tailored to appeal to design-savvy graduate students and young faculty, with its exposed concrete interiors and two-story collaborative study spaces. To maintain affordability, units are 800 sf or less. Fifteen percent of the units are dedicated to affordable housing, reinforcing the neighborhood’s already diverse community. Affordable units are scattered throughout the building and are identical to the market-rate units.
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The Duchossois Group (TDG) was eager to create a new corporate headquarters for its leading brand, the Chamberlain Group Incorporated (CGI). The design of the building grows from the company’s vision to create a strategic, transformational platform that empowers and inspires, becoming a high-performance beacon that springboards the company’s legacy into a dynamic new future. The building consolidates over 650-people from four facilities onto one 20-acre suburban campus, bringing CGI’s multi-disciplinary team together into a lively new incubator space. The vision aimed to create a highly-flexible space that promoted a collaborative work environment, inspired employees and impressed guests. The terrazzo, stone, and wood finishes highlighted throughout the building were selected to give the space a timeless and fresh appearance, while strategically placed bursts of color and texture in collaboration areas enhance the energy of the environment and balance the neutral color pallet. Public amenities on the building’s first floor promote the health and wellness of employees as well as visitors. The spacious lobby provides an engaging and welcoming entry to the building. Natural light and exterior views create a visual connection to the outdoors. Just beyond the lobby is an open showroom which showcases CGI’s latest products through interactive media and physical displays. Tucked in the back of the building, the café offers both private and communal dining rooms that accommodate seating for 250 people with views of the outdoor terrace, walking path, and reflecting pond. The sculptural wall feature and wood slat ceiling brings movement and warmth to the bright and airy room. A vending area and full-service kitchen provide employees with a large variety of food options. The adjacent game room allows employees to connect in an informal setting. On the upper floors, interchangeable workplace modules and clusters of small seating zones provide the agility needed to foster collaboration from concept through prototyping. These zones become hubs of activity that are easily identified within the workspace. Demountable wall and glass front systems allow for frequent reconfiguration based on privacy needs. A suspended wood and glass communicating stair connects a central elevator lobby with the pantry that fosters serendipitous interactions with lounge areas and counter seating. The beneficial interactions were near impossible when CGI’s employees were split between buildings. Vibrant accent carpets and furniture with textural fabrics to bring warmth and interest to these common areas.
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The new Sunset Ridge School, a feeder school for the nationally acclaimed New Trier High School and a tangible symbol of the community’s commitment to education, is designed specifically to champion children’s evolving developmental needs as their world expands through education—from enhancing self-awareness to encouraging community connections to inspiring global citizenship. This “crescendo” of holistic learning, reinforced by the building’s organization and design, was conceived to launch students into successful futures while also encouraging life-long learning and community engagement. Through an inclusive planning process, strong, pervasive visions and goals were collaboratively established and translated into actionable design parameters. Qualitative parameters were equally important as quantitative ones to the success of this project. Throughout the process, many ideas were solicited, and many opinions were heard, including the voices of students, staff, administrators, parents, and community members. Conversations began with an exploration of possibilities without regard for general physical constraints. Through this approach, the discussion was able to focus on what was best for the new school. Designed as a “community,” grades are organized into three distinct, two-story “neighborhoods,” each based on the developmental needs of children at different grade levels. Students transition from the District’s PK-3rd grade building into Sunset Ridge School’s 4th-5th grade main floor neighborhood. As students’ progress, they transition upstairs to a middle school environment, with separate 6th grade and 7th-8th grade neighborhoods. Noticeable neighborhood differences include: • Cubbies inside 4th-5th grade homerooms, and lockers outside classrooms for 6th and 7th-8th graders • Exterior windows which are smaller to focus views outdoors for younger students, and floor-to-ceiling in older students’ spaces • Flexible furnishings that transition from single-student work surfaces to group work tables, as students move from “me” to “we” • An operable wall for the 4th-5th grade neighborhood living room; living rooms in the 6th and 7th-8th grade neighborhoods are designed for more independent, spontaneous small group collaboration • Distinct interior academic neighborhood color palettes, brought together in the village commons The neighborhoods are self-contained but can be connected when collaboration among grades or subject matter is desired. Multi-age group projects, reading and math support sessions, ESL classes, and gifted programs all happen within the same neighborhood via folding glass partitions, open gathering spaces, and transparent group study rooms. A unique “village commons” at the heart of the school blends library, dining, and performance spaces, to nurture the creative spirit of the child and provide opportunities to engage the local community. The public path extends from the main entry past the activity gym, through the village commons, and culminates at the two-story learning commons, vertically connecting academic neighborhoods. To inspire and encourage lifelong student health and wellness, the school includes a climbing wall/yoga classroom, outdoor learning areas, and indoor/outdoor fine arts spaces. Outside the neighborhoods, the design extends learning beyond the traditional classroom into such spaces as a project-based maker lab, a visual arts studio with an outdoor activity terrace, and music rehearsal spaces which also serve as emergency safety shelters. The building was designed and built to capitalize on a wide range of sustainable elements, including rooftop photovoltaic arrays, a living wall supporting return air filtration, energy performance monitoring, and cisterns to capture rainwater for landscape irrigation. Many of the elements are visible to students and are linked via QR codes which allow the building to serve as a living textbook for sustainable strategies. The building also showcases a commitment to pursuing Net Zero Energy and LEED Platinum Certification.
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Our team is so proud to have been part of this beautiful project! Given its stunning location blessed with such spectacular views, working on this property represented a rewarding collaboration between owner, architect, and designer. This project encompassed a complete re-imagining of the property’s two-bedroom suite with 12 new custom-designed suites incorporated in a building recently added to the property. The design blends coastal ambiance with customized modern details. Combining traditional coastal shingle architecture with contemporary interiors embraces the property's location through design, texture, and locally inspired artwork and accessories. Each two-bedroom suite includes a fully equipped kitchen, living room with fireplace, dining room, five-fixture bathroom, as well as a fully furnished deck. The suites were designed to cater to romantic couples as well as vacationing families eager to entertain. The finishes and furnishings encourage guests to feel as though they were relaxing at their home away from home. Hand-scraped wood, wide-plank hardwood flooring, and custom hand-tufted area rugs all establish a sense of welcoming luxury. Comfortable custom seating throughout integrates a variety of textures and patterns allowing guests to sit back and unwind. Some of the challenges the team encountered with this project was the site and how to maximize the guest opportunity to views while not negatively impacting the existing guest experience. Timing was also a challenge being able to start and complete the project in time for the properties high season. We are proud to have been part of this project and even more proud to be continuing work at this beautiful site.
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The new office building houses three floors of workspace for the Cubs front-office management and baseball operations. This much-needed addition to Wrigleyville updated the Cubs window-less offices and greatly improved the workplace for current and future employees of the franchise. The office coincided with the re-emergence of the Cubs brand and the 2016 World Series win. This energy was infused into their new space with iconic notes fit only for Wrigley. Brick and traditional ivy wall accents surround employees as they navigate Cubs lore, a branded café, and activity room. Hints of the outfield are transitioned inside with a stadium-inspired lighting feature that shines above an atrium stair where black iron framing and reclaimed wood elements dominate. When the project commenced, multiple stakeholders and user groups were identified, each with a different workstyle and programmatic space need. To address the needs of this diverse and growing workforce, the designers planned for flexibility and grouped neighborhoods by function. Shared offices surround open floor plates, executive suites, and a hospitality event space, just a ‘pitch’ away from Wrigley Field. The engaging event space was placed on the top floor adjacent to an outdoor terrace and is used for parties and game day celebrations throughout the season. On off-days or away games, it serves as an interactive workplace setting. The new office provides spaces for varied work styles and opportunities to collaborate in inspirational, thought-provoking settings. With 100% height-adjustable desking and television views from every angle, employees will never miss a game. An oversized, horseshoe-shaped sofa and ottoman allows staff to view games on six large television screens during the height of baseball season. Multiple lounge settings on each floor provide more of a living room feel than an office environment. The introduction of hospitality and residential design into a workplace setting provides the accommodations to support the idea that everyone works differently. With a space that infuses work and play, the attraction and retention goals of the Cubs are an easy home run. In addition to these improvements, sustainability was kept at the forefront. Daylighting and views for a healthier workplace, biophilic accents such as wood and ivy, repurposed materials, and occupancy sensors throughout are just a few of the more visible eco-friendly aspects. Features like reduced-flow plumbing, low-VOC paints and adhesives, and recycled content are the more behind-the-scenes happenings that contribute points towards the pursuance of LEED-CI certification.
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The concept draws on the adrenaline one feels when competing. The essence of pause that comes with each of these moments brings upon a focus that leads to athletic accomplishment; the split second where one can hear their own heartbeat.
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399 Fremont is 42-story luxury apartment development located in San Francisco’s emerging Rincon Hill residential district. The interior design team for the 447-unit tower sought to create an environment that exudes sophistication with modern conveniences. Throughout the public spaces, clean, modern lines and a tonal palette consisting of luxurious materials, warm textures, and elegant lighting provide the backdrop for the building’s highly curated art collection and for dramatic views of the city and the Bay Bridge. The building’s amenities are located on the fifth floor and include a fitness center with dedicated spin studio, a demonstration kitchen with attached private dining room, and an outdoor deck with lap pool.
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As the college campus is integral to the company, the design uses the campus as a framework. The story begins as one steps off the elevators. The walls are clad in steel--a subtle reference to the steel structures the company builds—as is the wall behind the reception desk. Opposite, a custom curving green wall provides a backdrop. The wall’s plants also form a graphic of an aerial view of a campus plan, tracing the diagonal cuts that would take students diagonally across the quad. The campus plan graphically depicted in this feature wall also informs the floorplan. The workplace is essentially broken into four main blocks of open office with corridors cutting through at diagonals, all surrounding a central quad area. Following the green wall takes you along the boardroom’s curving glass and into the “quad”—a multipurpose café and workspace. The centerpiece of the quad is the curving bar that wraps the green wall. With beer taps and an Italian espresso machine, this is the social heart of the office, where all paths cross. While the CEO sits in the same bench workspace as most of the staff, he has an adjacent meeting area. The privacy of this area is controlled by moveable screens that can either completely enclose the space or fully recede into their pocket. The screen pattern reflects shadows of leaves on a campus sidewalk, further tying the space to the company’s campus roots.
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MC Machinery Systems, a subsidiary of Mitsubishi, landed its new 175,000 SF headquarters and technology center in Elk Grove Village, Illinois. One of the last greenfield parcels in Elk Grove Village’s premiere business park Northwest point, the project site sat untouched and on the market for a considerable amount of time. The architect was able to creatively position MC’s requirements around a protected waterway. Combining office, showroom, research & development, warehouse and distribution, MC Machinery is a world class customer center highly visible from I-90. The interior layout and design is a direct reflection of the functional operation, reflecting the customer experience. Dubbed the Golden Corridor, I-90 is home to many international EDM Laser equipment suppliers who compete with MC Machinery. Since completion, the MC Machinery building has attracted clients in route to other competitors which has already led to documented diverted sales.
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In renovating the historic location of Goose Island's first brewery and tap room, the primary challenge was to bring Goose into the future while honoring its legacy as both a Chicago institution and a pioneer in American craft brewing. In the wake of their international rollout with AB InBev, all eyes were on Goose Island, with an unspoken pressure to preserve the unique history and iconic significance of Chicago’s beloved brand while renewing and elevating its status in the public eye. Part of this challenge involved envisioning a concept that would connect the people who visit Goose Island to the product and process of craft brewing. Community has always been at the heart of the Goose Island experience, bringing people together to discuss, discover and enjoy craft beer for 30 years. It was necessary that any redesigns remain true to that spirit engaging guests through both aesthetic and experiential enhancements. Another unique challenge was bringing all the stakeholders together to collaborate on this project. It was crucial that the vision for Goose Island's future satisfied the needs and desires of all of its partners, from Goose Island and AB InBev, to the architectural firm and general contractor. To unite future with past, we made sure to retain some of the brewery’s historical elements while completely re-envisioning the space. For example, we reconditioned the iconic 30-year-old "Brewpub" sign back to its full glory. The new look perfectly balances the rawness of Goose Island's urban, gritty and traditional roots with a refined aesthetic signifying its evolution as a brand. The past and future of Goose Island are further reflected in two new bars designed to highlight the brand's versatility. The clean and modern Main Taproom bar showcases a brushed-aluminum 28-tap tower and pipes that run along the ceiling to the brewery, while the Vintage Ale Bar boasts a traditional aesthetic and offers a selection of specialty brews. To attain our goal of connecting people, product and process, we opened up the space to create a sense of transparency. Brewing facilities previously seen through a window are now visible behind full-height glass walls. Brewery and tasting tours highlight the craft brewing process, giving guests the chance to engage first-hand with Brewmasters. In fact, the entire space is designed to inspire conversation about beer—with a newly revamped, curated menu and beer pairings offering more reasons to linger. The design company rose to the final challenge of encouraging collaboration by taking the role as owner’s representative. He became the glue that bonded a multi-layered team of partners, integrating each party's voices into a cohesive and successful concept.
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Walsh College in Troy, Michigan, provides advanced business education to professionals. The majority of Walsh students work full-time in the business community and attend classes in the evening. Outdated buildings and spaces left faculty, staff, and students with insufficient, poorly performing spaces for Walsh’s contemporary needs and mission. Completing the implementation of a master plan redevelopment, which began in 2008, the most recent phase includes a major addition along Livernois Road and significant renovation of existing spaces. Walsh, like most business schools, uses project-based learning relying on the case study method. The new architecture connects students, faculty, and staff with an expanded inventory of different types of rooms and collaborative spaces, similar to the work environments of the most progressive companies, helping to encourage innovative thinking and collaboration. The Livernois Road addition consists of three distinct pavilions, each denoting its interior program: a “one-stop shop” for student services, a student lounge, and a “success center” dedicated to cultivating students’ professional communication skills. The public-facing walls of the new buildings of the master plan incorporate metal paneling and, in the case of the Livernois Road addition, Vetter stone. These walls angle inward to frame large curtain wall windows, allowing community members passing by on Livernois Road to see the activity within. This is especially true at night, when the building is lit up like a series of glass lanterns and the college is the most alive with student activity.
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Prior to moving into their new headquarters in 2017, William Blair had occupied the same office for more than 20 years. Traditional in layout and image, the space no longer supported the organization’s positioning in the market, business growth goals, or daily working dynamics. William Blair envisioned an upgraded experience for clients and guests, so it was important to ensure that the aesthetic aligns with the high-quality service they provide. Thus, the executive committee made decisions with these values in mind: to establish an enduring foundation of timeless authenticity; to build relationships in a uniquely welcoming, engaging, and globally fluent atmosphere; and to create an experience that reflects William Blair’s standards of practice. Built on an enduring foundation of timeless authenticity and global fluency, the completed design is a uniquely welcoming and engaging environment grounded in warmth, an ever-evolving experience of discovery, and connection. A world map stretches across the entryway wall and is made from layered and textured water jet-cut marble. Its subdued impact is purposeful, offering a subtle reinforcement of William Blair's global reach. Dynamic etched glass patterns dramatically transform the public spaces throughout the day as sun angles change. By delicately layering line and luminousness, the ethereal glass screens in the reception and conference center permeate the space with steady movement and an enduring energy. The glass fins are ethereal yet statuesque, balancing delight with an impression of stability and dependability. Their sculptural quality is juxtaposed by a futuristic look and feel. Floating over the elegantly angled panels are uncanny translucent video displays that surprise, captivate, and convey the remarkable story of William Blair. Selective use of finishes reinforces the authenticity goals, including: fumed eucalyptus with a smoky aged coloration and bold figuring, saw-cut stone on elevator walls, and a unique grey limestone quarried from a small hill in Italy. The space is a constant reminder that a forward-looking organization will never stand still. The design process involved workplace strategy discovery sessions, as well as identification of design priorities including: right-sizing individual space, offering individual and group choice, mobility, and improved amenities. After assessing the most effective use of space, William Blair has improved private workspaces, enhanced technology integration, and incorporated adjustable workstations, open collaboration zones, and a diversity of meeting rooms. New amenities include a full-floor conference center, full-service café, 100-person auditorium with raked seating and 20-foot-wide touch-screen AV wall, and a studio for broadcast recording. Enhanced concierge and food services are among the other notable upgrades. In a post-occupancy survey, William Blair reported an increase in positive client experience at the office by 30 percent and a 47 percent increase in talent recruitment due to the new workplace environment.
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Capturing the emotion of a brand that has been a platform for imagination and delivered smiles for 100 years, Radio Flyer's new workplace refreshed it's manufacturing warehouse into a uniquely authentic and inspirational place to work and innovate for the next 100 years. A reimagination of how their employees work introduced a new site masterplan concept, one that drew it's entrance off two highly trafficked roads and to a more intimate side street. In so doing, they asked that the new first impression and front entry spur the imagination to wonder and dream into the future. A new channel glass façade and larger-than-life front doors transform the east side of the art deco manufacturing facility. Memories of Radio Flyer products and the imagination they inspire drove the concept of the larger-than-life doors. Young and old alike are intrigued by their size and with the glimpse of an oversized Coasterboy flying just behind them. Meaningful cultural occasions of the Flyer employees are announced by color shifting LEDs that backlight the channel glass façade throughout the year. The Heritage Area celebrates the brand's legacy of innovation displaying product from the original Liberty Coaster wagon to the cans of gasoline they manufactured during World War II. The space tells stories of the product in context with world events through larger than life picture frames, wall displays, and nostalgic pair of tin can telephones. The workplace celebrates the history of the family with a plan organized similar to that of a home. The kitchen and café has a 32 foot long communal table that anchors the space, providing a humble place for co-workers to socialize and collaborate. The family room is an open working lounge with flexible seating that is reimagined throughout the course of each day to support the needs of their employees, The Flyers. The Playlab is a unique product testing area where prototypes are evaluated in a flexible teaming area by way of an expansive one-way window. The space is labeled the Test Track, inviting kids to wonder, imagine, and play in an open sky-lit area with acoustic murals on three of its walls. Beneath the restored warehouse sawtooth roof, The Flyers work in an open plan environment equipped with sit to stand desks and personal storage areas, including scooter parking for those that choose to roll rather than walk around the facility. Chicago artist Anthony Lewelin animates the west wall of the workplace with a vibrant and interpretive mural, above which, a portion of the original overhead wagon transport system was restored. Wagons are displayed like they were 80 years ago, flying overhead from the paint station toward the drying area. With views to the Backyard, the sun-filled space honors the building's history while providing Flyers with a work environment that balances health, technology, and well-being. The Backyard was created after portions of the manufacturing buildings were demolished, making way for an amazing outdoor amenity for the employees. It's lush landscape is comprised of native and adaptive plantings, diverse walking paths, and a central lawn space that accommodates group activities and picnics. It also contains a cistern to capture rainwater, geothermal technology, and a bioswale network, all of which contributed to it being certified a LEED Platinum project.
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A Washington DC-based executive who weekends in Chicago tasked us with renovating her industrial loft-style apartment. As a balance to her modernist corporate office, we softened the edges of her glass and concrete apartment with natural and textured materials, sculptural furnishings, and a calming color palette. A sense of both spaciousness and order is created through custom millwork, including a panelized wall storage system and floating rift white oak shelving. The resulting play of influences is embodied in the floral painting that hangs in the living space—a pleasing austerity and repose, with a strong feminine quality.
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For this restaurant, the designer was challenged to create a minimum 48-seat dining room, 12-seat private dining space, and 16-seat bar while leaving enough room for the minimum 1000 square foot kitchen. The first floor space at 180 North Wacker contains many preexisting architectural details such as structural columns, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a unique footprint. The restaurant had to address the issues of external light and sound from the site's location on the Chicago River adjacent to the elevated tracks of the Green and Pink lines. Upon entry to the space a small to-go coffee counter offers people a low-commitment way to "try out" the space before sitting down for a meal. The arabica bean is Ethiopia's main export, and they take their tea and coffee very seriously. The bar and main booth seating are set up along the same angle of the building envelope to help the space feel seamless with the exterior. A blue acid-washed bar and series of lanterns that vary in scale and height play with the view of the Chicago river from the north and west sides of the space. While the main dining room is meant to be bright and bustling, the private dining space offers a calming respite. This is represented in the artwork chosen for each space: while the dining room features a vibrant piece in traditional Ethiopian style, the private dining space offers a view in Simien Mountain National Park that also serves to mirror the Chicago River. The hands-on nature of the cuisine inspired the booth seating, which accommodates a wide variety of seating combinations to encourage people to bring their friends and family to build community at the dinner table. The semi-open kitchen is delineated by a series of windows mimicking the exterior of the space. This not only visually unifies the interior and exterior, but allows guests to see in to the kitchen to view the preparation of a cuisine they may not be familiar with, given the lack of representation in the neighborhood. This unification gives a seamless experience to the guest, who is simultaneously taken to a new locale while still feeling at home in Chicago.
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The focus of this project was providing flexibility and expandability. The design team worked to create new approach to the office environment by utilizing design elements including a demountable wall system, flexible technology and diverse working spaces to allow for easy collaboration and customization. Driven by the team-focused nature of the working process at Uptake, the sea of desks that are a staple of the traditional open office plan have a new twist. Benching is arranged in rows, segmented by partial height demountable glass walls that act as meeting pods for the adjacent teams. The glass is dual-purpose-serving as a white board for talking through ideas, as well as providing acoustic insulation within the open office without interrupting the visual expanse. The open office isn't the only place where things look a little different. Uptake's training room, Uptake University, re-imagines the typically drab, uninteresting learning spaces as a classroom for oddities and exploration. A skeleton in the corner and scientific prints on the walls accent vintage furniture and old books. Extra-large monitors, state of the art audio-visual equipment and acoustical solutions like ceiling baffles and felt curtains merge this old school story with modern technology. Adajcent to the open office, the Atrium serves as a collaboration space for Uptake employees and their clients. The design team integrated the complex audio-visual throughout the space to maintain maximum flexibility and showcase advanced augmented reality tables that highlight the benefits of Uptake's services for clients. In the open space, custom-designed tables sit on casters, allowing for mobility at a moment's notice. Diversity in the furniture, ranging from comfy sofas and ottomans to a brightly lit millwork desk and chairs along the window provide clients with flexible options to suit any need. Three-sided causal meeting pods are equipped with brainstorming tables featuring integrated paper rolls for endless scribbling and idea-sketching. The far corner of the Atrium houses the maker space, where Uptake staff can design and prototype new ideas using screen printing machines, laser cutters and large-format printers. The high-paced environment of the open office is juxtaposed with social spaces like the break room, the serene setting of the yoga/meditation space and the peaceful calm of the 'heads-down' library. The break area, inspired by a roof deck patio is surrounded by ivy and sits adjacent to a tree-lined lawn. A custom millwork trellis takes the shape of the Uptake logo, keeping the company branding strong in every nook of the office. If the noise of the break room is too much, Uptake staff will find solace at the library. Designated as a 'quiet space', the library offers a variety of colorful seating options for a little bit of heads-down alone time. Additionally, the Zen Den offers a space for yoga, massages and mindfulness. Featuring multiple lighting modes, plentiful plant life and a functioning fountain, the Zen Den is the perfect place to get away.
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Situated at a bustling intersection in the vibrant and historic Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, Hotel Versey celebrates the diversity of the surrounding neighborhoods (Lincoln Park and the Chicago lakefront, Wrigleyville and Boystown) by connecting the dots between the area’s history and current attractions. Housed within the 1920’s Diversey Arms building, the hotel’s musical history dates back to 1925, first serving as a home to jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke and rumored to have hosted Louis Armstrong. More recently, it was known fondly as the “Rock and Roll Days Inn” due to its popularity with many iconic rock stars of the ‘90s such as Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, Radiohead, Sheryl Crow, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The concept and design for Hotel Versey represents an unveiling of the hotel’s musically-influenced heritage, fused with inspirations from the diverse neighborhoods surrounding the hotel. As the first ‘soft brand’ location for Wyndham Hotel Group’s Days Inn brand, the design firm was hired to create a boutique hotel with a bold personality that was built upon Chicago’s cultural diversity and rich history. The design and architecture team collaborated with Ownership as well as the project’s brand advisors to conduct strategic exercises to establish important personality attributes and characteristics. It was apparent early on that the hotel’s design would need to feel unique, edgy, retro, casual, communal and artful. Early studies with the branding firm also determined the breakdown of market segments, most apparent was the ‘Leisure Transient’ type of guest. The design team worked closely with the property’s General Manager who’s been at hotel for almost twenty years, no one was better suited to understand the hotel’s type of traveler better. From senior stay-cationers catching a baseball game, to families driving cross-country, to up and coming musicians resting before a performance – Hotel Versey would cater to them all as it always had done so well. The project team also discussed relative comp sets in the area to position the hotel effectively and provide an experience unlike any other in the relative area. While other local hotels in the area provided a hip and updated experience, they likely inadvertently shunned guests looking for a casual atmosphere or families with younger children. The people of Chicago pride themselves with being an approachable front, one who makes newcomers from all walks of like feel welcome and Hotel Versey would be no different. While the hotel’s reservation system remains under the Wyndham Hotels umbrella, the design team had almost total creative freedom when it came to executing the interior design portion of the renovation, designing a true boutique hotel. Naturally the team paid homage to the ethos of the overarching Days Inn brand’s ‘promise as sure as the sun’ that ultimately puts guests needs first at a value that allows them the ability to travel more. Naming of the hotel was a delicate matter as it was important to feel purposeful and approachable. Dozens of options were considered and studied with various font and logo interpretations. Ultimately the team landed on Hotel Versey as it played on the word ‘diversity’, one of the foundations of the new design. Also the hotel’s address is on Diversey Parkway, which would provide a sense of way-finding for out of town guest. Lastly, the building’s shape is reminiscent of the letter ‘V’ thanks to it being situated on a bustling five-corner intersection. The signature ‘azure’ blue color was a natural choice early on in the design and branding process. A variation of blue that’s often described as the color of the sky on a clear day, it’s reminiscent of soaking in fun Chicago sunny days by the lakefront (a nod to the Days Inn moniker) and was utilized heavily throughout the entry art gallery. Accentuating the existing architecture with the branded azure color, the design and architecture team utilized the architectural portals as ‘framing’ for the art pieces. Pops of saturated color including sunshine yellow (A further homage to Days Inn) along with red clay (inspired by the historical brick architecture seen throughout the neighborhood) are incorporated throughout the design via throw pillows and furniture selections, as well as integrated into all marketing materials and branding touchpoints including guestroom takeaways and public signage throughout the surround areas. From the beginning the design team utilized their internal virtual-reality artists to study the design from early spatial-planning stages all the way down to final furniture scale and placement. The Ownership team had the opportunity to virtually walk through the Lobby space to finalize the design review process with confidence as the project schedule was extremely aggressive. In terms of the interior design, the guest’s journey begins at the entrance of the hotel, which previously featured an uninviting, 80-foot hallway that appeared to be a dark, never-ending tunnel. This entrance not only lacked identity, but provided no wayfinding to the check-in desk and lobby area. The design team’s solution was to treat the hallway as an art gallery, showcasing a different artist within each section that would greet guests and help them to form lasting memories of their stay. Artwork throughout the arrival corridor was packaged into an opportunity for branding with the help of the ‘stay like a local’ descriptors. Each installation was framed with its own unique phrasing that related directly to the artwork specifically. For example, the installation next to the musical inspired artwork by Meg Harper read ‘Stay like a stringbending, blues playing, guitar shredding, local’. Just as materials and finishes help to tell the story within interiors, the team used literal words as part of the experience to paint the picture for the guest’s Chicago experience. Artwork was further recognized with branded placards highlighting the artist’s name and the title of the artwork. Catering to the younger millennials that are more technologically savvy – the artwork placards also have a QR code that takes guests directly to the artist’s website, and also a Snapcode that takes guests to the Hotel’s snapchat page. With the hotel’s prime location at a five-point intersection in Chicago where numerous neighborhoods and cultures collide, the floorplan and spatial flow of the lobby around a strong axis point of ‘hub’ was a natural decision. Titled ‘Headliner,’ a custom focal chandelier is situated at this energy-focused central point, a sweet juxtaposition created by the modern shape of the chandelier with the restored, historic plaster ceilings. This tiered collection of cover pages from the Chicago Reader celebrates Chicago’s alternative news source including historic controversial covers celebrating freedom of the press. Making the most of the lobby’s small footprint of 1,300 square feet, flexible and fluid seating arrangements are easily adjustable to accommodate groups of all sizes, appropriate for working on your computer, settling in for a cocktail or cup of coffee or simply perching while waiting to check-in. Generally speaking the footprint of the previous Lobby remained largely intact, so the design team was presented with the challenge of creating as many zones and variation of spaces for guests as possible – ultimately providing lounge space, communal space and an individual zone. The individual work zone is located under a feature mirrored wall with custom lounge chairs designed for privacy. The faceted mirror installation serves a purpose in that it’s provides a deflection of visibility back into the Lobby space to contort the guest’s illusion of old versus new. Tessallated tile that’s pattern is reminiscent of the ‘V’ is used as wayfinding to the front desk/check-in area as well as leading the guest to the energetic ‘hub’ of the lobby. A custom Lobby millwork display of shelving houses a coffee station for morning offerings in addition to a curated installation of found objects, connecting the old with the new, providing context within the city’s history as well as a common thread between past and present travelers to the hotel. Tongue-in-cheek pieces include a 70’s era rotary phone next to an iPhone, a vintage baseball bat next to its modern aluminum contemporary and staple family board games (Clue, Battleship) alongside modern-day game (Cards Against Humanity). Two hidden doorways were designed into the wall, giving staff access to BOH administrative offices and a service corridor. Additional custom-designed art pieces include the firm’s take on a few of Chicago’s most popular tourist attractions. Hand-blown glass shapes are dipped in mercury and hung from the ceiling at the entrance of the hotel’s forthcoming restaurant, creating a miniature airy conversation pieces reminiscent of Chicago’s most social media-tagged locale, ‘Cloudgate’ or ‘The Bean.’ Flanking the reception desk is the design team’s interpretation of the infamous iron work at Wrigleyfield featuring the hotels branded logo. When performing a light refresh of the guest rooms, the design team was presented with the challenge of working around existing furniture and lighting. Over the course of numerous phased renovations, a consistent style and finish of casegoods had not be adhered to which compelled the design team to design a color palette and finish schedule which complemented all manner of casegoods. Within the 137 guestrooms (with 45 different room types thanks to the historic nature of the building) is new flooring and window treatments with select rooms receiving new open, modern wardrobes to create more spacious suites. The team called upon the talent of a trusted partner to create the custom headboard wallcovering which acts as the impactful artwork for the guestrooms. The wallcovering hosts a collage of Chicago-inspired imagery and subject such as sports references, the infamous city grid and architecture, ferris wheel, music and local personalities. From the moment your trip is booked to the first steps through its front doors, the entire Hotel Versey experience whisks guests through Chicago in a glimpse. A modern celebration of yesteryear brings about a nostalgia that only comes about within a site such as this. From the wildest housekeeping rumors of famous rock-n-roll royalty conception to the opposite end of simpler, innocent songstresses roller skating through the Lobby, this hotel has seen it all. The reimagined Hotel Versey is positioned to continue it’s legacy as a staple of the neighborhood, with doors open for all.
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Located on the ground floor of Tooker House, Arizona State University’s new living/learning community for engineering students, the 27,000-square-foot Tooker House Dining Hall provides 545 seats for all-you-care-to-eat dining. The facility provides a variety of comfortable and flexible seating options to enjoy four food venues: pizza, salad/deli, grill, and rotating international cuisine. The design team created a unique space that would speak to the interests of Tooker House residents. As such, the space uses minimal finishes to expose concrete floor, support columns, and ceiling. The few finishes used in the space blend natural materials like wood and metal expressed in a desert palette. A social stair rises from the ground floor and connects to the second floor mezzanine which offers additional seating for dining. The second floor also features flexible design elements to support extended use as a study lounge after traditional meal time hours with moveable furniture, a wall for video projection, and small group seating areas with laptop-based technology and display monitors. A P.O.D. Market (Provisions on Demand)—a modern corner store featuring grab-and-go dining options and essentials found in traditional convenience stores- supports the late night activity and function of the space. Sustainability was a top priority for the entire complex and the project is LEED Gold.
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Located at the converging branches of the Chicago River, Wolf Point West is a 500-foot-tall tower rising 48 stories and featuring 509 rental units within 571,000 SF. LEED Silver certified, the tower is composed of a series of layered planes that form the composition of the building’s massing, creating a slender and elegant profile on a prominent Chicago site. To create an open and welcoming first impression within the 700 SF lobby, the designers utilized reflective materials throughout to be reminiscent of the river. Visitors first face the river, making this critical connection to the water their initial experience of the building’s interior. The lobby features a decorative screen, visible both inside and outside, with a pattern that directly references the Chicago Municipal Device, symbolizing the three branches of the Chicago River meeting at Wolf Point. This screen gives residents a desired privacy, while allowing light into the lobby. On the riverfront level, a riparian lounge offers 360-degree views of the Chicago River and city. The designers utilized a mirror-clad column as an opportunity to emphasize these reflective views as a focal point. Color selections and qualities of the fabric and materials further enhance this design intent. The business center on LL1 offers residents the opportunity to work from home in a professional and contemporary workplace environment. Within a narrow footprint, the designers created a business center with three distinct zones including private break-out rooms, communal tables, and a row of lounge chairs – all with views to the Chicago River. ¬¬A large structural column posed a potential challenge for the designers when designing the furniture layout for the two center offices but the design team creatively incorporated the column into the design by establishing built-in banquet seating with a work table. The center’s zoned areas successfully accommodate a variety of work styles and purposes, providing residents with luxury amenities as well as flexibility and creative workplace interiors. The 46th floor amenity level provides expansive views of the Chicago skyline for all to experience: a deck and double-height fitness center offer opportunities for relaxing and exercising, while the upscale Sky Lounge provides options for entertaining guests.
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Planning Strategy: With a pronounced perimeter window line, it was important to disengage the workstations from the window line to freely float the benching stations and thus optimize usage. This also gave permission for the perimeter bays to be used by all, rather than only the workstations immediately adjacent to the windows. Answering the call to engage the staff upon entering the elevator lobby, the design team relocated the client standard stock ticker from the belt line of the wall to the base line so as to stay in the eye-range of the staff as they walked and looked at their mobile devices. Increased Metrics: The USF/person was decreased to 123 USF/person, while the conference room space was increased from 1:6 ratio (conference seat: head count) to a 1: 1.5 ratio. In addition to the enclosed meeting spaces over 170 seats for open collaboration & alternative work areas were provided. There were also worship rooms, wellness rooms and private phone rooms in addition to the multiple cafes & coffee bars. Compliance & Security: As with any financial institution, security (internal & external) is a major factor in the design. This project was no different and added an additional layer of European guidelines which had to be met while still working within the boundaries of Chicago’s fire-life-safety requirements. Infrastructure: In addition to the architectural coordination required for the two generators, roof top cooling units, supplemental air for the trading floor and other mission critical requirements; the team created a 2-story reception area and designed a floating stair which hangs from the above ceiling structure.
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From the moment you step-off the elevator into the private suite foyer, the custom millwork finish, imported geometric wall tiles, sleek honed dark granite flooring and the cloud-like sculptural pendant light fixtures frame a dramatic first impression. As you walk-thru the open space, you immediately notice the 270-degree view to the city provided through the floor to ceiling glass enclosure. Throughout the space, the play of light and shadow continues to transform every selected surface into an artistic individual feature. From the sleek European-style kitchen, to the layered textiles of the lounge/bar area and the fluid materials of the master bedroom, there is a harmonic flow of finishes throughout the suite. The main living area features a custom-designed fireplace and live green wall. The uniquely-crafted fireplace structure incorporates a relaxing waterfall and an open flame fireplace encased in a granite stone surround. This vertical sculpture acts as an intimate screen between the formal dining and main living space. Adjacent to the fireplace is a 10’x12’ custom design live plant wall. The low-maintenance plant wall adds a variety of natural colors and textures to the space. Concealed in the neutral white ceiling is a grow-light fixture, used to keep the plants healthy. Together, these two elements represent the calm of nature juxtaposed with the surrounding skyline that wraps you in an urban embrace. Through the use of smart technology, the client is able to control most everything throughout both the suite and roof deck (lighting, hvac, audio visual, sauna and security system) with a touch of a button. This includes the retractable pool cover, whirlpool jets and even the natural light, through digitally operated window treatments. In a home of this stature, only the best technology was put in place. Off the main living area is the outdoor living space. Multiple sliding glass doors lead to the 3,000 sf covered portion of the deck featuring an outdoor kitchen, wet-bar area, table seating, two fire-pits with wrap around sofas and planter boxes used to provide partial screening. The use of natural materials like wood and granite give the space warmth in contrast to the modern expression of the building’s steel, concrete and glass envelope. With the dimmable lighting, flat screen tv’s and a tailored exterior sound system (complete with DJ hook ups), this space offers all the comforts of interior living paired with the great outdoors. Adjacent to the covered outdoor living area is the sweeping outdoor deck. The expansive space includes a linear swimming pool with an integrated hot tub and outdoor shower. Comfortable chaise lounge chairs, chic oversized umbrellas and a luxurious pillowed sun-bed align with the pool edge to create an intimate private setting. To the west of the pool is a large custom built-in millwork grilling area with comfortable outdoor dining furniture. An expansive green roof encompass the rest of the west end of the site. Through strategically placed custom-designed elements, mindfully selected finishes and the latest high-tech toys, this home becomes a respite from the urban grind.
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As OKW Architects anticipates the 60 year milestone of successful client relationships and project design, we celebrate this journey with an exciting, new brand experience. We are proud of our brand’s distinct style as well as the design process that led us to its inception. Our rebrand has paid off in more ways than one. The first being our OKW office expansion/renovation. We were able to extend the brand experience to our built environment. OKW Architects’ brand centers around an inclusive approach to design. The planning and design of our renovated office needed to reflect that brand by increasing day-to-day collaboration amongst team members. We achieved this result through two primary strategies: 1) provide employees more choice in types of environments to meet with each other and work with each other; 2) create open site lines throughout the office In addition to the revitalized workspace, our new office also features a spacious reception zone to welcome visitors. This space, which we refer to as ‘The Link’, includes an open kitchen to hospitably serve our guests and is designed for fully flexible use. The Link has visibility into our work environment as well, so that anyone who walks through our front door is immediately engaged in the most important aspect of our space: our creative process and its resulting product.
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Skender Construction’s new headquarters reflects their continued growth, maturity, and expression of their business and social culture. The resulting office space is of its context in the industrial-charged neighborhood of the West Loop, positioned within a repurposed parking garage. Upon entry, a steel framed ceiling/lighting element draws you into the large flexible central café hub space that supports multiple daily functions. Adjacent to the café hub are 3 large flexible phase rooms, unfolding to create a large internal meeting and social space. The open plan includes sit-stand desks lining the perimeter allowing all-day access to natural light. The open plan also provides a variety of meeting spaces to support choice of how and where to work. Throughout the space, the brand message integrates within the architecture. From the face wall (expressing the vibrant culture of their office) to the lean coffee wall (that allows their employees to express their creative freedom) the message is always about their people. The Skender persona expounds through the materials holding up a mirror to the everyday, tangible resources construction teams come into contact with such as exposed ceilings/floors, gabion wall, and exposed column capitals representing the framework of construction projects.
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A young professional couple engaged our team to develop the interior architectural finishes, millwork details, and furnishings of their single-family home in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago. A skylit central stair, open plan, and gracious outdoor space for family play and entertaining form a truly livable contemporary environment. The floating central stair is anchored by a dramatic walnut accent wall that extends upwards to the skylight. Light oak floors and white walls reinforce the airy lightness of the architecture, while deep jewel tones and textured furnishings provide contrast and color. In the wine room, a custom millwork wall with colorful aluminum pegs houses their wine collection. The pegboard wall extends into the lounge seating area to create an abstract and ever-changing graphic backdrop.
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Comprised of three distinct zones, Roche Diagnostics’ new Learning and Development Center is organized around double-height, sky-lit spaces. North-facing, vertical sawtooth skylight monitors introduce daylight deep into the center of the nave-like plan. Bright white metal and glass establishes a modern aesthetic and consistent brand identity for the Indianapolis campus for the Swiss-based pharmaceutical company. Overlooking the diagnostic laboratories located on the ground floor below, designated Training and Educational zones are located on the second floor. Open, flexible break out spaces are located intermittently between formal meeting rooms, while the adjacent atrium openings enables guests to view the diagnostic laboratories while participating in formal training sessions. Embodying Roche’s commitment to energy efficiency, the building features a series of functional elements that characterize the architectural form and are emblematic of the scientific functionalism inherent in Roche’s products. Incorporating strict requirements for environmental sustainability, simplicity, and efficiency using the vocabulary of modernist architecture, the building established the architectural grammar of this site for the 21st century.
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In response to the city’s highly-competitive office market, the ownership of 111 South Wacker engaged the design firm to revitalize the Class-A tower’s amenity program, ensuring the building’s standing in the market and appeal to corporate tenants. Through thoughtful spatial planning and innovative design, the design firm exceeded the client’s expectations for this assignment. With the modern office-user in mind, the design firm created 40,000 square feet of unparalleled interior amenity space on the 10th, 11th, and 29th floors. The design for the spaces is highly influenced by a hospitality aesthetic, emphasizing layers, texture, and a mix of industrial and natural materials to create a sophisticated yet comfortable atmosphere. The 10th and 11th floors focus on wellness and feature a renovated and expanded fitness center with a steam room, yoga studio, golf simulator, and shuffleboard. The 11th floor also hosts a large tenant lounge for collaborative work and a coffee bar designed with oversized pendant lighting, custom-made built-in banquettes, and an exposed wood ceiling. A connecting stair adds visual interest and an openness to the space, while facilitating interaction between the two floors. The 29th floor hosts a 400-seat double-height conference space. Inspired by the evening city lights, the designers selected back-lit perforated ceiling panels to create a soft lighting solution for the space. Stepped wall panels with cove lighting accentuate the high ceilings while creating visual movement and a dramatic impact. During the warmer months, tenants can take advantage of an outdoor terrace with expansive views of downtown.
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