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.
19
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.
0
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.
41
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.
5
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.
1
Leaving behind their legacy home of over 30 years, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, a New Orleans law firm, wanted to preserve a sense of history in their new space while promoting their forward-thinking approach to client service. The design team collaborated with executives to create a design plan that would incorporate both timelessness and innovation. To pay subtle homage to their previous, more traditional space, the design team incorporated special trim in the corridors and black-and-white art of old New Orleans throughout the space. Along with a conference center and outdoor terraces for collaboration and socializing, the team created an interview room dubbed, “The Pig Parlor,” after one of the firm’s founding partners. The casual, light-hearted room is unique and includes a life-size pig-shaped table. The completed space embodies Stone Pigman’s objectives and is greatly enjoyed by staff.
26
On the surface, Chicago appears a sleekly tailored city, living on a smartly organized grid and compartmentalized into units. Upon exploration, the city reveals a diverse mix of destinations, weaving unexpected delight within the city’s tapestry, richly influenced by its vibrant theatre scene. This juxtaposition served as the concept for the new Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Loop – Theatre District above the historic Oriental Theatre. The team was charged with creating an experience that seamlessly guides and transports the guest from the busy streetscape of Downtown Chicago to Cambria’s signature Welcome Lobby on the 9th floor of the building and into the well-appointed guestrooms. As the guest walks through the newly added floor-to-ceiling glass entry, they experience a branded graphic wallcovering that doubles as an artful welcome to the property. Custom-designed by the interior design team, the motif of the wallcovering is based on the “Chicago’s Tapestry” design concept, repeated in different configurations throughout the public and private spaces of the hotel. Superimposed over monochromatic renditions of the lushly-detailed Oriental Theatre, the mapped grid of the city provides an abstract order and contextualizes the hotel’s location within the city. Branded with the recognizable Cambria Hotel and Suites logo, this wallcovering is scaled to be clearly visible from the street to welcome hotel guests, restaurant and bar patrons alike. As an historic renovation project of a 1926 building, the design team worked with the Architect of Record in addition to the General Contractor to salvage as many historic details as possible, including the original brass elevator doors prominently featured in the Elevator Lobby. This historical nod, paired with relaxed seating vignettes, create resting points for travelers and demark the entry to the hotel’s atmosphere. Once the guest arrives at the 9th floor landing, a challenge presented itself: what environmental cues guide them to the main Welcome Lobby, as well as the hotel’s Bar and Restaurant? To solve this quandary the firm designed an entry portal featuring an angled wood slat wall with a seating vignette, creating a subliminal arrow for the guest without relying on obtrusive signage. At the capstone, an art piece consisting of “Instagram moments” promotes the exploration of Chicago. From the deep-dish pizza scene, to images of Millennium Park and “The Bean,” neon signs and fish eye architectural shots round out the art package. However, to stay current with the ever-changing trends of Chicago, the piece was designed modularly to be easily updatable by the hotel staff. At this moment, the lobby opens and the guest is surrounded by the warm and inviting atmosphere to reflect Cambria’s moniker “Where everybody is somebody.” To connect back to the first floor, an engraved backlit art piece frames the welcome desk, playing with the juxtaposition of theater imagery and the grid of Chicago. The Welcome Lobby features multiple zones where guests and bar/restaurant patrons alike can plug-in and relax. The seating was designed to be fluid with flexible furniture arrangements accommodating solo computer work, a large social gathering or a quick rest during check-in/check-out. To create this warm & inviting atmosphere, material selections were based on brand standards, but varied to reflect the location of the property in the heart of Chicago. A harmonious and neutral backdrop paired with artisanal textures, the soft palette of warm greys and deep blues are accented by jewel purples and copper featuring mixed metals of forged iron and polished nickel. The goal was to create a palette with a sense of warmth and elevated comfort. A wood floor (porcelain per brand standards) was integrated to compliment the texture in the fabrics and a ventless gas fireplace is a feature element of the lounge seating zone. In addition to seating zones, multiple Food and Beverage options are presented within the Welcome Lobby including the Grab-and-Go Market, with a clean white subway tile, as well as a full Restaurant Concept. A coffee house during the day and a gastropub at night, the Restaurant is seamlessly integrated into the lobby with varied seating including a large communal table and stained concrete countertop at the bar. To round out the guest’s experience, additional Public Spaces include three large meeting rooms with operable walls, pre-function space, private board room and game room – all of which are utilized as profit generators for the hotel and are easily accessible for touring companies performing at the Oriental Theatre downstairs. Perhaps the most striking element of the Welcome Lobby is the extraordinary historic ceiling that was uncovered beneath existing acoustical ceiling during demolition. Much needed plaster reconstruction and additional trim was added to make the ceiling as beautiful as it once was. A seamless restoration allows for the ceiling to feel as if it had never been hidden. A dark neutral paint color was specified to accentuate details of the ceiling through light and shadows. The statement light fixtures served as a callback to the circular aspects of the ceiling extruded. As additional lighting could not be added to the historic ceiling, creative lighting solutions were incorporated in the form of sconces and library style table lamps. The guestrooms and suites mirror this experience, welcoming guests with modern and fresh accommodations. A dedicated workspace with ergonomic chair and desk were integrated into the space along with a soft seating vignette to accommodate both the work and pleasure traveler. Custom graphic wallcovering was designed and developed featuring vintage maps of the city of Chicago with a 'floating' platform bed hovering below. An experience in discovery, the “Chicago Tapestry” represents Chicago’s interweaving cultures, history, and structure. Through the custom designed graphics, artwork, finish selections & historical elements, a lobby experience where any type of traveler can discover Chicago was created. Whether a busy corporate traveler needing a place to power up or a relaxed traveler looking to reflect after a day of discovery, all the opportunities are afforded in the lobby’s design.
27
With a goal to teach one million kids to code, the founders of Codeverse challenged us to create a classroom of the future. The dynamic classroom allows children to control the colors of lights, make sounds move around the room, create games on a large tv display and operate robotic arms. The design concept includes organic curves in the walls, floors and ceiling elements to encourage free movement around the room. Small nooks and hidden rooms create an exciting environment for children to explore and find the best spot for them to learn. A large, custom built, curved ramp - known as the "command couch" - allows children to relax while programming video games on a 20 foot wide tv display. The futuristic aesthetic is accented by a large moss wall display with the Codeverse logo in it, suggesting our future classrooms will certainly have greenery incorporated in them.
9
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.
1
EMME is a LEED Gold Certified residential tower located in the heart of Chicago’s West Loop. This project was designed to be a green sanctuary in a heavily urban neighborhood. Landscaped open spaces are provided at the building entry, the elevated amenity deck and at the rooftop pool deck. More than 8,000 SF of roof area is dedicated to urban farming. At the building entry, a garden plaza serves as the backdrop for the monument commemorating the Haymarket Square riot, which occurred at the site on May 4, 1886. The site planning of EMME responds to the Haymarket monument with a pocket park intended to provide a natural setting for contemplation of the monument. EMME is programmed and designed to promote a sense of community among the residents, and to encourage awareness of sustainable lifestyle practices. Amenity spaces throughout the building are designed to accommodate group activities such as games, co-working, parties and cooking. Special events are programmed to bring residents together and to educate, such as cooking classes by locally renowned chefs using ingredients grown on the rooftop farm. Friendly competitions are held to measure energy efficiencies between different resident floors in the building. Since our inception, GREC Architects has been committed to creating experiential spaces that benefit the community, as well as pushing the boundaries of modern design. We remain focused on advancing Chicago’s architectural experience by delivering thoughtful and engaging environments at every opportunity.
22
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.
2
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.
23
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!
22
Top restaurateurs and dining influencers Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas envisioned Michelin-star awarded Roister, their newest restaurant in the Fulton Market District of Chicago, as a literal interpretation of the word. Roister, defined by Merriam-Webster as “to engage in noisy revelry”, would be a casual take on fine dining, built upon the question of what it would be like for guests to “dine in the kitchen” with the chefs, showcasing center stage the process of raw to refined. The resulting experience is one where guests are effortlessly welcomed to become part the chef’s creative environment, watching the hands at work, and feeling the heat of an open wood fire grill giving way to the heart of flavorful, hip and creative, New American food and drink. Roister consists of two dining areas – a more raw main level and a refined lower level. Throughout, the many varied textures, finishes, and custom wall and ceiling elements speak to the relationship between raw and refined. The centrally located and completely open kitchen area on the main level features a large suspended blackened metal soffit which surrounds the large wood burning hearth. Custom blackened metal chandeliers, inspired by medieval armor skirting, hang over the large butcher block pass, which highlights the chefs center stage as a focal point for guests. On the first floor, blackened and polished wood beams span the walls and ceilings to create an energetic connectivity. The beams, featuring cantilevered shelves and embedded copper, lead to custom square copper sconces inlaid at their end points. A painting by Chicago-based artist hangs prominently in the front of the room, drawing guests in through floor-to-ceiling accordion foiling glass doors. The lower dining area –the more refined of the two spaces– includes a custom ceiling panel installation prominently spanning the breath of the room. The custom fabricated panels, when assembled create a continuous wave design that leads you through the space and changes in its appearance as viewed from varied settings. Each panel was custom fabricated and installed by the design/fabrication company and feature a pattern of coppered finished milled holes, which creates the transformative visual effect. The back end of the downstairs was designed to transform from a prep kitchen during the day to dining area at night. Counter sight lines flow directly through one main line. In the end, Roister provides its patrons with the opportunity to get closer than ever to the process, watching the chef’s move freely in their own space, with them at the heart of the creation process.
18
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.
5
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.
7
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.
2
The Climate Corporation, an agriculture tech company, was in the market for an open office that would be able to bring in industrial qualities without sacrificing acoustics, an environment by which it would attract talent from the competitive tech market, space to grow as a company and incorporate a large workshop/lab to test drive and build prototypes for their business. All of which they were lacking at their current location. Finding the right building to bring solutions to these problems was key. After selecting their new home in the West Loop, the team was able to provide headcount to grow for the next 5 years, incorporate a nearly 2,000 s/f lab facility and tailor to the eclectic look that gives Climate Corporation a sense of pride in their branded environment. The lab is the beating heart of their organization used to test technology and build prototypes. With the scale of the lab and the amount of noisy equipment inside, containing and absorbing sound was of utmost concern. Increased mass of the labs partitions, raised flooring system, sound batting atop a high CAC acoustical ceiling tile all help contain and absorb sound within the lab and decreases disruption to neighbors adjacent, above and below. Other areas contain dropped ceiling in conferences rooms, felt walls and ceilings, baffles, laminated glass and custom printed acoustical panels to help tackle the sound concerns of an open office without compromising on the aesthetic. Incorporating their vintage tractor, custom built silo conference rooms, reclaimed wood and custom graphics helped bring in character and provide an eclectic look to set them apart while paying tribute to their farmers and their field. The space visually represents the important technology the company offers to customer with features such as mission statement in binary code. A custom three dimensional art piece to represent an aerial view of crop fields is present as you enter off the elevator lobby. The new Chicago location offers space for 40 employees, but will allow the company to more than double its staff size in the next three to five years.
55
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.
2
Our founding office embraces its role as guardians and champions of the firm’s 80-year legacy. Its new home in the north tower of Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Building reflects the firm’s culture, showcasing our myriad accomplishments while allowing the design process to shine. The relocation to a smaller overall office footprint, as well as the transition from two floors to five, drove the decision to seek employee input early in the process. Feedback from staff revealed that the average meeting size was just three-to-five people, which informed the decision to add several small conference rooms. The resulting design provides a mix of active, quiet, social, private, collaborative and restorative spaces to accommodate diverse workstyles, personalities and respective projects and tasks. Along with the availability of different spaces comes the permission to work in a more mobile, less static, fashion. Most notably, the office shifts the balance of space from private offices to both open and closed collaboration spaces, with a 33% increase in total collaboration seats from the previous office. To further aid knowledge transfer (and demonstration of process), the new office added 64% more pin-up space throughout the office. This new space better supports team-based work as well as the open exchange of ideas that fuel creative solutions. Wellbeing was another design driver. More choice of where to work, paired with a multi-floor design (anchored by a grand central staircase), enables movement around the office, and sit-stand desks support changing postures. The Cloud, a multi-purpose space on the tower’s top floor, is a light-filled destination for both work and social opportunities, and the 17th floor offers access to nature via the terrace. Throughout the space, healthy materials reinforce the commitment to a healthy workplace. Our new home is a living lab that allows us to “walk the talk” and show best practices in planning, materiality and brand. It’s a sales tool that actualizes our design approach for clients and lends it credibility.
0
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.
43
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.
30
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.
24
Problem: Designing an Engaging, Flexible Building that Supports 21st Century Learning on a Tight Urban Site The building stacks up efficiently on four levels, creating a sustainable building on an extremely small site. Bright, bold colors and a warm natural palette create inspiring spaces that are flexible and collaborative. Students can use the many breakout spaces just outside the classrooms to work together on projects or study independently. All learning spaces are equipped with both digital and analog media, ensuring that students are familiar with a variety of 21st century learning tools. The buildings sits within its original footprint, and, due to efficient space planning and interior design, adds 5,500 square feet of collaborative learning space that did not previously exist. Problem: Creating a Student-Centered Building Specifically for the International Baccalaureate (IB) Curriculum Through meetings with students, parents, faculty and community members, the team understood the need for all grade levels to feel connected. Projects should be on active display, and students and teachers should see each other working together. All classrooms and corridors surround a central, naturally daylit atrium which makes regular all-school gatherings possible. Students learn in bright, daylit classrooms and have ample access to outdoor learning as well. Transparency was a major interior design driver, and all classrooms feature large windows that look out into the corridors and central atrium. Students and visitors can see into classrooms as they pass by, encouraging a shared sense of community and accountability in keeping with the school's curriculum. The increased connectivity in the interior design allows staff to better teach to their IB curriculum.
1
Seyfarth Shaw has long been recognized for its progressive approach to the business of law, and for grounding that approach in the design of their work environments. The design Firm has partnered with Seyfarth at multiple points along this evolutionary journey. The next step on that path was the relocation of their Chicago office to high rise floors in the iconic Willis Tower – scheduled for occupancy in early 2016. The project's primary objective was to highlight and demonstrate Seyfarth's commitment to innovation – in legal practice, service delivery and workplace design. Through a deep dive workplace strategy process, we discovered three key project planning drivers: Enable focused workflow. Create private spaces for attorneys with smart adjacencies to support lawyers in the act of lawyering. Engage strong social and knowledge networks. Encourage greater integration between attorneys, staff and practice areas by distributing meeting and learning spaces throughout the office stack, thus leveraging individual choice for anywhere, anytime productivity. Enthrall staff with what makes Seyfarth unique. Connect staff to the value their work brings to clients through simple – but enigmatic – technologically advanced environments that create smart systems, services and interactions.
2
McDermott, Will & Emery faced the difficult choice of staying within the traditional confines of law firm design or adopting a new concept that could potentially alienate senior attorneys. Our design firm found the optimal balance by designing an office rooted in tradition, but with modern amenities, forward-thinking technology, and housed in the newest Class A tower in Chicago. MWE's main reception became a powerful two-story space with floor to ceiling glass, showcasing an impressive view of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline and river. One floor up, we designed and built a bright and welcoming Community Center that shares more in common with an upscale hotel lounge than a space for unscheduled legal meetings. Borrowing from the restaurant industry, the space includes banquette-style seating and a sliding door that create smaller spaces within this relaxed environment. In doing so, the space can exist as an extension of the office despite its hospitality-based look and feel. As the legal industry follows broader patterns by becoming increasingly mobile, employees are being given the opportunity to choose their work environment. This community center shows that an elegant and comfortable space can encourage relaxation without sacrificing the infrastructure and spaces necessary to conduct business. The results are apparent beyond the office's aesthetic appeal. Partner-in-charge Lydia R.B. Kelley has noted that "productivity has gone up, and we haven't changed anything other than moving here."
83
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.
389
From its mid-19th century beginnings, Brunswick has been known for innovation. Finding themselves in a work environment that felt too traditional, leadership sought to use the headquarters relocation as an opportunity to once again announce Brunswick as visionary. Brunswick’s products—from Lifetime Fitness exercise equipment to motor boats to their iconic billiard tables—are seemingly diverse but all are tied together by the common thread of activity. Our design promotes activity in its planning with circulation that doubles as a walking track and spaces for collaborating and connecting with colleagues. A central stair is the practical transition between floors, promoting an opportunity for healthy movement. Details throughout the new headquarters refer to Brunswick’s history and products—the curved wall, reminiscent of a boat hull, and the use of materials found in their products such as wood, steel, felt and slate. As part of the design process, we analyzed the existing workplace and the employees’ levels of satisfaction, which lead to the realization of generationally skewed satisfaction. Young professionals were much less satisfied with the workplace than those well-established in the organization. The new headquarters was a chance to rethink the workplace and find ways to appeal to all generations. Our design solution offers diverse and engaging work settings, locations created specifically to inspire collaboration and innovation.
2
The challenge with this home was the need create a new look, update the traditional style, while working around some existing pieces of furniture that were to stay in the home. Some of the clients furniture was reupholstered and used in other rooms. We changed the entire color scheme of the home by repainting the walls. This began the process to update the look and feel of their home. The living room fell right off of the foyer and was the focal point as guests came into their home. The piano was the only existing piece we kept in this room. New floor plan was created making the space easy to entertain in. New furniture, lighting, custom drapery, new wall color and faux finish to the fireplace. We also lightened up the built-in bookcase by framing them with molding, painting and adding wallpaper to the background. Dining room furniture stayed, we selected new wall color,wallpaper, lighting, area rug, custom drapery, lighting and reupholstered dining room chairs. Our client was tired of the existing drab, muddy colors in her kitchen so we painted and glazed existing cabinets and added new hardware. We also added new light fixtures, fresh new back splash, new kitchen table with zinc top and chairs, as well as custom roman shades and area rug. Custom floral was added to complete the design. The master bedroom was another space we designed around the existing bedroom furniture. We complemented the furniture with custom bedding and drapery and new wall color. The ceiling is very high, so to add interest and dimension to the room and designed faux beams to the ceiling as well as adding trim detail to the walls. The challenge we faced in this room was finding a solution to reduce natural light coming through the small decorative window. We solved this problem by adding exterior slat system that covered the window as well as interior shutter treatment. Double traversing drapery with blackout lining also helped reduce the amount of light that came into the room. Master bath cabinets were painted and glazed. New hardware, counter top, lighting, mirrors and custom valance completed the look. The office needed work space for the husband and wife to wok at independently. We created a new floor plan including two desk and executive chairs, reupholstered chairs from the living room, re-framed existing art , custom roman shades, and reused living room area rug.
2
The Ancona School had been fighting loud reverberating acoustics and harsh lighting in their undersized gymnasium, making use of the space nearly unbearable. Within the constraints of a small renovation budget, the inventive design resulted in an attractive and engaging transformation that provides a space with multi-functional capacity, while reinforcing the identity of a visionary school. The room is much smaller than any typical gym--a retro-fit holdover from an outdated 1960's construction--but it houses many of the school's primary athletic functions and is the only school space large enough for family gatherings and school performances. Drawing from the geographical movement of the nearby water’s edge of Lake Michigan and its parallel Lake Shore Drive located just blocks from the school, our topographic design undulates over (and into) the ceiling, covering the surface with acoustic absorption and the school's identifying Sunrise Yellow color. While visually impactful, the design achieved the pragmatic goal of reducing the reverberation time within the space by over half. Constructed of rigid, yet light-weight aluminum shells, the acoustic baffles are also strong enough to withstand the impact of volleyball hits on a low 14' ceiling height. Acoustic sheet foam is seamlessly detailed, integrating into a unified architectural element. The Ancona School Gymnasium project creates a multitude of uses out of one single space. This retro-fit of the existing gym space creates an environment that can serve as a place for community gathering, athletics, arts, and school social events. The project has resolved an acoustical and lighting issue by taking something that is functional in nature and featuring it as an exceptional design element. The previously frustrated space has been given a new life and is now properly suited for bringing together families and community to inspire the imagination and dreams of children.
2
To create and design a restaurant with name and logo, type of food, theme, and finishing materials. The restaurant has to be wheelchair accessible and have ample space for traffic flow. Designed building is 4,500 square feet and requires minimum of 1,350 sq ft of space for kitchen. Habaneros is a traditional Mexican restaurant with a modern twist in design, inspired by the nature of Mexico and located in Chicago. The color scheme chosen represents the habanero pepper, as well as the warm colors that remind people of Mexico. Sustainability is a main focus, with reuse of materials, energy efficiency, greenery, and eco-friendly materials and textiles. Locally grown organic food is provided in Habaneros to help boost the local economy, reduce environmental impact, and to offer a healthier diet. Habaneros is ADA accessible. The main traffic flow gives ample space for both patrons and wait staff. There is a max seating capacity of 132. Habaneros is for people of all ages to enjoy and is a dynamic place that feels like a break from the busy streets of Chicago.
0
As startups continue to look to innovation to expand and find their place in the market, creating a workplace that supports their ambitions has become the design challenge of today. Glassdoor's Chicago office takes on this challenge by balancing two aspirations; the office must nurture the needs of the team and adhere to Glassdoor’s evolving corporate identity. Realizing these two goals meant providing an environment reflective of their millennial workforce, committed to the raw and exciting urbanism of the Chicago’s Fulton Market District. At the same time it is meant to embrace their hard-earned maturity and sophistication as a company dedicated to improving the workplace through their website, a human resources platform, for staff and employers alike. The design interweaves the company’s inward and outward voices. The entry zone is defined by a series of curvilinear nodes. The voids between these forms create three entries into the secure office space. The taut forms, curved glass, and clean lines of the nodes reflect Glassdoor’s newly redefined brand identity. This aesthetic is the purest representation of the brand. Beyond the entry lobby, the inward voice begins to express local culture as the nodes are transformed in subtle yet important ways. First, more color is added to the curvilinear forms. Second, the large glass openings in every room in the nodes is a picture window on a series of insightful Chicago graphics and custom art installations. The nodes are organized to divide the floor naturally into neighborhoods of workstations and employee amenity zones, including a large café. Employees have the ability to take ownership of their workstations and communal locations. Shared spaces across the office provide writable surfaces, planters and pin-up space that inspire interaction; surrounded on every side by floor to ceiling glass with striking views of city.
1
Our main design objective was to make our client's corporate furniture fit a residential feel while working on a very low budget. The showroom was designed to display their newest introductions at Neocon. The finishes we selected for their furniture include light woods, fabrics inspired by Scandinavian design and black and white tables for modern contrast. We selected a soothing, residential color for the walls and designed a trim installation that runs throughout. Each seating group was accessorized with common, retail residential products and florals to feel more like someone's living room than an office. The final design was ultimately a huge success as Neocon visitors saw the brand in a new light.
8
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.
2
Our firm began its relationship with U.S. Cellular in October 2014, implementing a strategy to increase associate engagement across the portfolio. The goal of the “Chicago-Area-Real-Estate-Project” was to consolidate 4 Chicagoland locations into 2, creating space celebrating their culture, and empowering associates to choose how and where they work. The size of this project made the Regional Support Office (RSO) property location and selection challenging. The design team looked at options ranging from build-to-suit, to relocation, to stay-put scenarios. The first 2 years focused on block/stack development, comparing financials to determine which path to take, a C-Suite discovery programming session, and three rounds of programming meetings with 20 vice presidents Increasing staff required leasing 6 additional floors in the adjacent tower. We developed a flexible environment where associates can work and collaborate in a variety of ways. To help connect the population split across two towers, our firm developed a lobby, coffee shop, Work-café with full service kitchen, and adjoining conference center at the heart of the design to allow associates and guests to co-work and collaborate in a central social zone. A grand ornamental staircase visually and physically connects the Work Café to the conference center. The aesthetic is a departure from a typical technology company. The company’s tagline, we treat you like a neighbor, not a number, constantly informed the design process. Warm metal tones and residential style lounge pieces arranged in intimate groups provide comfort and a familiarity. The reception was brought forward so that guests are greeted upon arrival, while associates collaborate in the work-café beyond.
24
This downtown Chicago office tower was originally constructed in 1986 and was notable as a transportation hub with connections to CTA, the Thompson Center, the Skybridge link and housing a significant parking component. The building was recently purchased by a new owner who chose to transform the public areas and to add amenities. Levels one and two have been redesigned including the west entry lobby, atrium and ground level retail, while the second floor now features tenant lounges, conference space, fitness center and locker rooms. The atrium connecting these spaces was completely reimagined and enlarged to be a destination rather than just a walk-through space. The concourse is the heart of the 203 LaSalle public space. It is a two-story space, with a vaulting ceiling design that follows the underside of the parking ramp above. At the ground floor, two new retail storefronts were added with sliding wood security gates, custom planters, and new seating with bright, energetic colors. The second floor fitness center is visibly connected to the open concourse, but large frameless glass walls help to provide acoustic separation. The finish of wood accent wall helps to connect the walnut ceiling panels from the LaSalle Lobby to the lighter wood panels of the Concourse retail. The fitness center includes cardio equipment, free weights, exercise room, and new locker rooms. The other major building amenity off of the Concourse is the Tenant Lounge. The entrance to the lounge is highlighted by a feature wall with wall sconces and leather wall tile. Directly off of the Concourse, and taking advantage of the high ceilings is a casual sitting area with a fireplace. After the completion of the 203 N. LaSalle Lobby and tenant amenity spaces, the building’s management office relocated to the renovated second floor. To create a cohesive second floor, the management office’s palette pulls elements from the adjacent tech lounge and tenant lounge. Similar wood tones, accent colors, carpet patterns, and finishes help define the management office as a unique support space that is integrated into the rest of the building. As an extension of the updated lobby, 203 N LaSalle wanted to bring some continuity up to the upper floors. The updated upper elevator lobbies create a more relaxed, yet cohesive and impactful elevator lobby experience. The slatted wood ceiling, lighter wood tones, concrete-look tile, and play of textures with the tonal painted wall and back painted glass panels create a spin-off of the elevator lobby elements in the more formal 203 public lobby space. By October of 2016, the final vision was realized. A new main entrance off of LaSalle street brought new light and life to the building, allowing 203 LaSalle to be a competitor in the booming Class A office building market in downtown Chicago.
0
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.
3
The Team worked closely with their Tech Entrepreneur client to design the perfect home, considering the various uses for the 2,200 SF, two-story loft on the 6th and 7th floors of a 7-story condominium building in DC’s Logan Square Neighborhood. The goal was to make the space peaceful, simple, and precise so that the thoughtfulness and purposefulness of the home would help bring a sense of calm and organization to an otherwise busy lifestyle. The refined space is composed by modern clean lines, yet remains casual and conducive for relaxing and entertaining. Natural light pairs with simple, earth-tone materials and fabrics to create an airy and comfortable space that is devoid of clutter. The main level serves as the primary public living space and opens onto a terrace. On the other hand, the second level allows for flexibility to adapt to the lifestyle of the client – whether opening to create a larger master suite with a conference room and sitting room, or subdividing into pockets of space, to allow for a guest room. The renovation of the existing apartment masterfully orchestrates the disparate desires of the client to collect contemporary art, display and organize an expanding wine collection, have a chef’s kitchen, maximize natural light, provide adequate storage for climbing and photography gear, and create functional space for both at-home work and entertaining. The new design is detailed so that everything has a programmed place.
4
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.
39
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.
2
A new workplace environment for the Asset Management arm of Northern Trust was designed as a sophisticated and timeless client-facing space, that maximizes efficiency and improves access to information. The efficient layout consolidated the Asset Management team from a floor and a half down to one floor. The space is arranged into neighborhoods that foster staff connections based on areas of expertise. Service hubs are central to each of the neighborhoods and provide easy access to project rooms, Bloomberg stations and printing. The space was planned with calculated collaboration in mind. The highly confidential nature of this team meant that all collaboration had to happen behind closed doors. The design team arranged a variety of teaming space around the core and enclosed them all in floor to ceiling glass walls to ensure privacy but also enable visibility. The space features unique spaces that solve for Asset Management’s functional needs like a Research Library, a room dedicated to rehearsing client pitches and a business lounge. Upon exiting the elevators, clients are greeted by a backlit fumed eucalyptus wood portal leading to a Danube honed marble reception desk where a concierge greets them and leads them to their designated meeting room. The neutral and timeless palette throughout the space helps reinforce the Northern Trust brand of exceptional service, unparalleled expertise and enduring integrity.
4
This refined, rustic, and upscale American tavern is the latest addition in the restaurant portfolio of Billy and Catherine Lawless, owners of The Gage, Acanto, and The Dawson, and among Chicago’s most successful restaurateurs. The 4,159 square foot Beacon Tavern, with its mix of wood, tile, plaid, globe lights, sconces, and a gas-burning fireplace evokes an American tavern with a vintage twist. Beacon Tavern seats 50 people at its front bar and up to 70 in the main dining room. A fully landscaped outdoor patio overlooking the Chicago River seats up to 40 guests. All new floor-to-ceiling operable windows open onto the Chicago River and the tree-lined pathway makes you feel far from the hustle of Michigan Avenue. Beacon Tavern is separated by a two-sided fireplace into a bustling bar area and a calmer dining section. A distinguishing feature of the bar includes a two-tiered sliding back bar for additional liquor storage. Additional features in the dining area include booths backed with velvety green fabric and leather seats; a plaid fabric on a large communal booth, part of a plaid theme, in several patterns throughout the restaurant; and a feature wallcovering along the back wall of the restaurant. Diners have direct views into the kitchen. Sconces on the columns, globes on the ceiling, and large round lanterns – reference beacons. Guests of this riverside destination take in unobstructed views of downtown Chicago while enjoying a comfortable environment, and elegantly simple fare.
2
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.
91
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
1
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.
2
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.
6
The Gallery on Wells is a new LEED Gold residential tower located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. This project is comprised of two buildings linked by a common corridor: an existing office building and a new 40-story residential building that contains 442 residential units. As a result, one of the biggest design challenges was creating a cohesive design that caters to both user groups. This programming challenge resulted in the design decision to strategically place shared community flex areas in the office portion of the linked tower. The programming decision optimizes city views for all users and includes visibility to the shared 26,000 square foot amenity roof deck. Additional shared amenity spaces include an outdoor lap pool, a professionally managed fitness center and various lounge rooms, including a game room. Dark finishes accented with pops of color, museum-quality artwork, and customized wallcoverings successfully cater to both demographics in a seamless manner that simultaneously exudes professionalism and the comfort of home. Upon entering the residential lobby, a depth of layering welcomes visitors and residents. An element of surprise is introduced as one moves through the space, where a decorative concrete block screen and stained wood slats unveil a bright elevator foyer. A unique amenity at The Gallery on Wells is a coffee shop adjacent to the main residential entry. The client envisioned a fluidity between the lobby and the coffee shop to result in a casual yet sophisticated interior. To retain the formality of a residential entrance, the design team introduced a concept to distinguish a transition between the spaces: a large entry portal of blackened steel, heavy velvet drapery and decorative floor tile, which now creates a marked hospitality niche.
18
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.
75
A space within a space -- Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse houses one of Chicago’s most elite champagne rooms. The challenge was to create intrigue while revealing enough impactful details to cause curiosity amongst diners – and to create an elegant and feminine room that “screams champagne”. With that in mind we designed an “undulating” wall to create a harmonious flow between the vertical access points and the steakhouse’s dining spaces on the third floor. Behind this dark charcoal grey wall, there is a light and airy space with plush comfortable seating and delicate architectural details. The floors are made up of rich chevron oak planks that collide into a mosaic marble floor inset framing the curved bar. Above the bar, a hand-blown glass globe installation hangs over the space resembling champagne bubbles. The main accent elements incorporate brass and copper details that tie back to the inherent and recognizable champagne and rose tones. Seating in the space was extremely important as the main goal was to give it that comfort you find at home. We incorporated residential style lounge and wing chairs in smaller clustered grouping for a more intimate experience. The larger banquette style seats showcase tightly tufted backs and custom marble cocktail tables.
50
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.
69
One South Dearborn’s ownership group needed to improve their existing amenities program to help retain their anchor tenant and to market themselves as a modern office building. We gave the space a relaxed, lounge vibe to contrast with the building’s conservative, corporate interiors, adding the new amenities to a floor with an existing fitness center and property management office. Now tenants can drop by for a coffee in the lounge, arrange a meeting in the conference room or retreat from the daily grind in the yoga/massage area.
9
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.
16
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.
4
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.
3
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.
11
The motivation behind the renovation was to elevate the center’s ranking from number three to number two in the domestic market, just behind Mall of America. The original scope of work included selective updates to interior finishes, environmental graphics, furniture, fixtures and equipment and lighting. To truly take the center to the next level, that scope of work was amended to include a two-story, 20,000-square-foot expansion entailing renovation to the restrooms, food court, and entry. A New Von Maur department store was added to the retail mix along with a maker’s market for local specialty retailers (which will double as a community hub for classes and events) and a two-story, 30,000-square-foot food emporium. To give life to the “Simply Minnesota” design concept, the team specified a color and materials palette that introduces rustic, clean, crisp and sophisticated references to nature. As part of this overall interior makeover, the team took a holistic approach to reimagine every point of the consumer journey, from the arrival experience through to check-out and food and beverage. Improved lighting, sightlines and new technology serve to streamline the shopping experience and ease navigation, and a variety of new spaces to support increased dwell time—unique environments in which shoppers can relax, socialize, eat and drink. A 400-car elevated parking structure is designed to accommodate an increase in footfall. The team also redesigned the center’s logo and holiday décor. From a sustainability standpoint, efficient plumbing and low-flow fixtures were specified for the restroom renovation, and LED lighting replaces existing metal halide, florescent and halogen fixtures. New glazing systems were introduced at all renovated entries, and rooftop unit packages with economizers help to reduce the overall energy load and cost associated with cooling. The new Rosedale Center is successful by every measure—economic, social and environmental—and provides the community with a new gathering place with a strong sense of place and pride. The redesign addressed several aspects of the center that help ensure its future relevance and continued viability for decades to come. Shopper feedback has been incredibly positive, confirming the efficacy of the upgrades and validating the design team’s approach to creating an experiential, sought-after destination.
82
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.
1
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.
35
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
6
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.
63
Drawing on the industrial base-building design, juxtaposed with the client’s desire to have a warm and non-corporate space, our design response included the blending of the existing space with a flexible, experimental environment that nurtured cross-functional collaboration. Areas dedicated to socialization and spontaneous interaction were enhanced by a custom mural by local artist, The Lie (Jay Turner)”. A barista and café anchors the space, providing a needed and desired communal area that casually brings together employees seated in different areas around the company’s office.
5
Mid-America Real Estate Group is an industry leading full-service retail real estate organization serving the Midwest. Their expertise and exclusive focus on retail distinguishes them amongst their competition. The relocation of their Chicago office to the Wrigley building, located on Michigan Avenue, aligns their industry leading position with the heart of retail in the City of Chicago, The Magnificent Mile. The design of their new office space centers around three design pillars that evoke the culture, emotion, and energy of Mid-America Real Estate Group. The ‘Avenue’ is defined as a main thoroughfare through a city that serves as destination for people in the community. Characteristics of an avenue include retail and restaurants flanking each side, softened by beautifully manicured landscaping. An urban environment can be characterized by strong materials, bright lights, and movement. Fusing the attributes of the urban environment with Retro elements from the 1960’s creates a unique style that is bold yet comfortable. ‘The Art of the Deal’ pays homage to the human component of the business and the complex layering of information that is involved with closing each deal. The buildings core layout and perimeter window spacing provided challenges in accommodating the highly privatized program requirements. Several studies were conducted to understand the optimal rhythm for offices along the perimeter to meet the program and maximize real estate. Additionally, creating an open and collaborative environment was challenging based on the highly privatized program and the shape of the floor plate. Creating small moments for the space to open up to allow for a planned collision to occur was a strategy we used when planning.
17
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.
37
The uniqueness and magnitude of this nearly 3-year long project presented numerous challenges from the start of the process right through to the end. Here is a list of challenges and how those were addressed: ZONING AND PERMITTING: Being that this project was the first of its kind in Chicago, The Department of Buildings could not initially determine a concise and specific use designation that fit under the current official state and local use designations. Through varies meetings and discussions with city leadership the project ended up being classified as "Special Use". After a designation was determined, we also ran into another unique existing issue with the building. The east and west lower levels of the building were actually extended beyond the lot lines and into public way. The simple solution was to make that area available for our clients use. That said, the unique condition was exacting why the client wanted to utilize the space as It met the aesthetic vision of the spa. The solution was to use a rarely utilized designation called, “Public-Way-Use permit”. This allows our client rights to the public-way-space through a lease agreement with the city of Chicago. LIGHT LEVELS: The discerning client wanted a particular ambiance with very low lighting level, which was largely achieved via candles in decorative lanterns, sconces and illuminating the pools themselves. However, due to code requirements for certain foot candles to light exit pathways, strategically placed ambient light fixtures and wall-mounted emergency battery packs were installed to meet both party’s expectations. RETROFITTING ARTIFACTS AND OTHER FINISHES: Much of the success of the end product is due to the abundance of authentic antique artifacts that were timely shipped from overseas, safely stored close to the site and strategically incorporated throughout the space. Such items include sculpted stone fountains, ornately embellished carved wood doors, hand-perforated metal light fixtures and over-sized clay urns. In addition, hundreds of glass wine bottles were shipped directly from a vineyard in Spain in order to create the one-of-a-kind privacy wall separating the red wine bath room from the rest of the pools. The oversized clay urns had to be lifted by crane and brought into the space through a man-made hole in the exterior wall. Existing masonry openings were retrofitted to accommodate antique doors from Spanish cathedrals and originally crafted Spanish bay windows were placed 20’ high into position via a pulley lifting system. Lastly, over 10,000 sf of White Spanish Stone slabs were also shipped, creatively stored and carefully installed in all the pools and throughout the spa areas. We also sprayed all existing structure including the wood beams, masonry and steel joists with a fire-rated, satin clear coat finish allowing us to preserve the natural look while providing protection from the humidity. NATURAL MATERIALS: Imported stone surfaces are inherently cold, so an integrated radiant heating system was installed underfoot for the comfort of the patrons at the pool area deck, open-air/sauna benches and massage tables located throughout the space. STRUCTURAL: A new decorative stair was designed and implemented for the 2-story space. The challenge here was to create a stair that would appear light and airy. We designed a suspended stair system that was supported by the existing overhead beams while integrating a glass railing assembly. The final outcome was a transparent floating structure that blended well into the serene environment. MECHANICAL: With a 2-story space and multiple pools (including indoor/outdoor pool and waterfall) and saunas, there were concerns about humidity, ventilation, heating and cooling. With all the programming information in place, it was easily determined that the existing space would not be large enough to house all the needed equipment. To address these concerns, mechanical and dehumidification systems were added to the rooftop, these units are fed through an abandoned elevator shaft. A two story architectural extension was added adjacent to the existing building to house the state-of-the-art pool filtration systems.
41
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.
0
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.
54
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.
17
Bringing AAR Corp's headquarters into the next generation, this design firm radically transformed the company workplace. Collaborating with leading corporate real estate partners, the team created a more effective density plan and democratized AAR's community. The next generation workplace evolution challenge is facing every corporation today. Legacy facilities that are obsolete for today's workforce must be abandoned or radically reformed to attract and retain talent. After a year of planning a new "greenfield" headquarter design, this aerospace company decided to stay put and refresh their dark cluttered 40-year old facility saving ten million dollars. At the same time, they needed to increase the density by adding 100 seats within the existing 4 walls. The design maximized density by increasing work seats and optimized productivity by opening up shared activity and communal lounge spaces within the existing four walls. To accomplish this, the workstation was completely reinvented and designed around an existing 20' x 20' column grid that now disappears in a fully utilized, collaborative team environment. Open spaces were created around a more effective density plan, adding skyline atrium and a central full-service café that creates a company plaza. The design supports a democratized community where CEO and plant worker whose path had seldom crossed before in the past, can now sit together and catch up on the last 15 years of working toward a common goal.
1
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.
1
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.
14
View More