A key component of United Airlines’ reimagined international business class experience, Polaris focuses on the importance of luxury, privacy, and restfulness for United’s premier customers. The hospitality-level amenities in the lounge support the airline’s vision for an unprecedented standard of guest services. In the 12,000-square-foot lounge at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), the design firm’s studied use of materials, distinctive lighting, and impactful art creates a truly differentiated experience for travelers. The primary design objective was to generate a sense of continuity between the on-board cabin environment and the lounge experience. This was achieved through thoughtful spatial planning and creating different zones within the lounge that celebrate the excitement of travel. For example, the lounge is bifurcated by an atrium, acting as a natural divider in the lounge. On the west side of the lounge, guests can gather by the bar, or use the open lounge space and seating for work or conversation. The east side of the lounge is a quiet, restful space where guests can use the spa-like bathrooms, showers, and sleeping pods. A smaller, more private pre-flight dining area is available as well. These hospitality-level amenities support United’s vision for an unprecedented standard of guest services. The lounge also takes design cues from the distinct and unique vibe of LA nightlife by featuring moody lighting, layered textures, and smaller spaces for travelers. The design team’s studied use of materials, distinctive lighting, and impactful art creates a truly differentiated experience for travelers.
40
“Dialogue is essential to making a greater society. Creating opportunity for civility should be a design goal for every project.” This was our mantra when we designed the Rockford Public Schools District, Elementary Prototypes project. Beginning with stakeholder meetings, until the day the first students entered the building, and continuing through the life of the building in the community – this place is about and for the community. The need for all members of this community – young students, faculty and administration, and even the neighbors – to have a place to convene. The prototype elementary school is a seamlessly integrated interior design that is synthesized with the building architecture. The 21st century learning environment facilitates all learning modalities promoting visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learning through thoughtful design. The 85,000 square-foot facility is envisioned as learning village – drawing on Rockford’s agrarian roots and industrial manufacturing upbringing as a city in the midwestern plains. As a prototype, several key factors influenced the need for an interior “public” space. Despite not being initially included in the program, the design team devised a prototype floor plan that created a looped circulation surrounding all ancillary spaces. As these spaces aggregate, their circulation was co-located and transformed into a “town hall.” In a public project where every dollar counts and is accounted for, it was no small feat to invent a new space that had not been allocated. Through our research and workshops, we found the need was demanded. All activities in the school begin and end in the town hall space: student arrival, art, food, gym, meetings, safe and supervised play, dismissal, and off-hours usage by the adjacent community. This new nexus is directly connected to the gymnasium, cafeteria, library, and media center, serving as a multipurpose space in which all school activities are coordinated. This space is defined by two major elements: mass and light. Placement of clerestory windows allows natural light to flood the central space. As daylight pours in from the roof windows, it is counterbalanced by a series of wall masses in a series of bold, primary colors. Complimentary to the masses are primitive-shaped voids with matching furniture arrangements. These light-weight foam blocks can be spread apart or neatly stacked within the void shapes. As ancillary spaces extend from the main gathering spaces, additional learning postures are explored in floor level furniture, built in benches and booths, niches, and tables. Secondary colors now define new zones for students to break out into smaller groups or focus on more contemplative learning. All spaces are defined by visual and tactile elements that support the 21st century learning concepts. Learning communities are broken up into three distinct types – kindergarten classrooms, which are insular and identified by shape and color for the youngest students; 1st and 2nd grade classrooms surround a protected learning commons, with access to abundant natural light, also allowing for supervision of the students by all teachers. 3rd through 5th grades have classrooms at the exterior, with an adjacent commons located just off the circulation, allowing the older, more independent students to have a transition zone between circulation and classrooms. Additionally, the 3rd grade learning commons was constructed to meet the code-required shelter standards and is built to withstand an EF-5 category tornado. The shelter is seamlessly integrated into the commons design and can accommodate the entire school population if necessary but is ensured to function as a typical part of the facility at any other time.
40
Our scope within the XS Tennis project was to design the entry reception area, the Pro Shop, staff offices, student classrooms, mezzanine lounge, locker rooms & restrooms, as well as the clubhouse at the outdoor courts. One of our favorite elements of this project was the opportunity to incorporate millwork & lighting donations salvaged from IIDA’s Headquarters in the Merchandise Mart. When IIDA HQ moved out & the demo of their existing space began, we jumped in to save as much material as possible. The millwork ended up being incorporated into the reception desk, and at the mezzanine level juice bar. The light fixtures also ended up in the mezzanine, adding a much needed decorative accent to the general lighting. With our emphasis on sustainability, we love the opportunity to save materials from the landfill, and give them a second life on a non-profit construction project in need! One of the first design challenges we faced on this project was how to integrate the two forms of educational mentoring taking place within XS Tennis Village - academics & sports. Kids who attend XS Tennis Village receive academic tutoring, as well as tennis lessons. Our approach was to create an integrated experience through site lines & various learning-style spaces. In the Academic Wing, we created flexible classrooms that can be divided for smaller or larger group learning. Private staff offices were designed to enhance a one-on-one tutoring experience. The mezzanine level lounge, which overlooks the indoor tennis courts, allows for a more relaxed & comfortable atmosphere that may be more conducive to learning for certain individuals. Allowing visual access to the tennis courts in both the group classrooms & from the mezzanine, links the physical training to the intellectual. Additionally, an elevated catwalk along the 12 indoor courts gives parents their own space to watch their child develop through the positive reinforcement of organized sport. Our second greatest challenge that came later on in the project related to FF&E. With our goal of securing as much donated material as possible, making finishes & colors correlate in a cohesive way can be a challenge. For instance, we were tracking most grey, green, and blue as our color scheme for materials & furniture. At the final hour, a large furniture donation introduced the color red. To ensure we didn’t miss out on using a large donation, we had to get creative for alternative ways to incorporate red. We had a light fixture donation with a red film on the drum. We were intending to peel off the film to create a more neutral-colored fixture. Instead, we utilized those fixtures as-is to pull in additional red in the space. We also introduced red accessories as a way to accent the new donation. The total cost savings to XS Tennis was $232,382 in donated design time and materials.
39
Unique and interactive environmental branding was a key design element. Bringing the client's brand and mission to life within their space was a priority in order to bring their company culture and values to life . A communication stair was constructed to connect the two floors, creating a centralized social hub for all-hands meetings and member gatherings.
48
Axiom is a growing consulting firm headquartered in the heart of the Chicago Loop. In need of more space, they moved into their current offices in 2018. At the start of the project, the design team was faced with the challenge of expanding and consolidating the workplace in terms of aesthetic and functionality, while keeping with the traditional private office layout. With Axiom, we presented a solution to keep private offices at the perimeter of the space while creating an open office feel to the centralized common areas. Collaboration was crucial throughout the planning and execution of Axiom Consulting Partners. The client’s goal was to encourage employees to bring meetings out of their offices and provide several options for meeting areas depending on what was preferred or needed. Three conference rooms of varying size were incorporated into the floorplan, and private phone rooms were built-in to provide ample space for making confidential one-on-one calls. With continued growth in mind, we aimed to create a timeless look and ‘future-proof’ the floorplan so that the inevitable expansion would pose no obstacles. We staged the floor in a way that they could easily build out additional office spaces and meeting rooms within their current space. The space is reminiscent of its surrounding urban environment. Pulling inspiration from graffiti art – monochromatic spattered carpet was selected to mimic its movement and aesthetic. Wood, black metal, and concrete materials mix to create a modern, masculine atmosphere while the rich brown leathers to add warmth domesticity to the cool, urban environment. Texture played a big role in the final design. Rather than using color, we added interest by combining different textures and topographic levels. Wall heights were lowered in certain locations to create the illusion of containers within the space. The varying wall heights, furniture compositions, fabrics, and raw materials encourage you to explore and utilize the open office spaces – pulling people out of their private offices and facilitating a more communal and interactive workplace. The reception area is canopied by cross-hatched wood slats. This sculptural element spans across the lounge seating, flanked by a large conference room, coffee bar, and islanded phone rooms for guests. The reception area includes 360 degree views of interactive common areas, drawing you further into the space. A neutral, yet moody palette, was created to complete the space – blending materials and textures of wood, textural carpet, leathers, and concrete. Matte black tiles, hardware, and lighting in the break and common areas add to the vibes of this Chicago Loop office space while wood furniture pieces and rich fabrics bring it all together.
18
While the layout of the private office is at first glance straightforward, the detail and execution of it creates a transporting experience. The office is at once one with the city—its windows opening out to impressive vistas of Chicago’s river and downtown—and a tranquil oasis of calm. The organization’s founder has traveled extensively in Asia, and in the process amassed an impressive collection of art, as well as an appreciation of Eastern design principles. That affinity helped to shape this space that balances understated ambiance with moments of powerful beauty. The office is as much a place for work as it is a place to welcome and entertain guests and luminaries. The team approached the design with the mind that they were curating a sense of journey and discovery. That experience begins in the reception. A centuries-old tree, pruned with artistry and care, is juxtaposed against the cliff wall of skyscrapers hugging the banks of the Chicago River in the view beyond. A Henry Moore sculpture complements that form, while soft, comfortable furniture casts a welcoming feel to the space. Generous corridors lead unobstructed out to another striking view. A seated Buddha, graffitied in a pop art application of ephemera anchors the path, and helps guide guests to the office’s main event space. The multi-purpose winter garden is the focal point of the office. A dual layer of vertical hickory slats wrap the 24-foot-high space, creating a floating box that ends 10 inches above the floor. The slats are offset, creating different views of the object as one moves around it. Japanese artist Ueno Masao created a 12-foot-tall bamboo sculpture that floats within the space. As one moves through the workspace itself, the feeling of tranquility continues. Slats front offices, giving privacy and softly diffusing light. Overall, the environment is meant to convey a subtle serenity and simple modernity that is realized as a minimalistic experience and translated with refined craft. While the art is given focus and moments of reflection throughout, in essence the context of the city—with panoramic vistas beyond the glass—brings the unique setting to life as a yin and yang of zen and the city.
28
The headquarters for Chervon, the power tool company behind the well-known Skilsaw and Ego Brands, is a warehouse, testing lab, showroom and collaborative workspace all in one. By using materials typically used in the construction and home improvement industries in unexpected ways, the design reinforces Chervon’s slogan of “Creating better tools, for a better world.” The headquarters for Chervon, the power tool company behind the well-known Skilsaw and Ego Brands, is a warehouse, testing lab, showroom and collaborative workspace all in one. By using materials typically used in the construction and home improvement industries in unexpected ways, the design reinforces Chervon’s slogan of “Creating better tools, for a better world.” The warm and neutral color palette is mostly made up of concrete, wood, glass and turf to facilitate a homey ambiance while also serving as a backdrop for the industry-leading brands Chervon represents. A variety of Brand Rooms, video editing suites and product showcase spaces allow Chervon to feature their products in an impactful way. Chervon, a rapidly growing tools manufacturer, wanted to establish a headquarters presence in the US. A company that relies on its speed to market model, and thus prioritizes innovation, Chervon needed an office space that would enable this intense caliber of product testing, while providing its employees a comfortable and home-like environment. The new space accommodates the company’s tool assembling functions by containing rooms in its warehouse for lithium iron battery assemblage, labs for product testing, and even a “torture chamber” in which tools are pushed to their limits so specialists can determine durability. The workplace has more familiar amenities, such as a gym, a café, a video studio to create and produce promotional footage, and even a showcase space that educates employees on the company’s history with an outdoor terrace extension. The plan is laid out to maximize access to views of the surrounding natural environment in order to reinforce an unconventionally restful atmosphere.
4
With its adjacency to Lake Michigan and visible connections to both the University’s central campus and the Chicago skyline, the goal was to maximize transparency and views while invigorating the student-athlete experience. Building functions are organized, both vertically and horizontally, to provide lake exposure to every space possible; from recruiting spaces to administrative offices to the spaces that the student-athletes use most often. Lighting and temperature are all adjustable, and materials and furniture were carefully selected and tested to ensure student-athletes comfort. Two formal entries provide public access from the north for Fieldhouse events, and a secured entry from the southern campus side for athletes, coaches and athletic administrators. The fieldhouse dome maximizes the interior volume for the critical sport clearances, and a custom façade delivers mullion-free panoramic views to the lake and adjacent beach and captures the natural light from the north. Branding is a key element throughout, telling the storied history of Northwestern athletics. In the main athletic entry lobby, a three-story LED screen cycles through high-impact motion visuals of a student-athlete in action showcasing each of the program’s 19 sports. Customized team environmental graphics used throughout key student-athlete spaces and high traffic corridors instill pride in the Northwestern Athletics and their specific sport identity and give the student-athletes a sense of belonging.
50
Residing in the same space which saw countless infamous prohibition era trials including The Black Sox and Jazz Age Trials (which the Chicago musical was based on). The building boasts 18' high ceilings, 15' high exterior windows, and a masonry vault that runs vertically through the entire building (to keep records safe in a fire). The project is a full reimagination of the structure and interior with new exit stairs, rooftop deck, shifted structural masonry walls, openings to create connecting stairs, and an entirely new flooring system throughout. This project truly bridges the past and the present through a celebration of its historic materials and details, all embodied in progressive interpretations and sophisticated design.
23
Sterling Bay chose the top floor of their development at 1330 West Fulton Market to be their new home. This move provided the opportunity to reimagine a space to tell their ever-evolving brand story, address new functional needs, and create a workplace that supports their dynamic culture. Fulton West, the branded name of the building they occupy, located on the western edge of Fulton Market, allowed them a prime view of the expansion of the neighborhood from their full top floor space. Client conference rooms and a multi-functional viewing platform are located at the eastern curtain wall to provide a full view of their developments, the vibrant neighborhood, and the Chicago skyline. This live view allows them to bring clients to this space for meetings, walking tours, and social events to tell the history of their projects. Access to the historical Fulton Market buildings they have repurposed for companies such as Google, GoGo, and McDonalds gave them access to many historical artifacts that are embedded throughout the new workplace to tell their story. The workplace is open flexible planning that can be reconfigured as their business evolves. Adjacent to the open plan are a variety of meeting spaces to support their highly collaborative day to day activities. To further support their strong culture, a full service café, with a variety of seating configurations allows staff a space to recharge, connect, or meet in a town hall setting.
43
A major goal of the client was for the administration suite to be more accessible to students, so the design focuses on transparency both inside and outside the space. Traditional hallways have been transformed into a hub, where students convene regularly. Physical barriers such as the wall between the “main street” hallway and the high school wing have been removed to promote connection, improve flow, and add energy to the space. The administration area is designed to be open and available to students, while counseling offices are separated off of the main gathering spaces to maintain the desired privacy. Bleachers, a technology display area, a coffee bar, and lounge all create a sense of community for students and staff. A variety of spaces exist from open to closed, flexible to rigid, in order to support many different learning styles, social needs, and academic work.
34
The Keramikos showroom is meant to represent the history, versatility, and duality of ceramics. I believed it was important to reflect on the material’s history, because it emphasizes ceramic’s durability as well as its importance throughout time. Ancient Greek elements and architectural features are seen throughout the showroom to evoke its antiquity. In order to show the versatility of the material, it was applied to many different surfaces, objects and shapes such as curvilinear walls, bathtubs, flooring, and sculptures throughout the space. Duality is another term that can be used to describe ceramic, because it is long lasting and durable but is considered fragile at the same time. It is a material that is created from fire and heat yet it is a cold surface. It is its own material yet it can be made to look like other materials like marble and wood. Keramikos is meant to educate its visitors about how often ceramic is seen in our daily lives, why it is a great material to use, and why it continues to play a large part in today’s design and architectural world.
1
The new West Loop Library is the first-ever Chicago Public Library branch in the community, donated to the City of Chicago by a local developer as part of the ongoing development and transformation of the neighborhood. The team was challenged to envision a unique identity for the new library branch and conceive of a cultural, social, and educational center for the neighborhood, while preserving the industrial character of the two conjoined 1930’s-era buildings through adaptive reuse. Formerly part of the campus of a Chicago-based national television production company, the interiors of the original buildings had been heavily segmented and modified to meet the needs of television production. The expansive wooden ceiling trusses had been concealed, the historic brick walls hidden, hardwood floors tarnished, and partition walls erected throughout to minimize daylight and views through the space. Outside, the exterior lacked a coherent identity, appearing understated on the street: beige stucco and painted brick allowed it to blend into its surroundings. Working closely with the client and the Chicago Public Library system, the design team identified areas of opportunity to unify the two buildings, with distinct interior and environmental graphics design schemes created to realize the most significant impact for library users, while preserving the historic elements of the buildings. Graphic interventions throughout the building announce different programmatic areas, including all-ages reading spaces, flexible community rooms, a teen digital learning space with recording studio, and a “Tinkering Lab” that provides digital space for children. Graphics of sound waves woven with excerpts from books found throughout in the library and selected by librarians—25 children’s books and 32 classic novels—allude to the power of words and stories. The design of the West Loop Branch library is borne of its location: an industrial district turned mixed-use work-play-live neighborhood. Responding directly to the challenge of adaptive reuse, the design celebrates and unites two existing buildings, unveiling the original bow-truss ceiling structure in the expansive new reading room, while exposing and refinishing original interior brick walls to create a sophisticated learning environment. Transforming the exterior, the library features a weathered steel façade, visually unifying the buildings and providing a clear point of arrival for visitors. Graphic linework animates the façade, introducing a reading-inspired motif used throughout. The renovated interior reveals skylights and bow-truss ceiling to create a light-filled space reflective of the West Loop’s factory-warehouse style. Dividing walls for television studios and offices were removed, while openings were created in the wall between the two buildings to create an open-concept interior. Walnut-topped bookshelves and blackened steel elements establish a sense of visual continuity and create intimate reading, study, play, and staff spaces. For children, a colorful palette embraces playfulness, with movable furniture at a variety of child-friendly heights, featuring writable and magnetic surfaces. “The Chicago Public Library system provides a vital community anchor for families to gather, students to get homework help and job-seekers to connect with life-changing opportunities,” said Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “The new West Loop library branch is a proud example of how city officials come together with private partners to build strong neighborhoods, and provide a place for all community residents to gather, share and succeed.”
24
As ACHE closed their real-estate search and selected the 300 S Riverside building, the design team took that opportunity to express the river and bridges that formed the strong curves that are inherently symbolic with the 300 Riverside building. Combining the angles of the client’s logo and taking graphic liberties with the curves of the building the team created a play the fractal geometry to create a dynamic elevator lobby and entry. The energy of the slanted wood portals and hidden cove lights directs people towards the reception area. As an Association, the planning original methodology for the space was to maintain private offices around the perimeter with workstations on the interior. Through the exploration of the staff, the studying of the building and the pursuit of quietly encouraging the client to continue to push themselves, the perimeter of the building was opened up to create a sequence of push-and-pull with the private offices and workstations. Natural light penetrates all parts of the office and flows into even the deepest part of the center core due to the rhythmic perimeter planning concept. The central curved core pathway holds the library for the Association. While this space needs to respect the tradition and history (a space to hold books, periodicals and the like); the client was cognizant that the requirement for paper copies of their books could go away. With this is mind, the library was designed so that it could stand alone as a decorative wall feature or be used as an area for display. While the office was being planned & designed, the client was going through an internal re-branding. This rebranding was folding into the final concepts of the space.
17
Founded in Switzerland in 1863 and still headquartered there, this global reinsurance company has a deep sense of Swiss style and design, celebrated and codified in its beautifully detailed global brand standards. The design team’s challenge was to deftly realize those standards, which play a significant part in underscoring the firm’s spirit and sense of place, with an innovative and fresh design that would ensure an unusually high level of security. From the Helvetica font to art and architecture, Swiss design is minimalistic, defined by simplicity, function, and the beauty of natural materials. For this client stone and wood are just that—within a defined range of grain and tone—and color is pure and pattern-free to create an aesthetic and visual consistency that associates color with function and type of work across all offices. At the reception, the palette is refined and soothing. A laminated wall of textured glass separates the white, fluted reception desk from the guest pantry behind it. An inviting niche to the left is an ideal waiting area for visitors. For years, the firm has curated an impressive art collection and provides framed works for each office. “All of their spaces have impressive art collections and they believe that’s part of stimulating and inspiring their workforce,” said the project’s design director. With this new space, staff transitioned to a free-address (or 100% unassigned) work environment; employees choose where and how they work. Seating along the window line encourages interaction, and a variety of settings for collaboration include work cafés, lounge spaces, booths, and shared offices as needed. A bank of lockers, one for each staff, is discretely woven into the open office design with minimal impact. Well-received, this new way of working helps attract and retain talent and inspires staff to come to the office, although working remotely is still an option. Similar to the idea that Chicago is a city of neighborhoods, each home base is a neighborhood with its own distinctive color: red, orange, or yellow. Since the collaborative areas are located between neighborhoods, they receive a gradient of the two neighboring home base colors creating a smooth transition between home bases. Throughout, the palette is calming and subtle, moving from soft hues of yellow to orange as the level of work becomes more dynamic. Synthetic fabrics are never used, but textures add interest and edges are always rounded. This overall approach is thought to minimize chaos, organize space, and provide a warm and familiar office layout that staff can recognize worldwide. Protecting their clients’ information is paramount for this firm and requires unusually high security. Realizing that requirement challenged the design team and drove the construction of a data wall, a raised floor, and a series of chases to separate the suite from its neighbors, since all cabling had to remain within the firm’s suite. Acoustic privacy was another key factor. Defined by the client’s brand standards, meeting areas must meet National Reduction Coefficient levels per space type, which required a variety of features, including glazed double glass, sealed doors, acoustic drapes, double panel acoustic wall treatments, and an assortment of baffles for complete soundproofing. The elegance and simplicity of this welcoming work environment belies the underlying complexity of its security and acoustic requirements through a sensitive and timeless design.
2
When CapitalOne set out to position its Chicago office as a premier destination for financial professionals, several of the city’s top architecture firms were hired. One firm was chosen to design the top two floors of the iconic tower at 77 W. Wacker. With its giant arched windows, the space was ripe for a plan that maximized the beauty and functionality of the 50th floor. However, this floor had historically been occupied by executives and boardrooms. The solution was to build a conference center on the 51st floor and utilize a mezzanine to open-up the 50th into one expansive space. Sit-to-stand workstations live at the center of the floorplan, surrounded by lounges and collaborative workspaces that all share impressive views. Corner offices were moved to the interiors so the stunning architecture became a shared experience. Blue glass with wavy detail was used throughout to represent the CapitalOne brand but also the sky and wind made central via the dramatic sightlines.
1
Magnificent acoustics and quiet elegance are the hallmarks of DePaul University’s new $98 million, 185,000-square-foot performing arts facility. Completed in the summer of 2018, the Holtschneider Performance Center serves as the next phase of a new complex dedicated to serving the needs of hundreds of music students, while hosting the world-class performances of multiple artists simultaneously. Meticulously designed and expertly constructed, the building boasts state-of-the-art acoustics to ensure optimal space for music students to learn and perform. For this project, the design team was challenged with cohesively organizing a complex program of performance spaces, rehearsal halls, and classrooms, into a three-story structure - each with its own functional requirements, aesthetic identities and acoustic challenges. The three-story atrium, known as Schaefer College Hall Lobby, greets visitors entering the venue and serves as a circulation spine which helps to organize the programmed spaces of the building. This “interior street” is the eastern gateway to DePaul’s Lincoln Park Campus and is clad with warm and welcoming makore millwork paneling which contrasts the light-colored terrazzo floors and stone column surrounds within the space. Student rehearsal rooms, practice rooms, and classrooms branch off this main artery and are strategically organized on the upper floors by their required functional and acoustic adjacencies relative to the double and triple height performance spaces rising from the floors below. These performance spaces are what separate this building from others on campus. The Holtschneider Performance Center boasts the 505-seat Mary Patricia Gannon Concert Hall, the 140-seat Murray and Michele Allen Recital Hall, the 80-seat Brennan Family Recital Hall, the 75-seat Mary A. Dempsey and the Philip H. Corboy Jazz Hall. Introducing light oak millwork panels, and featuring a single tier of seats, the smaller halls have 30-foot volumes for optimal acoustics yet manage to remain intimate in scale by using strategically placed reflectors, grids, and performance lighting rigging. The concert hall has a 60-foot volume and is much grander in scale, boasting the same makore millwork panels as Schaefer College Hall, with millwork-clad curved balconies and travertine pylons, which both frame the audience chamber and provide necessary acoustic reflections from the stage. All four of the halls employ dark colored velour curtains that both provide variable acoustic provisions and add a pop of color that unifies the overall aesthetic of the facility.
4
For a group of designers, the design of their space itself truly matters. The original space rendered a huge amount of volume with its 16-foot ceilings; the question was then, “how do you access that space and have it be noticed, yet still have the space below retain a sense of intimacy?” Originally concrete block with 16-foot ceilings, the challenge was how to take a space like that and create a sense of intimacy and experience without separating the floor plan into small spaces. The design of the space needed to be creative and organic enough to have personality yet also be able to change with ease. To accomplish that, the lead designer used sculptural metal to bring the scale of the ceilings down; with the rest of the long, tall, and narrow space, the lead designer changed the access point of the conference room so it became more of an object in space rather than in a corridor.
1
When the mid-rise tower at 4 East Elm opened in 2016, Chicago’s Gold Coast community welcomed a new luxury residence at its heart. The modern but elegant architecture is glass forward, and the incoming residents had design considerations for how to best utilize this star feature. The unit shown here was completed in the summer of 2018 by the same firm hired for the building’s public spaces. Emphasis is placed on an open floorplan that provides unparalleled sightlines of Chicago’s skyline. With this visual expanse, the design needed to provide a sense of personal space within this larger, shared perspective. The result is a serene oasis that upholds the sophistication of the 4 East Elm building and with personalization throughout.
1
The Chicago Bulls and Blackhawks contacted us to concept, design and build a 10,000 square-foot retail space inside the United Center. The greatest challenge and number one goal was to create a year-round destination for Chicago's developing West Side that would entice fans again and again, even on non-game days. To achieve this, we ideated a retail experience that was jam-packed with nostalgia, a local authenticity, and technologically infused engagements that would connect emotionally with core and prospective fans. A range of guest experiences are integrated throughout all retail zones, designed to attract and engage while keeping in mind shopper flow during high-traffic times. High-impact art installations of team logos and disruptive photo ops provided opportunities for guests to stay and explore. Because the store was multi-functional, we designed a transitional environment that could easily be converted to accommodate varying team and event schedules. Proprietary merchandising solutions created the flexibility to adjust content and merchandise without disrupting the flow of operations. Store employee productivity of swapping team specific gear from the nonactive team to the active team, was improved upon by over 70%. With the goal to provide immersive encounters that felt truly authentic, we unobtrusively integrated technology to create digitally enhanced storytelling that did not seem tacked-on or secondary, but a central part of the design. In the end, the Madhouse team store delivered on creating a memorable experience for guests while providing the flexibility of content and merchandising solutions necessary for seamless store operations.
4
As an investment company, projecting an appropriate image was of high importance to Ziegler. A balance had to be struck between representing the company’s established success without feeling lavish. Given its clientele, a certain level of privacy and formality was also required. The client’s culture, however, is highly collegial. The design team’s task was to bring that spirit to the space, while maintaining a befitting environment for its clients that was at once refined and comfortable. The design works towards that by creating a hospitality feel throughout the space. Wood and bronze tones create a comfortable warmth, which is crisply juxtaposed against a white floor and ceiling. A screening element of “fins” are a focal point within reception—and a repeated design motif in key areas of the space. The fins give privacy, while still allowing for transparency. The fins vary in shape and orientation to create a sense of movement, representing both Ziegler’s ability to be innovative as well the company’s focus on well-being. The fins are millwork pieces that are painted in a high-gloss, lacquered paint, giving them a finish and luster like car paint. While the boardroom is off reception, there are also more intimate adjacent spaces for smaller, client-facing meetings. The furniture is used to promote the hospitality feel with pieces chosen for both comfort and a sculptural quality that work in harmony with the screening fins form. A shared employee area anchors the northern end of the office. A flexible work café opens into a divisible training room/ game room and onto an outdoor terrace. The training area can be fully opened, creating a large space for either employee gatherings or social events. The floating white ceiling elements give a lightness and sophistication to the space, while also dealing with obstacles created by base building systems that could not be moved. While for security’s sake much of the staff works from within private offices, this shared space best exemplifies the company’s open, sociable culture.
27
Eleven40’s design concept is about contrast and layers. The angular lobby has a sense of drama with its dark, faux leather walls, tall volume, and a dramatic two-story green wall. The simple black and white color palette is layered with the warmth of wood tones and textiles. The built and natural worlds collide with the insertion of greenery throughout this high-rise, concrete structure. The goal was to create spaces that are full of life in all forms. The 5th floor is dedicated entirely to amenity space with floor to ceiling windows, light wood-look floors, and pops of color in the art and furniture making for a bright and vibrant space. The space is meant to be active, and the design certainly caters to each and every activity. The Co-office is a quiet zone for residents to work or study, while the Gaming area offers everything from board games to arcade games and skee ball. There is a Jam Lounge for the music lovers, and a Gym and Yoga studio for the fitness lovers. The Fireplace/Media Lounge is equipped with a kitchen and wine bar for parties and events, while the Brewing Station offers residents coffee in the morning and cold beer in the evening. Even the pets have a zone, with a full dog spa and outdoor dog run. Almost every room spills out to the 5th floor exterior roof deck where there is even more space to lounge, dine and play. The natural aesthetic carries up to the Aqua Lounge with several wood elements and greenery. Finishes and furniture are playful at the rooftop, with patterned concrete tiles, graphic wallcovering, and hanging swings. Up here, it’s all about the views… and the rooftop pool overlooking Lake Michigan!
52
Project description: "This is a 4500 square foot building, new construction. It will be a full-service restaurant with a bar. You will help determine the size and location of the bar. The kitchen should be at least 30% of the total space, or 1350 sq ft minimum. The layout of the kitchen will be coordinated with a commercial kitchen designer, so it is not part of your project. There should be convenient (yet discreet) service stations located for the convenience of the wait staff. POS terminals should be planned for all areas of the dining area. There will be a hostess station with a small waiting area (patrons will be encouraged to wait in the bar). Based on code requirements, men’s and women’s accessible bathrooms should be designed." Space Planning considerations: "1.Select the South or East door as the main entrance. The other double door can become a wall section or secondary exit. 2. According to building codes, determine the number of additional exits required and locate them correctly on the plan. 3. Window sections can be turned to solid walls to accommodate the kitchen or bathroom locations. 4. The bathrooms should not be directly visible from the dining area, but convenient for both the dining and bar areas. 5. The raw ceiling is located at 14’ AFF. 6. Allow ample space for circulation and wait staff. 7. There should be circulation space for a wheelchair to accessible tables and to the public bathrooms." Solutions: 1. The restaurant seats 127 people with a variety of seating areas to accommodate different groups of people and maximize the use of space: booths, banquettes, tables that can be combined. 2. Circulation and bathrooms meet ADA requirements. 3. Kitchen: 1390 SF with extra exit door. 4. Acoustic solutions include fabrics on booths, banquettes, and acoustic ceiling timber. 5. Sustainable considerations: use of reclaimed wood and brick throughout the space. 6. Wayfinding: flooring changes between perimeter walls and the center of the dining area. 7. The kitchen can be seen from the lounge area making the customer part of the experience. 8. Large bar area accommodating 21 people. 9. Bathrooms are not directly visible from the dining area; convenient for both the dining and bar areas. 10. Provided POS stations and staff circulation.
386
Occupying an old department store building, Snapsheet sought to create a space full of energy and collaboration to accommodate its rapid growth. The single-floor 52,000 SF office is organized around unifying circulation paths and features game rooms, nap rooms, open office workstations, and numerous communal spaces. The centerpiece of the gathering spaces is the expansive café, sized to accommodate all-staff meetings. Neighborhoods were created to accommodate the specific needs of the various groups; separating louder areas from private spaces was integral in noise control throughout the space. An open variety of seating creates varied opportunities for workspaces. Live plants were introduced throughout to enhance the liveliness and vibrancy of the office.
15
The primary living spaces integrate mechanical, lighting and structural elements in a seamless fashion to create a flexible open entertaining space. Space for a growing art collection is set against classic oak paneling, travertine and oak flooring and white lacquer finishes. The result is an understated yet inviting home.
1
Seyfarth Los Angeles chose to relocate to a premier office tower at 601 South Figueroa Street in downtown LA in search of a progressive new work environment that would incorporate current workplace trends and achieve more efficiency. The design team worked with Seyfarth to develop a sophisticated, forward-thinking design solution. The overall plan is a warm, high-energy, innovative and tech-forward workplace that better integrates attorneys and staff amongst multiple areas of practice, supporting a casual yet professional working culture. Increase of access to natural daylight and indirect lighting, use of locally produced materials, including artwork, and green wall applications lend a modern, high-spec, yet authentic feel to the space. Single-size offices for all attorneys, at an efficiency of 550 RSF per attorney, provides accommodation for growth while reducing the cost of occupancy. While the footprints for attorney offices and support workstations have decreased in size, an influx of new collaborative spaces offers a variety of work mode options throughout the office.
19
Located in the heart of River North, Gold Coast Plastic Surgery wanted to create a classically elegant, yet state-of-the-art facility for their patients. Located in a century-old brick & timber loft, the new 4,000-square-foot space celebrates the history of the building and infuses a calming aesthetic to a medical setting. The finished palette includes warm tones of wood, terra cotta and exposed brick.
10
The Customer Experience Test Kitchen and Innovation Center serves as a place to gather and showcase Golden State Foods' (GSF) food and liquid products. Inspired by the energy of its location in the West Loop neighborhood, the “The Chicago Kitchen Table” concept for the project comes to life. This space, like the kitchen table in a home, serves as the heart and soul that connects GSF's products and their restaurant partners. This project achieved its goal of fusing the neighborhood culture with GSF's global, gold standard image. The project includes 4,300 SF of culinary areas (test kitchen and research & development lab) as well as creative office space (work lounge, conference rooms, and touch-down hoteling areas) in an open loft environment. Materials include classic, timeless finishes like wood, glass, brick, black iron, and concrete. They speak to the trusted and true foundations and values of GSF.
626
To differentiate itself amid a competitive downtown Chicago high-rise apartment market, SixForty North Wells offers a distinctive offset-cube exterior matched by themed interiors that offer an urban living experience within an icon on Chicago’s skyline. The 23-story, LEED-certified, mixed-use development in the city’s vibrant River North neighborhood features 250 luxury apartments, outdoor amenity decks on the fifth and top floors, 8,000 SF of ground-level retail space, and on-site parking. The developer client desired an upscale living experience with a modern yet timeless design, and world-class amenities. The interior designer devised a branding strategy that utilizes high-end finishes and furniture that create a sense of luxury not typically found in a rental environment. Each interior space layers finishes and materials to complement a clean, sleek design style. The design theme draws inspiration from the industrial roots of River North -- its post-Chicago Fire moniker of Smokey Hollow, a riverfront transportation hub with warehouses, factories and forges that filled the air with thick smoke, and its evolution into an area replete with photographers, art galleries and ad agencies. In the lobby dominated by a silvery gray palette, a four-story feature wall is clad in a hand-screened wallcovering of a 1963 print of a crowd photographed at St. Peter’s Square in Rome. Unique light fixtures, an opulent carpet and a backlit marble feature wall add to a striking and gracious first impression. Passing through the penthouse-level elevator corridor graced by a bank of light fixtures that resemble old flash attachments, guests enter the penthouse social club. The focal point of the Library is a custom millwork strip-lit wall that suggests open drawers of vintage filing cabinets. Plush carpeting in onyx silver provides a luxe foundation to display bespoke shelving, lounge seating and game tables in the Game Room. The demonstration kitchen sports a hexagonal tiled floor, upholstered banquette, and chrome stools in a modern interpretation of a 1950’s diner, paying homage to the Ed Debevic’s restaurant that once occupied the site. It flows out to a rooftop deck with a pool, private cabanas and panoramic views of downtown Chicago. The interior design approach is a bold layering of modern textures, patterns and materials.
4
Fortune Brands Global Plumbing Group sought a presence in Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart that would house two of their most prized brands: Moen and House of Rohl. While Fortune required a united multi-functional space for employees, the public face required the appearance of two distinctly separate brands and product lines. Through an immersive and collaborative process, the team worked alongside stakeholders from each brand to identify several key attributes to create two holistic, unique, and distinctive experiences. The Moen showroom is based on an inspirational story, focused on the “beauty of water” and technological innovation. Visitors are greeted with abstract digital projections that activate ripples with in-coming foot traffic. Long, curvilinear troughs are lined with fully functional fixtures that allow customers to freely interact with the faucets. The showroom is an experience grounded in the enduring, innovative, and technically astute aspects of the products, while simultaneously featuring the art and science behind the brand. The House of Rohl embraces the overarching story behind the highly handcrafted process and provenance of each brand. To showcase this opulent variety, the showroom was conceptualized as a boutique jewel box, focused on the idea of exploration, forged craft, and intense beauty. Visitors are greeted by an engraved, dark granite storefront with polished brass blade signs, and drawn in with a curvilinear chassis of powder-coated aluminum that supports a grid of boxes housing the plumbing fixtures on display. Panels housed within the framework use artistic photography and descriptive narratives to tell each sub-brand’s story, providing visitors with a museum-like experience. Moen and House of Rohl share a concealed back of house, meant to provide a centralized location for Fortune employees. Within public view, the showrooms are separate, only revealing a hint of connection between the brands through a pivot door embedded in a shared wall.
25
1/Productive circulation for both clients and employees - Focused on making a clear view from each section will arrow for a customer service timely. -Zoning will help lead a customer to the right section. 2/ Quality of material and safety -Matte finished porcelain tile has a feature of easy maintenance and long life cycle. Also, slip resistance which is essential for users. -Bamboo wall cladding is not only helping for creating Japanese environment but also environmental friendly material. 3/ Maximizing the seat possibility -Since seating number is one of the most important considering points to run a restaurant business, layout focused on the flexibility and having a lot of seats with enough circulation. -Zoning will help to allow for a large number party without disturbing other customers.
45
This project consisted of a gut renovation to a three bedroom and three bath condo. The program called for a spacious living area that took advantage of the panoramic views of Oak Street Beach. There were a myriad of existing walls separating the living, dining and kitchen areas so these were all removed. The client wanted a minimalist design that had thoughtful and functional design elements. Storage was important as the owners downsized from their suburban home to move to the city. All storage had to be hidden from view and there needed to be plenty of it. The solution was to conceal a large array of closets in the entry wall behind walnut panels on touch latch. Storage for extra dining chairs, clothing and even two bikes is all concealed from view. Guests do not know the secrets that lie behind the beautiful wood paneling. The office was a swiss army knife full of hidden storage. A hidden craft table, printer, files and general storage are all concealed behind a simple slab of cabinetry. All wiring is concealed from view with plenty of gadget connectivity. Keeping the condo spacious was addressed by removing unnecessary walls, using light colored materials and incorporating design elements and cabinetry sparingly. Contrasting white and walnut wood is repeated throughout to keep the design vocabulary simple and consistent. The neutral color of the stone and tile blend in with the minimalist interior. Roller coaster shelves and floating shelves in the living area and office add playfulness and a sense of lightness to maintain an airy feel.
25
Showcasing thoughtfully executed cuisine that is neither pretentious nor precious, Walton Street Kitchen + Bar is an upscale neighborhood gem serving timeless classics in the heart of Chicago’s Gold Coast. Featuring two unique spaces – a welcoming and open upper level restaurant and an intimate and cozy library cocktail lounge – Walton Street boasts a transitional design that blends modern and traditional elements allowing guests to feel at home away from home. Our greatest challenge was drawing attention from the street, with a tricky location on the second floor of a new luxury residential building on State and Walton Street. Additionally, with a placement in one of the wealthiest neighborhoods in Chicago, it was important to consider the taste levels of the building residents and Gold Coast clientele when designing the space and menu. Our strategy for design was to create an upscale yet approachable restaurant and lounge that locals could call their own, leveraging transitional design blending modern and traditional elements with a polished feel. Outside on State Street, a classic WST monogram blade and marquee canopy marks the restaurant’s location. Walking through a refurbished antique revolving door off State Street, guests are greeted by a host in the downstairs lobby, where a marble treaded staircase adorned with a custom patterned metal balustrade sets the tone for a magnificent tiered dome chandelier overhead. To the right, heavy velvet drapes mark the entrance to the Walton Street Lounge, an intimate, library cocktail bar serving crafted cocktails and aged spirits. The space offers a feeling of warm nostalgia, as if you just stepped into the private library of someone’s home. Here, greeted by a gentle fire glow, the space features warm amber lighting and charming decor. Vintage rugs and reclaimed herringbone wood flooring sets the stage for expansive bookcases and a thoughtful selection of literature and artifacts. The design is stylish yet familiar, and one could easily whilst away most of the day and night taking advantage of the books lining the walls, cocktail in hand. Upstairs, the restaurant and bar feels uniquely bold, featuring large windows overlooking bustling State Street and stylish yet familiar décor. The twenty-eight-seat bar is the room’s focal point, complete with overhead metal shelving creating a frame overhead. The dining room is lively, anchored by a large centralized banquette island with oversized clamshell booths and custom dome-shaped lighting fixtures. Windows along the perimeter emit a warm glow, featuring swaged pendant lighting clusters span the perimeter of the space, visible from the street below. For private events, guests can reserve the private dining room, which embraces the same refined yet inviting design aesthetic as the rest of the restaurant in addition to views of the bustling kitchen via one-way windows. In the end, it retains the kind of place that we, as neighbors, would want to go.
1
Gould and Ratner’s new office space at LaSalle and Wacker streets in Chicago, IL was part of an effort to move the nearly 100-year old law firm through its next evolution of practice. At 38,500 square feet, the overall space was reduced from an initial 45,000 square feet to another floor within the same building, while reducing personal work spaces and increasing community spaces. The construction process began in April 2018 and employees began moving in by February 2019. Total office design and construction was inspired by Gould and Ratner’s desire to create engaging spaces where collaboration and social activity could thrive. Formed in the 1930s, Gould and Ratner has represented prominent clients in diverse and complicated legal matters in Chicago and throughout the world. The firm’s services are designed to reflect the needs of well-established organizations and growing businesses, as well as those of individuals. The design challenge was to move the 1930’s law firm forward by utilizing less space with more opportunity to connect with clients and colleagues on a moderate budget while still feeling like a higher-end law firm. These factors helped drive design decisions and workspace organization within their new law office. To address the design problem, communal areas such as a lounge and café are centrally located and overlook the building atrium in order to increase connections and complement the natural energy of the building. To facilitate different space needs for clients and employees, a larger conference room was designed to include table seating accompanied by lounge seating along the three-sided windows. Individual offices with floor to ceiling glass walls allowed for collaboration and connection with adjacent open-area workspaces. A luxurious design was created by focusing high-end materials at the entry in the communal spaces, while using more simple materials, but in an elevated manner in all other locations. Gould and Ratner was pleased with the end result and were involved throughout the entirety of the design process. The result of the team’s design plan showcased the best features of the space and ultimately created a comfortable and contemporary office where employees can collaborate, work and socialize.
11
For their 88,000-square-foot HQ relocation to Willis Tower, GATX wanted to create a work environment that aligns with their work, reflects the industry in which they operate and celebrates their 120+ year history as a global railcar leader. The use of traditionally industrial materials such as steel, copper, wood and concrete are reimagined into a sophisticated aesthetic with purposeful branded moments integrated throughout. Open, flexible spaces are counter-balanced with quiet, enclosed spaces resulting in a variety of work settings that intentionally encourage choice throughout the organization, across all disciplines.
20
The Belmont Apartments is located in a historic vintage building in Lakeview. The design program called for renovating the core amenity spaces of the building. The last renovation was about 10 years ago. The new design elements combine fantasy with modern and vintage charm. Some areas of the building required very little work while others were completely renovated. The lobby required mainly finishing touches as the existing space already had a beautiful look. We introduced some new furniture pieces, decorative pillows, rugs, drapery, decorative lighting and plants to finish off the space. The lounge space located off the lobby was partially renovated. A combination of vintage Chicago and modern whimsy gives the space a unique personality while the large community table has become a widely used gathering spot. The business center was not being utilized much by residents so the room was renovated to include a variety of seating zones from teaming areas and personal cocoon pods. Acoustics and privacy were handled with felt panels. The laundry room was gutted and turned into a space where you would actually want to be. Gone with the basement dungeon and in with a bright, easy to clean space with natural material references that recall water, stone and wood. Art was also integrated that recalls abstract lakes of water. The club room needed to be more memorable. The theme was an urban forest. Inspired by the existing birch tree wallpaper we added carpet tiles that had an abstract leaf design recalling foliage falling on the forest floor. Natural colors of the forest were integrated throughout to create a soft and comfortable multi-functional space.
24
Rarely getting the chance to showcase mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire life safety systems, the new space elevates the systems to be a part of the design and let those elements be the feature. Lighting, VAV boxes and junction boxes are used as teaching tools for younger staff to see how it all comes together. Coming from a building built in 1912, the new office reimagined the old studio model into a flexible space to accommodate the evolving field of engineering and sustainability. The design weaves collaboration and technology into the studio space, allowing teams to communicate and interact as needed. Workstations are designed to allow users and groups to orient desks and storage to best suit how the team wants to work. Storage on wheels allows for project moves that can happen in an instant to support their studio needs.
15
The design problem is to create a multipurpose co-working space that can also be used for the purpose of networking and be able to accommodate at least 70 people at a time. Other concerns include at least 24 benching stations and 24 workstations with a variety of meeting spaces. A conference space that seats at least 16 people and room for expansion is requested for larger presentations. Other concerns include acoustical control, biophilia and sustainability. To address the variety of meeting spaces, I added open and closed collaborations, heads down spaces, impromptu meeting spaces for two to four and several lounges for larger parties. There is also an auditorium for guest speakers and evening events. Acoustical concerns were addressed with carpeting in the corridors, acoustical panels on the walls and lowering the ceiling height from 14 feet to 12 feet. Biophilia is addressed with several trees throughout the space to bring nature inside, help with stress relief and cognitive function. Lastly, we have floor to ceiling curtain wall o windows to take advantage of daylighting and reduce the use of electricity. To address sustainability all furniture fabrics are at least 100,000 double rubs and Greenguard certified.
79
Euromonitor’s vibrant new US headquarters began as a dark, water-damaged storage space in need of significant polish. We worked closely with the building and the global market research company on renovations, exposing and restoring brick throughout the space, and opening up two abandoned vertical mechanical shafts as well as three shuttered 40-foot long skylights. Our primary design goal was to highlight the industrial ambiance of the century-old building, engaging the existing architectural elements with the needs of a modern workplace. The company’s colorful brand identity influenced warm sunset accents, anchored by deep cobalt and greys. Multi-hued corridor graphics were developed alongside Euromonitor’s marketing team, and we balanced their intensity with relatively neutral lounge areas and workspace. Gathering spaces positioned below the shafts were dubbed “The Refectory” and “The Forum.” Planned for versatility, they were designed to hold Euromonitor’s full staff, while taking advantage of the shafts’ unique verticality. Polychromatic transparent panels pivot around the Forum, creating a saturated screen that separates it from open workspaces. Truly a hidden gem, our design transformed the gritty space into a flexible, functional office full of architectural surprises.
14
Inspired by the beauty of nature within and around Fairbanks, Ryan Middle School was designed to bring elements of its extraordinary context into the design of the building through form, color, and light. While the exterior took its cues from the birch forests through use of black-edged white paneling, accented with greens and yellows, the interior was conceived of as a series of "objects in the forest": a central open 2-story commons space is framed by a cheerful beam of sunshine (a smooth, rounded, double-height volume housing the music room), the aurora borealis (a double-height undulating colored glass wall enclosing the school library), and Denali (stacked faceted volumes of flexible classroom spaces). Flooring patterns create pools between spaces, defining areas of gathering and circulation. Considering unique climate challenges during the school year of cold winter temperatures and short daylight hours, the warmth of wood was brought in through the ceilings to complement the bright colors. The use of glass classroom fronts and clerestories maximize daylight and visual access to the sky across all spaces. Additional lighting features are employed to bring life and vibrancy to the colors and materials in the space in the absence of daylight. Functionally, all of the spaces are designed to be flexible and create dynamic relationships between programs. The art studio and tech classroom can open up to each other for combined creative tech projects. The music room opens up onto the commons for performances to an audience or jazz at lunch. The library opens up to the commons as well, creating a fluid connection between spaces and strongly encouraging use of these spaces together for a variety of events. Denali creates a separation between the main school commons and the scaled down classroom commons, which all of the classrooms face and open up onto. Classes spill out and intermingle. The students and teachers support one another in this open environment, which fosters a sense of curiosity and compels them to explore new ideas and activities, creating a real sense of community.
39
Upwork is a web-based global freelancing platform based in Silicon Valley. Upon relocating their Chicago office, the design for their new 28,000-square-foot workplace celebrates Upwork’s growing presence in the city, as well as the company’s mission to provide economic opportunities in local communities around the world. To connect the new space to its surroundings, the design team organized the office into different areas named after Chicago neighborhoods. Each quadrant is denoted by large, graphic wall coverings of iconic landmarks and restaurants located throughout the city, as selected by Upwork employees. To tie the design back to the organization itself, the design firm incorporated branding elements throughout the space, as seen in the crisp design aesthetic, bright lighting, and verdant accents, reminiscent of the company’s logo. The open floor plan features sit-to-stand workstations, a number of collaboration and informal meeting spaces, quiet areas for individual work, and a large café space that can accommodate meetings for up to 150 people. Integrated technology in both the collaboration spaces and conference rooms creates a flexible, team-oriented work environment and supports connectivity to Upwork’s clients worldwide.
38
The Ounce of Prevention Fund is a non-profit organization in Chicago that educates disadvantaged parents on the importance of early childhood education. They were looking to transition to an open layout to encourage easy collaboration and to fit within a strict non-profit budget. The design team achieved effective use of the organization’s modest resources by utilizing existing construction and creating a flexible floor plan to nimbly accommodate future growth. Eliminating private office space also helped the organization increase the transparency and effectiveness of its important work. The design incorporates a clean aesthetic with vibrant accent colors and inspirational environmental graphics that reinforce the organization’s mission and values.
52
To enter into the European market for the first time, P.F. Chang’s recognized the opportunity to develop a unique look and restaurant experience for their brand that would respond to the new environment and clientele. The design team was enlisted to help develop the Asian Table concept with its debut site located in Covent Garden, London. The client’s desire to continue development in London and other European cities was stated earlier on, with the need to go into smaller spaces compared to P.F. Chang’s’ traditional American restaurants. Thus the driving design challenge that was faced was to help reinterpret and evolve P.F. Chang’s menu, operations, and floor plan to become something inspired and flexible for various future sites. The team delivered various design concepts and mood boards that could be used as a starting point for a project’s site-specific design, with the thought that each forthcoming location would be unique, yet all united by a common thread. Finding what could be that common thread, within an already well-established brand in the U.S., was a conceptual challenge for breaking into a new market. Lastly, the team felt that introducing a foreign brand to a neighborhood within a city that has deeply rooted culture and identity, begged for a space that is at least cognizant of history and reflects local character. Asian Table explores bespoke menu items specific to London in addition to the classics. The innovative approach to the brand’s prior menu brings attention to bar and pastry functions, including specialty cocktails, pastries, and desserts on display. The food and beverage preparation is designated to areas throughout the restaurant, showcasing craft and elevating the dining experience. Operators will keep to this smaller-batch menu, helping cut down on the kitchen space needed for the plan. The design team was inspired conceptually by brand founder, Phillip Chang, and the influence his mother Cecilia, a restaurateur in San Francisco, had on his career. The concept was derived through Philip’s interpretation of the road to success led by his mother – with roots in China and destiny in California, a story to push P.F. Chang’s into the international urban market. Inspiration was taken from Philip’s artistic background, and from Cecilia’s formal hospitality service. The existing space functioned as a horse stable turned jazz and blues music venue, which influenced the look and feel of the design and pays homage to the history of the P.F. Chang’s brand itself. This history allowed the designers to take advantage of the multi-textural decay of the existing walls and pipes and tap into the musical past, influencing some of the furniture design as well as the main bar. The U.K. debut of Asian Table was conceived holistically with a chef-crafted menu, an elevated beverage program and an interior feel of space, in turn providing a foundation for future locations.
86
Many companies have learned that a new office space has the power to ignite employee engagement and culture, and the American Association of Endodontists 8,000 square foot relocation from the American Dental Association building to nearby 2 Prudential Plaza supported their desire to do this. The design goals of this space were to create more opportunities to engage and interact with coworkers in a meaningful way. The American Association of Endodontists specialize in saving teeth and have become a global resource for research, knowledge and education in the endodontist profession. Their emphasis on innovation and ability to inspire employees resulted in staff that have stayed with the association for many years. The high percentage of legacy staff members posed an interesting design challenge to support those members while also setting the foundation for the organization’s evolution and advancement as well as attracting new passionate members. To support new and legacy staff, we provided an adaptive and open plan conducive for both individual and group work. These functional areas are supported through color and material palettes that bring warmth, while accents of color contribute to the energy of the space. Soft lines and curved silhouettes in furniture selections support elements of warmth and provide a welcoming and comfortable space. The welcoming experience starts as at the entry to the AAE suite. The reception area is branded with colors and signage that references the brand logo and greets any employee or guest immediately as they walk through the doors. The feature wall behind the receptionist includes photos and personalized information about each team member on the workspace side so that every team member sees themselves and each other in the workspace upon arrival and exit. Focus rooms and offices were added against the core and off the glass to provide a private area for employees to conduct meetings and allow ample light to fill the work areas. A large conference room with both chairs and lounge seating allows for more than enough space to bring clients and employees together. To set the stage for a contemporary yet comfortable place for staff to collaborate and socialize, the café space has warm hues, comfortable and varied seating options, and an exposed concrete ceiling with a custom light fixture. Simple down lights and plenty of natural light pool into the break room making the space feel larger and more inviting. Technology is incorporated in this space through a large flat screen television with ceiling speaker installations to facilitate regular all-staff meetings to keep employees informed of their mission and progress. Tech and power-enabled table and counter top seating arrangements are designed to support work, employee socialization, and impromptu communication.
5
Tracing its roots back to 1897, CNA Financial is one of the largest commercial insurers in the U.S., providing services to businesses and professionals globally. Since 1973, its headquarters have occupied an iconic Chicago Loop tower. The move in 2018 to a nearby, new 35-story tower enabled them to take advantage of new infrastructure, efficiencies, and the ability to effect changes in their workplace, leading to a cultural transition from hierarchy and traditional work modes to a collaborative, brand inspired, state-of-the-art environment that will take CNA into the future. A common dilemma for many established companies, the majority of employees were comfortable in their stable environment within cubicles and offices, and not looking for change. However, leadership saw change as an agent to increase recruiting, employee engagement, and productivity, as well as deliver optimal workspace to shed unnecessary square footage. As part of the design team’s workplace strategy services, the team met with key executives, led workplace workshops, and analyzed badge swipe data, workforce demographics, and conference utilization to identify a new workplace vision. Moving beyond flexibility, CNA implemented a hackable work environment that equips both individuals and teams with the choice to continuously reinvent their work experience and modify a particular space in a moment's notice. This allows CNA to keep up with the speed of business and create the ideal environment for innovative ideas to thrive. A primary workstation and private office solution and size was developed to accommodate multiple workstyles and needs while also helping to shift the culture to become more transparent and connected. By reducing private office and workstation sizes, with less private office allocations, the amount of shared space was increased by 25%, allowing for more collaborative and community space types, including the introduction of huddle and phone rooms, work café’s and quiet zones. Overall, CNA’s real estate requirement was reduced by 60%. In a hackable work environment, acoustics is a critical factor. A complex sound masking system, layered at the ceiling, provides the acoustic control critical in the new, more collaborative environment, and the use of primary and secondary circulation paths helps minimize distractions and disruptions. Amenities emphasize technology, with the inclusion of scheduling systems, large scale monitor arrays, and sophisticated audiovisual installations. Throughout the design and construction process, the team partnered with CNA’s real estate and communication teams to develop a change management strategy to ensure engagement through the transition to new workstyles, protocols, and processes while supporting a cultural shift. Primarily delivered through CNA’s internal website, including a video that “walks” around a typical floor, these communications helped employees better understand the look, feel, and function of the new space. A mock-up “pilot” event was also held for employees, providing an opportunity to experience the new space firsthand. Other tools included targeted information sessions and a welcome kit for move-in day. The new headquarters’ design is sophisticated, sleek, detailed, and geared for convenience and action, with choice, collaboration, and community as key drivers. The design pulls inspiration from the established CNA logo by transforming the two-dimensional, canted text into dynamic architectural massing, ceilings, screens, materials, furniture, and graphics. The simple, 70 degree logo cant was reinterpreted into a series of complex pattern studies, which were then thoughtfully infused into both large and small gestures throughout the space. As a result, the logo inspired patterns embedded in the project’s finishes and architecture creates a branded environment completely unique to CNA’s new headquarters. From table legs to ceilings and walls, the complex patterns were reimagined into a broad range of custom forms and finishes, including custom felt graphics, 3D carved wall panels, etched glass, and architectural millwork screens and benches. Upon entering the typical floor, the logo-to-pattern translation is featured in architectural reveals and subtle changes in materials. The floor transitions carry your eye to the two feature walls at either end of the lobby. Graphic architectural screens create a sense of separation from the pantry zone to the open office while a custom bench bridges the canted architecture and screens. Three custom wall panel products accent the collaboration areas throughout the space—two laser-cut PET felt boards and a third with 3D-carved adhesive backed PET tiles—creating an open breakout zone for impromptu meetings. Logo-inspired jacquard weave wallcoverings are also featured in the private offices, huddle rooms, conference center, and executive floor. The multi-use conference room corridor is divisible into zones that accommodate a variety of functions. Each zone is highlighted by a screening element that ties into the floor and ceiling design. The screens are framed, custom etched glass illuminated with an embedded LED in the frame. Throughout the project, custom tables add a subtle nod to the logo cant through table top shapes and leg designs. The boardroom table was custom designed with embedded microphones, speakers, and an ideal viewing angle for presentations. The result is an environment that empowers employees with choices, an increased sense of community, greater connection to CNA’s culture and brand, and flexibility to adapt to changes over time. "This move is about much more than where we are located or a new building — it is about a workspace that enables and encourages collaboration across all functions and dimensions," said Dino E. Robusto, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of CNA.
3
This confidential global tech company has maintained a substantial Chicagoland presence for decades. Shifts in the real estate market and the need to access more tech talent were the catalyst for the client to initiate a move to consolidate eight separate locations under one roof. The company needed to create a special workplace to encourage workers to shift to a downtown location which increased the commute for some. The new space is designed to provide employees with a variety of ways to work and is inspired by Chicago neighborhoods. The use of iconic imagery of signs, buildings, institutions and restaurants are showcased in a variety of ways throughout the space. The client’s workspace is organized with four things in mind: a main street that connects each group on a floor and encourages informal interaction; neighborhoods that are unique to the business units that occupy the space; distributed and shared amenities available on each floor; and a range of spaces in which people can perform concentrated, individual work and informal teamwork, or access technology.
18
Husch Blackwell, a well-known litigation and business law firm, was looking to create a new work environment that would allow for transparency, natural collaboration, learning opportunities and a choice of work settings to suit all styles. They opted for a radical new direction, choosing a layout that includes a variety of collaborative meeting areas, breakout rooms and private heads-down space, giving staff the flexibility to work where and how they want, in an open and accessible atmosphere. Private offices were reduced in quantity and size, given full glass fronts, and half were moved off the perimeter to allow natural light to permeate the space. Acoustic privacy was given special attention, with solutions implemented to protect the natural confidentiality of the firm’s work. The result is a workspace that is truly on the forefront of legal workplace design. Within the first few months post-move-in, Husch Blackwell has seen an increase in interaction and information sharing across the teams. Associates have commented that they feel the partners are much more accessible and the anxiety of “knocking on someone’s door” has been removed thanks to the open and transparent space.
31
Sikich, a professional services firm, is comprised of various departments that each maintain a distinct culture and client base. Our team was engaged to lead the relocation of their Chicago office, plan for growth, and combine two of Sikich’s main teams: public relations and investment banking. The goal was to create a cohesive design aesthetic while maintaining each group’s personality. Both teams were focused on creating an environment that is both professional and energetic, one that attracts and retains top talent. To solve for the varied cultures, the floor layout contains a centralized reception, conferencing area, and work café that serves as a hub for all departments. The expansive reception area features an undulating baffle ceiling that provides sound absorption, and a dynamic tribute to the movement of Lake Michigan. The eclectic break room features several seating types that allow teams a choice of arrangements—for collaborating, socializing, and everything in between. This space also provides a natural separation between the two departments, and a gathering place for the company as a whole. Each department has a character that is an outgrowth of their functions. The investment banking section of the plan is secured, and contains conference rooms equipped with technology that facilitates the group’s many presentations. Public relations, on the other hand, is equipped with displays that feature the product they market, and collaborative breakout areas geared towards flexibility and creativity. In total, we aligned the Sikich workspace with their multifaceted culture, and allowed both teams to work uninhibited.
18
Designing this boutique fitness club was quite the creative endeavor. Open 24 hours, with a glitzy motif and colorful lighting, this contemporary fitness club is “more than a gym, it is a lifestyle,” blending fitness and fun with state-of-the-art equipment in a nightclub atmosphere. The client’s goal was a complete gut and renovation to open a new, state-of-the-art gym in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago with a nightclub vibe: glitzy, sexy, ornate, rich, and full of colorful light. Our lead designer used a gold and black motif with pops of color in lighting details. The designer wrapped structural columns in black glass with an inset of LED lighting giving this space the “wow factor” the client sought after; using a lighting control system, the client can change the color and intensity of the light details depending on the desired attitude and atmosphere. The designer also incorporated custom wallpaper made with the client’s company logo that appears in several moments throughout the space. These unique touches are evident from the main floor with equipment, to the bathrooms, to the meeting spaces, to the DJ booth. The main challenge was how to include everything that the client wanted into the space without crowding it. Mid-construction, the designer was able to add a lofted second level among the 14-foot ceilings, where the treadmills would be housed to allow enough room for each piece of equipment. The second challenge was how to get the retail space within the gym to look as sexy as the rest of the space; the designer accomplished this by using glass around the retail area, creating definition while maintaining an open feeling within the gym.
1
The goal for this home was to create an historic feel using timeless materials while also being true to the modernity of such a sleek new construction. No detail was overlooked in the designer’s desire to invoke a feeling of nostalgia.
1
In 2018, this progressive restaurant company celebrated the opening of its new global headquarters in Chicago’s emergent Fulton Market district. The move from Oak Brook to the city was an opportunity to create a more centralized, consolidated workplace. To meet the challenge of a thorough dive into the company’s culture, the client hired two design teams to craft a narrative worthy of its journey and create a transformational environment to help the company move forward. Replacing a multi-building, cubicle-partitioned campus with nine stories of open, collaborative workspace and versatile meeting options accomplished both goals. The fast-track project a highly complex “top-down” construction process, was completed in just 18 months (from groundbreaking to ribbon cutting) thanks to teamwork, extreme organization, and the dedication of all parties involved, including three shifts of 600 tradespeople working around the clock—taking four months less than traditional building methods in Chicago. The new headquarters brings together all Chicago employees, from a range of departments, who had previously been located in several buildings at their former campus. A priority was to spark dynamic moments of interpersonal interaction, increasing visual connections between employees as they moved between the floors during their day. This was largely achieved via a more collaborative work environment, robust amenity offerings (a fitness center, multiple roof decks, community café, conference center, training facilities, bike room, etc.), and by orienting the workplace around a five-story atrium stairwell that serves as the heart of the structure. The atrium was expanded into a more prominent, awe-inspiring feature that forms a connection between the workspaces on floors 4 through 8. Glass-enclosed conference rooms cantilever out into the atrium; a pair of M.C. Escher-esque feature stairs prompt spontaneous intermingling, increasing the likelihood of on-going interactions between colleagues. At the first floor there are two entry points, one primarily for students of the company’s university, the other for guests and employees. Here the client’s culture, achievements, and aspirations are celebrated, and museum-quality exhibits of memorabilia create an immersive experience. On the second floor, students of the university interact with plasma touch screens, and nearby training kitchens offer hands-on learning. An adjacent sound studio conveniently provides for video recording. All floors are themed, for example, the third celebrates changing tastes and diverse diets; the fifth creative packaging etc. Design moments throughout are deliberately abstract, grounded in meanings derived directly from the client’s long history. Embarking on this highly ambitious project, the company sought to consolidate its various business units into a flexible, sustainable, and efficient workspace. Specifically, the organization needed an inclusive environment that would encourage collaboration and facilitate employee effectiveness and productivity. Other drivers included leveraging technology to enhance the way employees work and fostering wellness via a holistic approach. Features contributing to that goal include a lobby green wall, fitness center, abundant outdoor space, a rooftop deck, and beekeeping facilities. Every floor features a wellness suite that includes mother and prayer rooms and a library/quiet space. Additional highlights include prioritizing access to natural light and a focus on indoor air quality. The building achieved LEED Platinum certification.
4
The goal for Office Revolution’s new 4,000 SF working showroom was to create a special canvas to house the furniture brands they represent. The light, bright, open space was designed to encourage their client’s imagination and creativity while reflecting the Office Revolution brand.
190
The Tribune’s open plan encourages collaborative work practices, and allows for all of the needs of a modern media center: a state-of-the-art breaking newsroom, a test kitchen, and adjustable-height desks. Street-facing conference rooms reflect the company’s core values of transparency and honesty, and the stair—a major architectural addition to the building—creates a strong statement of urban permanence. Quotes, such as Flannery O’Connor’s powerful, “The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it,” wrap the low corridor leading into the reception space, and reference those found in the lobby of the Tribune Tower. An antique printing plate, along with archival photos, comics and famous front pages, were used as design elements within the high contrast, monochromatic scheme. Multimedia studios surround the base of the mammoth stair, and a mezzanine-level café allows staff to retreat from the busy production areas, encouraging daily conversation between the different departments. Each floor has a variety of places for meetings and heads-down work, and each conference room is named for a Pulitzer Prize-winning staff member. Early in the design process, the vertical series of floors rising from street level were envisioned as a hive of cultural production, with a monumental stair serving as the main artery. Millwork steps, made from reclaimed oak, are more than just a dramatic path from the ground to the creative areas—they provide a flexible, dynamic place for interaction, and more than 1,000 square feet of stadium seating facing a projection of the 24-hour news cycle. Photos by Kendall McCaugherty and Steve Hall, Hall + Merrick Photographers
494
One of the main design challenges I faced was combining the organic, fluid nature of the Great Lakes with the rectilinear structure of the existing 1961 building, Miegs Field Airport. To merge these two elements, I looked the driftlines, the undulating lines found parallel the shore of Lake Michigan. Driftlines are a physical marker of the connection between water and land — the line is formed from the sediment left behind when a wave crashes ashore. Driftlines illustrate the geographic components’ reciprocal relationship: what enters the lake appears on land. The GLCEC’s overlapping interior partitions and hatched patterns mimic driftlines; these intersections are evocative of the symbiotic relationship that the visiting guests have with Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes Watershed ecosystem. In place of flowing organic lines, the overlapping elements found throughout the GLCEC are geometric to pay homage to the building’s mid century architecture.
3
After a company re-brand, this client came to use to incorporate the new, colorful brand into their Merchandise Mart showroom. The brand statement is “evolution of motion” and contains the full color spectrum which moves from one color to the next. We interpreted that brand into the interior by using colored mirrors which run the length of the showroom. Customers can see their movement and view product through the colored lens of the mirror and brand. Accenting the mirrors are a series of product groupings which also follow the color blend in the showroom. When you enter the showroom, you are surrounded by green colors via the wall paints, product finishes, area rugs and greenery. Moving into the space further, there is a yellow section of colored mirror and furniture. The back of the showroom ends in a blend from pinks to purples and finally in a blue sheer drapery. The result is a bold, yet simple display of their product and brand.
20
We took inspiration from some of the more urban tech spaces we’ve been designing. We knew we needed to address all the items listed above, but we also wanted to get people talking about this anything-but-run-of-the-mill financial office space. We wanted to create a destination, and why not? Just because it’s a contact center doesn’t mean it can’t be a destination. The design of the space takes an industrial direction, which is antithetical to the rest of the spaces in the building, and pretty much in your face as soon as you walk off the elevators. We designed an over-scaled perforated and cold-rolled steel signage piece with a backlit laser-cut logo, exposed ceilings, industrial linear lighting, and stained concrete floors. Immediately adjacent and off the entry, we created an oversized café space with the same industrial lighting that bends and folds its way into the space, a varied-height communal table, plywood nooks with exposed connections and subtle complementary colors to create balance. We took advantage of the abundant natural light that entered the space by minimizing built environment at the perimeter, and when it does occur, it’s conference and/or communal space. All the ceilings were left exposed, acoustically treated, and a sleek LED lighting scheme was developed to act in harmony with natural lighting. In the open office, all the desks are sit-to-stand and have views to the surrounding landscape. We employed unexpected materials, such as worn and recycled metal panels, to create storage towers and hide irregular column placement, and primary color-coded for wayfinding. We developed an easily changeable slip-form steel tube framing module that separates core circulation from the open office and holds glass panels with tongue-in-cheek historical telephone super-graphics. This was the edge they were seeking. We created an office that was downtown-reminiscent, uniquely branded, technologically-forward, uber-functional, attractive, and suitable for developing a strong and communal office culture.
132
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.
46
The interior design firm introduced wide plank bleached oak floor, walnut paneling and natural stones to bring warmth to the open modern glass and concrete home
1
When Hinshaw & Culbertson relocated their headquarter office to a new, premier high-rise tower in Chicago, the firm wanted the design of their new office to achieve greater space efficiency, align with the firm’s culture, and incorporate flexible planning to accommodate future growth. The design of Hinshaw’s new 121,000-square-foot office space accomplishes these important objectives and reflects the duality of their identity as a law practice: an established firm with a contemporary sensibility. The design firm introduced a universal-sized office approach, allowing for maximum flexibility and the ability to have associates placed in offices adjacent to partners with whom they interact with the most. Additionally, this type of standardization eliminated the perceived hierarchy that office size designates, creating a more egalitarian environment. This breaking down of traditional barriers adds to a sense of accessibility that associates often seek in a firm. To further maximize space efficiencies, the designers situated a large portion of private office space on the floor’s perimeter, reducing the square footage per employee by 45 percent. This plan also provides the space with an abundance of natural light and access to premium views of the surrounding city. To allow for a dynamic and collaborative work setting, Hinshaw’s new workplace includes a variety of conference rooms and informal meeting areas to encourage idea sharing and interaction. The design also allows flexibility to accommodate the firm’s future growth. For example, internal case rooms can easily converted to associate offices, if needed. The look and feel of the shared spaces are timeless and tailored; their overall sophistication punctuated throughout with edgier elements and unexpected moments to call attention the rich artistry that the city has to offer. Works by local artists and photographers abound and visitors will find a unique surprise in the stairwell connecting Hinshaw’s four floors, a nod to the urban fabric that makes Chicago unique. A curated palette of materials including calacatta borghini marble, warm woods, and steel paired with contemporary furnishings evoke a sense of urban hospitality throughout the client-facing spaces.
41
Taureaux Tavern is a contemporary French restaurant located near the Board of Trade and Mercantile Exchange in the heart of Chicago’s Financial District. Introducing a breath of fresh air into the neighborhood’s limited restaurant scene, that targets daytime trader and sales clientele seeking to entertain clients in an elevated environment. Established in 1848, the Chicago Board of Trade is one of the world’s oldest futures and options exchanges. Pulling cues from this historic landmark and old-world banks, the interior design of the restaurant oozes traditional opulence in way that feels unpretentious and approachable. Upon entry, a custom 10ft-high tiered copper and glass chandelier hangs overhead, mimicking Art Deco inspired architectural curves throughout the space. A copper coated faceted bull sculpture also marks the restaurant’s entrance, paying homage to the name, which is French for “bull”. Antique lighting fixtures and plaster finishes create the illusion that the restaurant has been there for years, backed by authentic photography from the Board of Trade dating from the late 1940s. Custom green fluted metal cladding wrapping the columns and main bar, metal cut screens on the banquets and stair risers, and custom tile flooring add to the decorative nature of the space. Juxtaposing historically inspired finishes, neon signage glowing the “color of money” and hand painted details add just the right level of modern flare to the overall environment, appealing to younger guests seeking a celebratory bite after a morning win.
0
Located in the hustling and bustling west loop this apartment building has newly designed amenity spaces. The existing interiors did not match the sleek architecture of the building and lacked any memorable qualities needed to attract and retain residents. The lobby was completely renovated and transformed into a sleek space with a luxurious vibe. A custom living wall was used to bring the outside in and double as artwork. Graphic walls recall the energy of the city with its twinkling lights. Art incorporates humor and history. The art near the entry door has abstract taxis on it to signify a waiting space for your ride. Art with vintage water towers recall the industrial history of the neighborhood. Each of the 12 resident corridors has a different piece of art that recalls the rich industrial history of the site. The gym was rarely used due to a few reasons, poor lighting and bland design. There was no energy in the room. We incorporated bright, dynamic angled lines of light and a graphic wall that gave the space movement and energy. Resident corridors were poorly lit. A light paint color did the trick along with new carpeting throughout with a concrete pattern recalling the neighborhoods industrial past. The club room was renovated from an underutilized room to a multifunctional space. Different gathering zones were designed with both bar and low height seating and gadget connectivity. Movable ottomans allow flexible seating arrangements and swivel chairs are easy to move around due to their lighter weight. High energy vibes continue with the new carpet tile whose pattern recalls skyscraper lights at night. A colorful palette and a combination of unique materials from brass to crystal give the amenity spaces a timely design with timeless characteristics.
23
Eight Eleven Uptown is an ambitious redevelopment of a former hospital site that had lain vacant and blighted for more than a decade. The mixed-income housing and retail project in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood includes construction of a 27-story residential tower with 381 apartments and eight townhouses. Its three-story podium structure contains a 30,000 SF retail space, parking and an outdoor terrace. From the lighted signage to the dramatically lit spaces, the interiors for 811 were inspired by the rich history of the Uptown theater district and its historic Jazz-Age structures: The Uptown Theater, The Riviera Theater, the Aragon Ballroom and the Green Mill Lounge. With bold ornamentation and lavish interiors, these elaborate movie palaces and concert venues are evocative of an era of vaudeville, speakeasies and exuberance. The double-height lobby features gold accents and ribbed detailing inspired by brass instruments in a jazz band. A grand stair leads up to a gracious mezzanine that overlooks the reception space and the leasing area. The lighting design alludes to the feeling of excitement created when standing under vintage theater marquees. Guests experience the fourth-floor amenity level by alighting the elevator to a corridor lit by a canopy of exposed bulbs. An intentionally dimly-lit corridor (save a bold Uptown sign), which references the underground tunnels that legend says Al Capone used as a secret escape route from the Green Mill speakeasy, leads to the building’s open-concept, day-lit amenity areas. The interior design of the Club Room embraces a vintage theatrical feel with highly textured surfaces, marble cladding, and upholstery rendered in sumptuous velvets accented with touches of burnished gold. Under vaulted ceilings, walls are lined with curated with black and white photography. In the Neighborhood Bar, bold emerald colors, a curvy divan, and stools that resemble corktops add whimsy. In addition to the interior amenities, an outdoor pool deck offers a pool, grill terrace, fire pits, and green lawns.
3
This existing Gold Coast kitchen in a highrise building was in desperate need of an update. The Homeowners, in pursuit of culinary excellence, spend alot of time in their kitchen so updating the appliances to state of the art Miele, Gaggenau and Sub Zero was mandatory. Concealing an existing utilitarian soffit with air vents was critical. A large decorative ventilation panel was designed above the sink wall cabinetry to allow for the proper air flow, but beautifully conceal the soffit and the vent. Framing the elevations with the grey pillars and pantries improved the visual continuity within the space. Incorporating up to date Plain and Fancy cabinetry (3 different doorstyles and 2 finishes) along with quartz countertops, porcelain wood look floor tile and handmade backsplash tile gave the final touch of both graceful design and low maintenance.
0
I moved the kitchen into the much larger living room space with a cathedral ceiling. The old kitchen was converted into laundry/pantry/message center. The door to the dining area was located in a spot centered between existing HVAC locations. The wall between the old and new kitchen was doubled up to allow for two pocket doors, while leaving the existing plumbing undisturbed, to use for the laundry sink and clothes washer. An island kitchen gave them an L-shaped seating area where they could engage each other while dining. The design allows for multiple cooks. Natural Walnut and radius cabinet ends with supporting leg details gave us a retro Mid-Century feeling. A unique batten detail was repeated around the kitchen to pull everything together. A dramatic custom hood gets your eye traveling up to appreciate the ceiling. Vintage pendants were used over the island and augmented with LED spots, dramatic up-lighting, and under-cabinet lighting to allow the client to vary the mood and for sufficient task light in the space. The old appliances were housed in spaces that allow for easy upgrade later. The toe-kick area is deeply recessed to give the illusion that the legs are structural. The matching special stone was sourced for the island and was book matched and given a leather texture. The seating area was slightly elevated and made of walnut that was matched to the cabinetry for a more comfortable surface on which to rest your arms. Special brushed gold recessed hardware and geometric patterned tile complete the vintage look. A sitting area was left for entertaining medium size groups. Access to the dining room and to the raised deck accommodates large group entertaining.
1
The 300, located at 300 South Wacker Drive is a 1970's, 35-story skyscraper located along the Chicago River with 360-degree views of downtown. The building's "awakening" - a complete rebranding and renovation differentiates itself from other properties in the South Wacker corridor and effectively attracts and retains tenants in a competitive submarket. The new vision for the building is defined by a boutique hospitality environment that welcomes and inspires tenants and visitors. The transformation began with the repositioning and renovation of the building's street entry by shifting the entry to the center of the building from the sides. Previously non-descript with multiple revolving doors, the entrance was re-designed with one main central revolving door highlighted by a new timeless exterior canopy with modern lighting and signage. For the repurposed building lobby, the client desired a dynamic and unique public-facing space that contrasted from other lobby spaces at other properties along South Wacker Drive. The existing lobby was dated and brash with marble walls and floors and intense digital displays that harkened to a conservative, corporate environment. Taking cues from the "awakening" rebrand, the design team re-envisioned the lobby by creating a warm, hospitality setting, where tenants and visitors encountered an inviting and comfortable space. Comfortable soft seating areas flank a custom reception console and provide alternative working environments for tenants and a place for visitors to relax. A "sunrise" element was incorporated into the lighting design and natural materials accentuate warmth and hospitality. Adjacent to the lobby, a former office space was transformed into a flexible amenity lounge and café. The daylit lounge, with 16 feet-high curtainwall, has a stunning view to the Chicago River and serves as a meeting and socialization space with a variety of casual seating arrangements and tables. Dramatic lighting warms the space, while custom designed bookcases, coffee and end tables, and sofas lend a hospitality-like environment. The lounge is a flexible space that can be utilized for private events, all-hands meetings, and alternate work environment for both tenants and the public. Unique to the space is a stationary food truck that is positioned in the lounge serves as a creative centerpiece. Visible from the street, the truck will serve a rotating selection of cuisines from a variety of local food purveyors. A renovated outdoor terrace serves as a social gathering space with views to the river and is accessible via a new sliding glass wall system to create a seamless indoor/outdoor connection to the main lounge in the warmer months. A glass windscreen was added to the terrace to help protect users from the elements. In the building's lower level is a new bicycle storage room and yoga/group exercise studio for tenant use. With no previous access from the street to the lower level, an exterior stairway with bicycle rail was added to provide direct and easy access from the street to the bicycle storage room to encourage building tenants to bike to work. New landscaping around the property, including along the river, furthers the building's position as a destination property.
368
Axiom Law, an intellectual property law firm, consolidated two sites into one building, across two floors, for a Chicago hub office. The design team was tasked with creating a work environment to support Axiom’s need to enable legal teams to be flexible, strategic and drive business forward. The team observed both existing locations, which influenced programming and space planning, to achieve Axiom’s goal of a more efficient space based on actual work style. One of the design goals was to create a residential feel—a casual work environment, open floor plan with adjacent phone, focus and teaming rooms. The new work environment is comprised of mostly open (non-finished ceiling) spaces, atypical for a law firm. The layout creates several new open-air breakout spaces adjacent to the workstations, and reduces the number of formal conference rooms, often six to eight seats, after observing that most enclosed conference rooms were occupied by only two to three people. Acoustics were a concern to Axiom. The design team selected demountable storefronts to provide better acoustical separation, and installed luxury vinyl tile to dampen noise from foot traffic. Lighter finishes create an overall brighter and more energetic space for Axiom, in contrast to their previous workspace. Finally, a new café provides a communal meeting space where Axiom can speak and share information on a projection screen. The new gathering space offers an alternative work setting for Axiom’s attorneys, or a place to just eat, socialize and relax.
16
The main concept of Infrarail is to "reveal what is hidden" and aims to bring awareness to the hidden factors of social stratification represented by train networks. The design solution draws inspiration from infrared light, a part of the EM spectrum that people encounter most in everyday life, although most of it goes unnoticed. It is invisible to the human eye but is felt as heat. Infrarail utilizes back-lit surfaces to manipulate the visibility of objects and people in the space.
2
Rose and Loon opened within the recently expanded Von Maur wing of Rosedale Center in efforts to peak interest and gain foot traffic towards the area. Without much programming, brand identity, or display specifications during the initial stages, we took notice that the space needed to be flexible and adaptable for the various future makers and their product to be displayed. The design team successfully space planned the store to create zones and moments for future maker demonstration space, a functional sink to test product, and custom designed fixtures and shelving for product display.
58
-The traffic flow was considered by dividing the restaurant into three main spaces. This is functional for circulation and also makes the design stronger through linear repetition. -ADA guidelines were followed by providing 4’< main circulation, 5%< accessible seating and ADA compliant bathrooms. -A variety of seating was provided to accommodate flexibility for parties of different sizes and preferences. -Two service/POS stations are located on either end of the restaurant as well as behind the bar to increase efficiency of servers and staff. -The central lounge includes spaces designated to sit or stand with a drink or appetizer while waiting for a table.
43
New Trier High School, a nationally acclaimed and residentially land-locked high school, faced a situation familiar to many long-established districts—aging facilities which had not kept pace with modern approaches to teaching and learning. The District chose to replace buildings which were among the most inefficient, inaccessible, and obsolete on campus with a 280,000-sf new addition that provides students with the educational and cultural experience of a collegiate environment. Given the school’s rich past, the community expected the heritage of the existing school to be celebrated. In response, the addition delivers a modern program within a historically sensitive envelope. A new north student entrance provides a modern, glassy interpretation of the iconic art deco tower at the school’s original main entrance. Once inside, students are welcomed by a five-story, daylit concourse which brings natural light deep into the building and bridges the new and old, providing opportunities for community gathering and group learning. A variety of spaces extend learning outside the traditional classroom on every floor, facilitating diverse teaching modalities and supporting a wide range of interaction and collaboration options for students and faculty. Transparency between spaces literally puts learning on display for students and visitors. The building has achieved LEED Gold certification status.
18
View More