Suspended between the clouds, but firmly rooted in their surroundings, the executive offices occupy the entire 32nd floor of a newly built skyscraper in the Chicago West Loop. The project fills an area of 2,600sqm, within a 224-meter high building located in the heart of the city.
Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2019
First Award | Category: Interior – Corporate (Built)
Studio: Alvisi Kirimoto
Architect: Massimo Alvisi
The architects describe the experience of encountering the space: “The moment you leave the elevators you feel as if you’re immersing yourself again in the city- at a different height and perspective but with your feet well planted in the streets of Chicago. It’s precisely the city layout with its surprises that we strive to project within this space: we stroll through pieces of contemporary and oriental art, surprised occasionally by strong colors or the unusual double-heights of a skyscraper, guided by the tight rhythm of the walls, the light and the visual axes.”
The main entrance is located in its structural core and two opposing rooms are immediately visible upon entry: on one side, the reception area and on the other, the playroom, both characterized by a large window that connects the visitor with the two faces of Chicago: the urban and the territorial.
The interiors feature floor-to-ceiling natural wood walls, glass partitions and suspended panels, which outline the different work areas. Great flexibility and transparency of the elements allows visitors to enjoy breathtaking views even in the most private areas.
Wooden walls, which are dematerialized in vertical slats to calibrate the degree of privacy and brightness, characterize the project main lines: the leitmotiv that accompanies the visitor through to the discovery of the Winter Garden, a multi-functional double-height environment that represents the project beating heart.
“From the structure of the Blues, a music that permeates the city of Chicago.”, the Architects continue, “…we have taken the concept of ‘Tension and Release’. The 3,60m ceiling height, which is absolutely extraordinary for an office, has allowed us to alternate suspended elements with sculptural elements resting on the floor. This compression and suspension game culminates in the volume of the Winter Garden: a unique space suspended in the city void, a material and tactile diaphragm that contains a space for music, art and events, as well as for meditation and reading.”
Depending on the point of view, the Winter Garden skin generates multiple perspectives and ignites an interesting game of lights and shadows. The room is completed by a bamboo suspended sculpture and a designed table with a Japanese lacquer finish.
All aspects of the project have been carefully tailored and harmonized, from custom-designed furniture to the arrangement of the lights gradation.
The use of color is weighted: at times it gives serenity, at others it draws space or defines a function.
Last but not least, art plays a definitive role: the offices host a holistic exhibition path of over 1,000sqm dedicated to some of the client’s collection pieces, in a succession of spaces that interpenetrate, overlapping with the city and generating unexpected and unconventional points of view.