Designer: ALVISIKIRIMOTO + PARTNERS|
Suspended between the clouds but firmly rooted in their surroundings, an uncommon workplace where business meets art. The Private headquarter occupy the entire 32nd floor of one of the newest skyscrapers in the Chicago West Loop, on the bank of the bank of the homonymous river, filling an area of 2.600 sqm.
The functional program of the project is clear and well defined. The main entrance to the building is located in its structural core, which encompasses all services and facilities. 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 entire system is divided into two main areas: the "front of the house" in which the most representative and aggregate functions are found, such as the board room, the Winter Garden and the restaurant area, and the "back of the house” defined by the presence of private offices and common areas.
The Winter Garden, beating heart of the project, is a wooden suspended box that makes this project unique: depending on the point of view, the skin of this unexpected box, composed of two rows of suspended offset slats, frame a central glass partition, which generating multiple perspectives and igniting a special game of lights and shadows. The room is completed by a bamboo suspended sculpture, commissioned by Japanese artist Ueno Masao, and a table designed by Junko Kirimoto, with a Japanese lacquer finish.
Even the partitions that divide some private spaces from the large common areas have been conceived as dematerialized elements, wooden or white walls that become rectangular slats, partially opening the work areas and guaranteeing the right privacy. The presence of the slats is a recurring theme, from the entrance to the walls of the offices that accompany the visitor in the complex, until the unexpected discovery of the Winter Garden.
Great flexibility and transparency of the elements allows visitors and employees to enjoy breath-taking views. The presence of many glass surfaces and wood slats reflects the desire to put the offices and closed areas in communication with the rest of the space, ensuring the right privacy and offering staff an open and innovative workplace.
Art also plays a very important role in the project, as it identifies particular spaces and serves as a backdrop for large common areas. Some selected works have a strong oriental character and especially highlight the main areas such as the Winter Garden, the boardroom, the reception and the most representative offices.
The use of colour is weighted: at times it gives serenity, at others it draws space or denes a function. Colours range from the bright orange of the playroom ceiling and the offices panels to the intense red in contrast with the gray walls, from the soothing rust of Japanese wallpaper to the regenerating white of the open workstation space. All aspects of the project have been carefully tailored and harmonized, from custom-designed furniture, such as the workstations and tables of the cafeteria, to the arrangement and choice of gradation of the lights.
Photo credits: Nic Lehoux