14th Floor Offices
Completion: April 2015
The 14th floor office expansion at 35 East Wacker in Chicago needed to be a simple design that would accommodate a diverse and changing environment. The typical floor plate at 35 East Wacker is a large open core that, for the client, served as an obstacle for both flexibility and divisibility. An animated ceiling and a decorative gate was designed to combat those shortcomings.
The ceiling and gate work together to invite guests down corridors that otherwise would have been long, uninspired spaces. The ceiling navigates through a narrow and jagged hall that changes density with the hallway’s width. The ceiling that we created consists of 800 acrylic petals, each of different shape and color, which serves to draw employees and guests through a shortcut that they otherwise might overlook.
The gate provides an animated atmosphere with a patterned screen that casts a similarly-patterned light on the ground. When open, the 40-foot-long gate decorates a long corridor. When it is in use, it provides security by limiting access from the main elevators. A CNC machine carefully milled the birch plywood used in the gate, paying particular attention to the radius of the cut edges, so the grain of the wood is showcased.