inFORM studio | HLA – Office for Houseal Lavigne Associates
The renovation of an eleventh floor suite in the 1926 Art Deco Metropolitan Building, located in the heart of the Chicago theater district, provided a unique opportunity for a young and progressive planning firm to increase their profile within the city of Chicago.
The original space, layered with aging ceiling tile and threadbare carpet, quickly developed into an extensive dematerialization exercise. A nervous and wary building landlord observed progress as the current building standards were set aside and the existing finishes were stripped away revealing the clarity and beauty of the original architecture.
Translucent acrylic, aluminum, stained MDF & birch panels intervene with the existing plaster covered walls and columns to produce a modern condition while preserving the found object of the existing suite. The reduction of public|private separation to its most essential condition permits the translation of the environment into a simple container for the office program; inherently forming a very open and collaborative setting. Understated detailing and responsive material considerations are expressed in each piece of custom designed millwork. Modular workstations allow for considerable layout flexibility, supported by moveable storage cabinets and desk mounted shelving.
The jury from St. Louis, Missouri selected Houseal Lavigne’s Chicago office space for a 2011 AlA Michigan Honor Award. The jury commented that the space was “harmonious, simple, clean, and pleasant, with engaging views. A great balance of glass and solid planes.”
Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Architects: inFORM studio
Project area: 2,378 sf