9Rooftops, a bold marketing agency based in Chicago, IL, relocated its office and wanted to downsize its footprint while upsizing collaboration within an inspiring atmosphere. Our team used an existing loft located in the city’s River North neighborhood – an area known for its street art and cultural music scene – to create an urban space diffused with colors of blue skies and lakes, tactile artwork, and murals from local artists.
To promote collaboration and movement, we implemented an open floor plan, segregated areas, and emphasized the different spaces with features such as custom neon signs. The ‘Culinary Creation’ area, for example, is set up for in-house events and entertaining; the ‘Collaboration’ lounge is for team gathering and brainstorming; the ‘Concentration’ section – accented by beaded metal drapery – is the central working area of the studio; and the ‘Containment’ area includes focus pods, an IT room and a mother’s room. Each area is designed to have a dual purpose, with movable furniture, that can be easily outfitted for any function. Our team also incorporated existing materials left in the space – including the lighting fixtures, partitions, glazing and some of the furniture. One challenge we ran in to was accommodating the varying sizes of the glazing panels; but we were able to create a new deep channel to hide the height difference and ensure consistency. Another challenge was figuring out how to utilize the existing light fixtures which had a range of varying styles and scales. The segregated areas helped create a flow that complements the lighting and conveys that the different fixtures were intentional instead of being reused.
The knowledge and collaboration between the team, client and consultants allowed for effective planning, flexibility, and successful interior design. NORR followed several WELL and LEED® protocols including the use of natural daylight and diming controls, removing the existing carpet, refinishing the concrete floors, and using recyclable carpet tiles and materials. These tactics all helped reduce the project’s carbon footprint. The design of the new office encapsulates 9Rooftops’ company culture and offers an ideal hybrid studio for the innovative and creative staff. It was also recognized as one of the Coolest Offices by Crain’s Chicago Business.
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Vice President, Commercial, North America
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