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PRAIRIE MANAGEMENT GROUP OFFICE, ILLINOIS
Tuesday 31 Jan 2012
Executive investment offices for a retired design entrepreneur, the founder of a national home furnishings retailer, provided the opportunity to leverage the client's passion for clean, bold modern design into a dramatic, light-filled investment office environment showcasing the client's extensive glass and ceramic art collection.
Inserted into a single-story speculative office suite, the 7,500-square-foot facility is organized around three compositional elements: the building's exposed structural steel columns and central ridge beam, full-height glass screen walls, and a custom maple "pavilion."
The first design objective was to highlight the connection to the outdoors and the restored prairie grass meadow beyond through modified, full-height perimeter windows. The maple pavilion anchors the conference and pass-through café environment with built-in cabinetry and acoustic ceilings framing the view to the prairie and housing common office support functions.
The second design objective was to create a seamless flow throughout the space. The pass-through café acts as an anchor for the overall office composition. The café is also the confluence of the three primary compositional elements in one space, providing a central gathering and staging area for office staff in an informal setting.
The central glass screen wall parallels the line of the building's structural steel, modulating the plan's overall organization and framing views to, and channeling light from, the meadow beyond.
The façade of each executive office is framed by the full-height glass screen wall, allowing views and light to penetrate the entire space.
Simple custom office furniture, bold geometric shapes and the display of select art glass in sunlight emphasize the classic material and color palette of maple woodwork, white walls and gray accents.
Vistas through thin white frames link a line-of-sight orientation to the conference room from the executive office, visually expanding the volume of each.
Aligned along the garden edge, the conference room-with its oversized pivot-door entrance-is configured to allow space to flow from the adjacent reception area with visual access to the executive office beyond.
The simple, classic interior composition of thin glass frames and bold clear millwork forms rendered in a timeless color palette contrast with the host structure's expressed structural steel-all awash in natural light-creating a platform in which the appreciation of fine art, design and nature enables a pioneering entrepreneur to continue his life-long passion for creating business value through design.