When a company as rooted in popular culture as McDonald’s moves its headquarters after 47 years, it’s not just a momentous business decision—it’s a statement about the way we live our lives. Changes in our attitudes toward food, work and leisure all contributed to McDonald’s move from the campus at Oak Brook to a nine-story building in Chicago’s West Loop. To make the move an architectural event worthy of its business impact, McDonald’s hired Studio O+A and IA Interior Architects to turn a lean, light-infused, shell into a celebration of the company’s spirit.
The diversity of workstyles represented here mirrors McDonald’s large embrace and illustrates the power of place to bring people together. Classic work areas and meeting rooms interact with spaces that have the look and feel of hospitality venues. Every architectural gesture functions on its own and in partnership with the spaces around it. The test kitchen at Hamburger University, for example, captures the artistry of engineering, while one floor below Jessica Stockholder’s massive sculpture made of kitchen hardware acknowledges the engineering essential to public art. Together the two spaces play variations on McDonald’s assertion that “all good things come from the kitchen.”
Similarly, a multidirectional staircase in the building’s central atrium provides a focal point, but also symbolizes the M.C. Escher-esque sensation of moving forward in many directions at once. Shared spaces up and down that atrium spell out the story. Every floor evokes a specific element of McDonald’s success—kitchen, flavors, people. And every floor celebrates innovation.
To see more amazing entries from this year’s WIN Awards please click here.