Public Space: Entrance Lobby, River North


Chicago, Illinois, USA

The spirit of the loft-building influence, early 20th century architecture and hard-working materials inspired the renovation of a commercial building’s tiny lobby nestled in Chicago’s celebrated River North gallery area.

Utilizing an experiential design strategy, the space was de-cluttered, and visually organized. Damage resistance and unique product systems were integrated seamlessly in the compact entrance lobby serving commercial tenants and an artistic urban culture.

The original lobby daylighting and transparency was restored with a clear glass transom. A dramatic reference to the building’s exterior arched portal, a curved, suspended metal ceiling system with brass cloth provides a base for an indirect/direct lighting application. The marquee-like colored area above the ceiling system enhances the verticality and volume established at the entrance portal.

New durable materials— exposed modular cement board, aluminum reveal trim, and textured clay floor tile— are juxtaposed with common brick found elsewhere in the building. Visitors benefit from the confidence in performance of the materials used and the improved visual clarity helping to articulate function.

“Thank you for your excellent design and construction management of the lobby space on West Hubbard Street. Your design captures the spirit of the hard-working loft building and provides a dramatic introduction to [the tenants’ businesses].”

– Owner

Honorable Mention Will Ching FIBD Design Award Edwin F. Guth Memorial Award of Excellence for Interior Lighting Design Chicago Illumination Design Award Award of Merit for Lighting Excellence