Suspended between the clouds, but firmly rooted in their surroundings, the executive offices designed by Rome-based architectural firm Alvisi Kirimoto (www.alvisikirimoto.it) occupy the entire 32nd floor of a newly built skyscraper in the lively ex-industrial district of West Loop, Chicago. The project, designed to accommodate the client's headquarters and showcase part of his art collection, fills an area of 2,600 sq. m, within a 224-meter high building located in the heart of the city, on the bank of the homonymous river.
The interiors feature floor-to-ceiling natural wood walls, glass partitions and suspended panels, which, depending on the combinations, outline the different work areas. Great flexibility and transparency of the elements allows visitors and employees to enjoy breathtaking views even in the most private areas, which are delimited by opaque surfaces.
Wooden walls, which are dematerialized in vertical slats to calibrate the degree of privacy and brightness, characterize the main lines of the project. These constitute the leitmotiv that accompanies the visitor through to the discovery of the Winter Garden, a multi-functional double-height environment that represents the beating heart of the project. Depending on the point of view, the skin of the Winter Garden, composed of two rows of suspended wooden slats that do not align with each other, frame a central transparent glass partition, which, dissolves or becomes opaque, generating multiple perspectives and igniting an interesting game of lights and shadows. Similar to a light box, the environment allows the light to be directed through a system of double darkening and filtering curtains, and to diffuse the adjacent spaces with the wooden slats.
The room is completed by a bamboo suspended sculpture by Japanese artist Ueno Masao, and a table designed by Junko Kirimoto, with a Japanese lacquer finish.
The use of color is weighted: at times it gives serenity, at others it draws space or defines a function.Colors range from the bright orange of the playroom ceiling and the suspended panels in the offices, to the intense red of the panels in contrast with the gray walls of the restaurant area, from the soothing rust of Japanese wallpaper at the entrance, to the regenerating white of the open workstation space.
Last but not least, art plays a definitive role: the offices host a holistic exhibition path of over 1,000 sq. m dedicated to some of the client's collection pieces, in a succession of spaces that interpenetrate, overlapping with the city and generating unexpected and unconventional points of view.
Project name Private Office
Location Chicago, Illinois
Completion date 2018
Gross square footage 2570 sqm
Architect Alvisi Kirimoto in collaboration with CannonDesign (Alvisi Kirimoto: concept design, schematic design, design development, furniture design, construction drawings supervision, site supervision; CannonDesign: initial planning and intent, design collaboration, local and executive architect, construction drawings)
Project team Alvisi Kirimoto team: Massimo Alvisi, Junko Kirimoto, Carolina Ossandon Avetikian, Alessio Montanari, Donato Labella, Silvia Rinalduzzi; CannonDesign team: Mark Hirons, Meg Osman, David Pugh, Angela Furman, Taofik Lasisi
Project Management ConopCo Project Management
General contractor Executive Construction Inc.
Architect of record CannonDesign
Interior designer Alvisi Kirimoto
Engineers Structural, MEP and lighting Engineer: CannonDesign
Consultants Acoustic consultant: Arup
AV and security services Environmental System Design, Inc. and Netrix
Kitchen Consultant S2o Consultants
Winter Garden Sculpture Artist Ueno Masao
Photographer ©Nic Lehoux