Constructed on the site of an automobile repair shop, this law firm focuses on helping its clients regain financial control and get a fresh start. The building safeguards dignity and privacy while celebrating light as a metaphor for hope. The Architecture is inspired by the American car culture with its precisely engineered metallic shell and lush comfortable interior materials.
The perforated skin veils client identity while allowing southern light to slip in. The Architect’s normative role is transgressed as 4240’s design team created the drawing directly used by the perforating machine to fabricate the 50 metal panels. The details of the custom system are incredibly simple. Each panel is bent top and bottom to span between supports. This precise bend also creates the space for the fastener assembly to reside. From the exterior the panels simply appear to hover.
During the day, a 3 dimensional pattern is visible at a distance while nothing from the interior is revealed. From the inside, a spectacular, traveling pattern of light is on display. During the evening, privacy is maintained, while the experience is reversed as light gently pours from the inside toward the street.
The roof of the building is segmented and shifted to admit reflected sunlight to the office creating an optimal day lit experience for the staff.
Spatially, the building is organized in service lanes east to west, with project teams aligned with client conference rooms. In the other direction, the spaces are coordinated from public to private, with the architecture reinforcing the designated experiences.
Finally, healthy living is promoted for the staff with a full service kitchen in which to prepare healthy meals and dine socially, a fitness center with resistance pool, and an interior meditation pond under a glazed roof.
“I appreciate a client who recognizes the emotional and physical importance of an inspiring, light-filled office environment for both clients and staff,” comments 4240 Chicago’s Design Director, Robert Benson. “With this exceptional imperative, we designed a comfortable atmosphere of hope and wellness. The spatial recognition of the human need for a sense of security and productivity contributes to both financial and personal health.”
Location: Chicago, IL, US