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4240 Architecture Inc

4240 Architecture Inc

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Taking a cue from the history of the site, the Architecture of this law office building is imbued with a sense of American car culture. Similar to the structure of an automobile, sleek, precise lines of material are formed into a distinct exterior tectonic. (photo by R.Benson)
Taking a cue from the history of the site, the Architecture of this law office building is imbued with a sense of American car culture. Similar to the structure of an automobile, sleek, precise lines of material are formed into a distinct exterior tectonic. (photo by R.Benson)
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Chicago Law Firm

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.”

 
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Status: Built
Location: Chicago, IL, US

 
 (photo by R.Benson)
(photo by R.Benson)
Custom designed, the scrim perforations emulate a sheet of carbon fiber conforming to the curves of an automobile. (photo by Greg Murphey)
Custom designed, the scrim perforations emulate a sheet of carbon fiber conforming to the curves of an automobile. (photo by Greg Murphey)
 (photo by R.Benson)
(photo by R.Benson)
On the inside, smooth, luxurious warm tones of wood, leather and color delight the senses. The structural rhythm of the building is slim and narrow, supportive of distinctly human proportions. The spaces are defined by gently sloping surfaces of metal, glass, wood and gypsum. (photo by Greg Murphey)
On the inside, smooth, luxurious warm tones of wood, leather and color delight the senses. The structural rhythm of the building is slim and narrow, supportive of distinctly human proportions. The spaces are defined by gently sloping surfaces of metal, glass, wood and gypsum. (photo by Greg Murphey)
The deposition / conference room is made comfortable with warm, deep brown custom millwork, natural light and continued privacy provided by the street-side screen and translucent frosted windows. (photo by Greg Murphey)
The deposition / conference room is made comfortable with warm, deep brown custom millwork, natural light and continued privacy provided by the street-side screen and translucent frosted windows. (photo by Greg Murphey)
The perforated scrim balances light and privacy beautifully. Each panel is unique. The details of the custom system are incredibly simple. (photo by R.Benson)
The perforated scrim balances light and privacy beautifully. Each panel is unique. The details of the custom system are incredibly simple. (photo by R.Benson)
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. (photo by R.Benson)
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. (photo by R.Benson)
While maintaining complete privacy, the executive offices are day-lit year round. (photo by Greg Murphey)
While maintaining complete privacy, the executive offices are day-lit year round. (photo by Greg Murphey)
Light dances upon these angled surfaces and becomes the most important material of the building. (photo by R.Benson)
Light dances upon these angled surfaces and becomes the most important material of the building. (photo by R.Benson)
Another band of glass, this time in plane with the roof, fills a landscaped space. The high ceilings, open workspace and furniture design respond to staff circulation patterns and stimulate communication with transparency. Opaque barriers are absent while personal space is retained. (photo by Greg Murphey)
Another band of glass, this time in plane with the roof, fills a landscaped space. The high ceilings, open workspace and furniture design respond to staff circulation patterns and stimulate communication with transparency. Opaque barriers are absent while personal space is retained. (photo by Greg Murphey)
 (photo by Greg Murphey)
(photo by Greg Murphey)
 (photo by Greg Murphey)
(photo by Greg Murphey)
This professional environment is a balance of work with fitness, rest and a healthy diet for the attorneys and staff that spend long days and nights in service to these clients. Private amenities include an elaborate training/fitness center, lounge area and a stunning, professional grade gourmet kitchen. (photo by Greg Murphey)
This professional environment is a balance of work with fitness, rest and a healthy diet for the attorneys and staff that spend long days and nights in service to these clients. Private amenities include an elaborate training/fitness center, lounge area and a stunning, professional grade gourmet kitchen. (photo by Greg Murphey)
In the evening the appearance of the building is transformed as the taut, opaque scrim allows light to gently pour into the street. (photo by Greg Murphey)
In the evening the appearance of the building is transformed as the taut, opaque scrim allows light to gently pour into the street. (photo by Greg Murphey)

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