L'OREAL USA, the institute for ethnic hair & skin care, chicago IL
project architect / designer: amstadter architects, chicago, IL
57,400 sf, 6 levels; site selection thru 100% CD
Originally slated for a home in L'OREAL's new marketing headquarters of 'Softsheen Carson' it quickly became obvious that The INSTITUTE needed a home dedicated to the pursuits of the newly formed group.
As the serious counterpart (sister) to the whimsical fun loving marketing facility, The INSTITUTE intends to attract the most brilliant research minds, host conferences focused on leading edge technologies, be the home to their premiere teaching salon; paving the way for advancement in research & development
. . . and the architecture / interiors needed to stand up to such lofty aspirations.
Site: wanting to establish a strong city presense, easily accessible for visiting researchers, focus group participants and employee's, after many test fits, a six story former warehouse in Chicago's South Loop neighborhood was selected.
Architecture: staying true to the image standards established by L'Oreal USA, the birdcage sized windows were replaced with a subtly animated facade that would flood the interiors with light while maintaining the appropriate privacy levels.
Interiors: unfamiliar operating in a vertical stacking diagram the design emphasizes vertical connections thru consistent corporate identity markers 'branding elements' and by the use of sophisticated materials, texture
and subtle palette throughout.
Location: Chicago, IL, US