Our Office, Our Neighborhood

Mar 03, 2017

We took some time this February to explore the context we work in: the Ravenswood industrial corridor, and of course, our office.  We looked at the history of our building, walked beside and under train tracks, and discovered some local establishments that were new to us.  In all of this, we hoped to find beauty in the ordinary, something we do often in our work.  

This industrial building was renovated in 1989 by Edward Noonan — our office is located here. One side of the facade features windows peeled back from the concrete structure of the building. 

Our office is located in a building known as "The Airstream building" because it has a 1960s Airstream trailer on the roof, visible from the CTA Brown Line. The Airstream itself has been deemed the building's "Conference Center." Because of this feature, the building has been a regular participant in Open House Chicago presented by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.

A view beyond the Airstream to downtown.

The O'Hare flight path is overhead.  Up on the roof deck, one can watch the planes pass by.

We have a quirky, fuzzy ceiling in the office, and exposed concrete columns.

We're pretty proud of our new logo, so we had a fun half hour applying it in vinyl on doors and walls in our office.  

Here's a photo from last summer — we're keeping cool in the office using some window props.  Our windows face south and overlook the gap between our building and Skol Manufacturing, which has bits of ivy growing on the wall.  

Many of our projects are in Ravenswood and surrounding neighborhoods. One dominant element of the area is an industrial corridor hugging the Metra and CTA lines that cuts through residential pockets. 

Not exactly what we would do if we were designing from scratch, but one can appreciate layered materials, screens, the vernacular brickwork, infill, and the coordinated landscaping at a neighbor's building.  

Grey on grey on grey. We try to stick along Ravenswood for happy hour. Band of Bohemia.

A classic brick industrial building converted to offices along the Ravenswood corridor.

The little strip between the road and the Metra tracks employs sheet piling for earth retention.

A working lunch at one of our "spots," River Valley Farmer's Table.