Take a tour of some of the Windy City’s slickest advertising spaces
The Midwest’s largest city is renowned for its distinctive architecture, with its Gothic revival towers, spooky Greystones and turn-of-the-century Chicago School commercial behemoths. Its skyline features some of the most recognisable skyscrapers in the world and its advertising community is well represented among them.
Here’s a selection of some of the most impressive offices the Chicago industry has to offer, from the sleek and futuristic to the imposing and iconic. Prepare yourself for some serious workplace envy.
FCB Chicago have occupied five floors of the John Hancock Building since 2013. Designed with TPG Architecture in New York, lots of wood elements and upholstered furnishings add warmth to the black, white and grey colour palette.
It’s fully kitted out for a collaborative creative process with open meeting areas on each floor, sofas and work tables all over the place and a sleek screening room. There’s also a full service coffee bar, where any IPG employee in the building can enjoy coffee and smoothies made by their baristas. All proceeds are donated to Chicago Cares, an organization committed to getting professionals in the city of Chicago involved with local Charities.
The bar runs a themed happy hour every month and twice a year they hold a Maker’s Market where employees sell stuff like jewellery, ceramics, cakes, prints, wall banners and homemade cards.
The historic Chicago Courthouse Place building, located in the bustling River North, just moments from shopping haven the Magnificent Mile, has been home to Whitehouse since 1995. However, the landmark building which was erected in 1893, has its own storied past in local culture. The courthouse was host to several legendary murder trials,including legendary mob boss Al Capone, and a few criminals were actually executed by hanging on the premises.
In more recent years, the space still attracts great attention but more for Bruce Bolander's architectural design then its connections with mob murder mysteries. In 2010 Whitehouse commissioned the architect, who designed their offices in New York and Los Angeles to re-imagine their Chicago space.
Bolander's renovated space utilised high ceilings, light floors and splashes of colour on the walls to keep things bright to combat the legendary long, grey Chicago winters. Sticking true to the company's roots, the offices is well stocked with Midwest-made furniture whilst a set of purposely awkward portraits adorn its walls to greet incoming visitors.
It's a collaborative space which Whitehouse share with their sister production company Cap Gun and Visual Effects company Carbon.On the contrary to its grizzly past it's now a space that's literally bringing people together and In a twist of fate, instead of grizzly murders it's a successful client event venue.In previous years they've hosted Kentucky Derby parties, Sweet Sixteen's, Tiki parties and some clients have even had weddings there.
Framestore only moved into their Chicago office on May 1, 2017. They’re R/GA’s neighbours in the West Loop / Greektown area, just a few blocks South of restaurant row on Randolph Street.
It’s important to Framestore that their office be used not only for industry and client-related activities, but as a creative space for people in the community to use to promote the arts and arts education. They’re creating a program that will be ready to launch later this year.
The minute you walk in the space you get a sense of Framestore’s company culture. It’s filled with natural light and multiple open, communal areas, and there are some rooms that have been left empty, open for future growth and expansion. It was designed by Architect Steven Wakenshaw of DHD Architecture and Interior Design.
The art on the walls includes concept art from a film or commercial that meant something to one of the employees or was a milestone for the company. As with every Framestore office, they’ve turned one area into the Framestore Zoo: photographs, models, and drawings featuring one of the many characters and creatures Framestore has created or re-imagined for 3D, such as the Geico Gecko and Tony the Tiger.
And for the centrepiece – their state of the art telecine suite with its gorgeous design and angular walls. They plan to feature a rotation of projection mapped pieces designed by one of their VFX artists.
The Leo Burnett building on 35 West Wacker is a genuine highlight of the Chicago skyline. Designed by world renowned architecture firm Roche Dinkeloo & Associates and built in 1989, the soaring 50-story, 1.1-million-square-foot landmark office tower enjoys breathtaking 360-degree views of the Chicago River, Lake Michigan and the Chicago skyline.