Primary public space

 Public contact space

Computer generated perspective

 Computer generated perspective

Relocation of Offices
Chicago, IL
Project: Plan and design office space for a prominent city/county government department on two floors of leased space.
Focus: Improve the work setting for full and part time employees while working with a limited budget. Accommodate functions accessible to the public. Move from the existing headquarters to the new space without interrupting operations. Meet a fast-track schedule allowing only 5 months from the beginning of schematic design to move-in. The 30 year lease demanded a layout with built-in flexibility.
Solution: The main public space is located off the elevator lobby. Built-in furniture was designed to easily handle groups of people with individual needs. The round reception desk acts as a visual anchor. A backdrop affords glimpses over and around walls where a second public area lies. This adjacent space contains computers and printers that grant public access to election information. The area seats nearly 90 people. During elections the space is rearrangedfor use by temporary staff.

Main staff areas are separated from public areas. Disruption from the public, previously a problem, has been eliminated. Circulation patterns are simple, making movement throughout the two floors clear and direct. Previously staff had worked in inadequate workstations. Now they have efficiently arranged workspaces with sufficient storage and worksurface.

Support areas are located in less prominent places but strategically placed to serve the staff. Adjacency requirements have been carefully met, providing optimal working relationships.

Offices for the commissioners, executive director, and administration are on a separate floor. The atmosphere there is decidedly more private, an improvement over previous conditions. A large meeting room can be divided in two and is teeming with activity when it becomes "Election Central" on election nights.

Accomplishments: Our programming efforts identified functions prone to change and those with stability. The public corridors and shape of the building perimeter created "islands" of space that we used to isolate static functions from those requiring adaptability.

The project was completed within budget and on schedule. Move-in occurred over a weekend. On Monday preparation for the next local election was in full swing and passed without a problem. The space is highly efficient and a pleasant place in which to visit and work. The positive effect on employees and management was immediate and appreciated.


Project size: 46,500 sf
Headcount: 170

© 2003 Davis Associates Architects & Consultants, Inc.
53 West Jackson Boulevard,
Chicago, IL 60604-3606
Phone (312)922-6050

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