LEED ID+C: Commercial Interiors v2009
Cannon Design Chicago Office Relocation
LEED Platinum 2012
The vision for the project was to develop a high-performance office space that reinforces a design culture and enables collaboration.
Over Memorial Day weekend 2012, Cannon Design's Chicago office relocated to Michigan Plaza, two adjacent mixed-use office towers in Chicago's Central Business District. The company's former longtime home spread employees and operations across four different floors, so this move marks a watershed: for the first time Chicago office employees are able to occupy a single, contiguous 60,000 square foot (ft2 ) floor that bridges between two buildings. This space represents a 20% reduction from the firm's previous 72,000 ft2 footprint while allowing for an increase in collaborative workspace.
The space employs a workplace strategy customized for the architecture, design and engineering firm: 99% of our staff—from intern to principal—is seated in open workstations. The workstations themselves are a custom solution—a radial layout of the benches allows for 225 employee seats while at the same time providing areas for break-out.
At the heart of the office is a large cafe space, designed to encourage people to congregate in a centralized area. Technology further enhances our ability to share ideas as remote terminals and monitors throughout the space allow employees to log into their workstation.
Ultimately, this is a workplace designed for the benefit of the people that work in it. Prior to relocating to this space, the project team conducted an online survey open to all employees to estimate the percentage of time employees dedicate to formal and informal collaboration, learning, personal head-down work time and socialization. The space plan for the project responded to needs identified in this survey. In all, there are 20 different workplace setting types offered for all to use to encourage all Cannon Design employees to work in the manner that best suits their style and the task at hand.
For an interior fit-out, site selection was critical. Cannon Design selected an urban site with excellent access to public transit—more than 1400 commuter rail and elevated train trips per day within a ½ mile walk from the office. This consideration was critical because only 8% of the 225-person office commute to the workplace using single-occupant vehicles.