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Do the downsides to open office space outweigh their benefits? Is there a design solution for beating the winter blues? These are just a few questions posed to Irvine Company leaders in design, development, construction and customer leasing. From innovative biophilic design solutions to data-based future proofing, here’s what’s next for Chicago:


1. Biophilic design greens the workplace, supports employee wellness

In Chicago, we spend the nearly six months each year primarily indoors. Biophilic design uses natural elements like daylighting, outdoor views, and plants to bring the outdoors into the workplace. For example, planter boxes or living walls can be used as space dividers, serving a functional design purpose that also greens the workspace and improves indoor air quality.

Emily Kream, Director, Construction

2. A neighborhood of remarkable experiences in a single building

The Chicago office tower is a complete ecosystem. From a variety of healthy, hand-crafted foods to a state-of-the-art fitness center to the rooftop bar, we’re fitting an entire neighborhood of services into a single building. Now, customers never have to go leave their building if they don’t want to.

Greg Tait, Senior Director, Leasing

3. Statement amenities drive recruitment and retention 

Chicago businesses expect custom experiences that are intentionally designed for their needs, not a mass audience. That’s why diversionary amenities like Ping Pong tables don’t always translate into greater value. Statement amenities that reflect a company’s core values and speak to recruitment and retention priorities, like adding a mother’s room, deliver the greatest ROI.

Lauren Kelly, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer

4. Building lobbies transform into bespoke, amenity-rich spaces

Workplace lobbies are getting a makeover, moving from generic waiting rooms to bespoke, amenity-rich spaces. From dramatic art installations to craft barista stations, lobbies add real value to a company’s day, fueling collaboration, inspiration and connection.

Pam Van Nort, Regional Vice President, Portfolio Operation

5. New “library suites” solve open office acoustic control challenges

Open floor plans amplify sound, creating acoustic control challenges. A separate, sound-insulated “library” suite gives employees an alternative space for quiet concentration without losing the collaborative, open environment popular at leading-edge companies.

Beau Rawi, Regional SVP, Leasing

6. Future-proofing requires data, not assumptions

From remote work trends to the Internet of Things (IoT), technology is rapidly transforming the contemporary workplace. As we continue to study technology and its impacts, we’re designing space that preserves optionality for the future. Design decisions should be based on careful study of human behavior and space utility, and we’re focused on continuously refining our product offerings based on that research.

Roger DeWames, Vice President, Development


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