Updating a Chicago landmark to enhance the user experience.
In 2018, LJC was approached by Chicago-based developer Sterling Bay to help them identify ways to improve the tenant experience at 600W Chicago, an existing historic building that they had recently added to their real estate portfolio. The 8-story masonry building was originally designed in 1908 as the Montgomery Ward Catalog Warehouse and converted to office use in the early 2000s. Modifications made to the lobby and entry over the past 20 years were creating challenges for access, identity, and amenity space. The building is located in the thriving River North neighborhood, with public access to the Chicago Riverwalk system, but was not inviting to the community.
In collaboration with Charlie Greene Studio, LJC developed a design approach that balances the building’s history with the services and amenities that today’s office users expect. The lobby and plaza renovation focused on activating the plaza, organizing the tenant signage strategy, reconfiguring the vehicle and pedestrian drop off and entry, opening up the lobby, and adding food and retail options. The updated design clarifies the building’s identity, streamlines the entry sequence, and enhances the lobby and plaza with seating and dining options. The result is a building that is welcoming and engaging for both tenants and the neighborhood.