American Planning Association

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The American Planning Association’s old offices were just that – offices. It was all about barriers.

Moving to a new building is a new beginning. With evident symbolism, the walls and ceiling of the elevator lobby are wrapped with an aerial photograph of the surrounding city of Chicago with the APA building at its center.

Upon entering the space the emphasis on collaboration and openness is also evident.

The reception area is not a barrier but a meeting place. All the functions of the staff lounge and kitchen have been moved “forward” to surround the Associations collection of museum quality furniture. Informal and formal conference rooms surround the central open space. By day and for special events the reception area is a place where staff can meet with the many members that visit the headquarters.

The office environment itself has been transformed. Workbenches have replaced most private offices allowing eye contact, with lots of space for impromptu meetings. The remaining private offices are glass on two of four sides. Visually the space is ordered, well planned and most of all, open and accessible.

Valerio Dewalt Train Associates
General contractor
Executive Construction Inc.
Chicago, Illinois