Kraft Foods

Northfield, Illinois / United States of America

This campus building stretches over 7 wings and 4 floors, common spaces were disconnected from the people; work styles were secluded; high panel cubes, grandiose private offices and a decadent 'executive floor', all at odds with the spirit of a company trying to reinvent itself. 
The challenge was to rejuvenate the campus, breathe life into its connecting common spaces, create variation in work settings, free people from their desks as the sole place of work, and facilitate open collaboration and debate. 

Our approach was two pronged, firstly tackling the 350,000SF workplace environment of desks, open seating and enclosed rooms; secondly the 250,000SF campus spaces between; arrival into the building and vertical circulation through the atrium, changing places people previously circulated 'through' into places in their own right, where they can meet & gather. 

The heart of the project was the redesign of the vertical circulation through the 4 story central atrium, and the transition to the workspace. Escalators were replaced with wide stairs, bleachers & catwalks promoting chance interactions supported by adjacent open area workspaces. Individual business units within the company celebrate their own brand identity, 'Portals' define the transition from common space to their workspace.

Architect of record

John Burjek
Whitney Architects
700 Commerce Dr., Suite 350
Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
Phone: 630-571-1118

Associate architect

Melissa Bogusch
Whitney Architects
700 Commerce Dr., Suite 350
Oak Brook, IL 60523, USA
Phone: 630-571-1118

General contractor

John Angelovich
Turner Construction
55 E. Monroe St., Suite 3100
Chicago, IL 60603, USA
Phone: 312-327-2770

Consultant 1

Anthony Garcia
ESD (Environmental Systems Design)
175 W Jackson Blvd, Suite 1400
Chicago, IL 60604, USA
Phone: 312-372-1200

Consultant 2

John Haas
Cushman & Wakefield
3 Lakes Drive
Northfield, IL 60093, USA
Phone: 847-646-0068


Christopher Barrett
Christopher Barrett Photography
3305 Wisconsin Ave.
Berwyn, IL 60402, USA
Phone: 708-317-5700