Chicago, Illinois / United States of America
Chicago’s iconic Merchandise Mart is situated on an entire square city block, and while previously recognized as a showroom property for furniture and design companies, “The Mart” has made a shift in recent years to become a hub for technology companies, with Motorola Mobility as its first large-scale tech tenant.
The move from a suburban Illinois business campus to the center of technology in Chicago and the Midwest easily placed Motorola Mobility as a contender to recruit the nation’s greatest talent, with an attractive city location in an historic building that also serves as a major downtown landmark and transportation hub. But getting there was an epic undertaking in terms of programming, design, and construction inside an 84-year-old structure.
The design process incorporated interior architecture (The Mart’s concrete columns, terrazzo floors, punched windows, and blemished walls were all preserved as a textured backdrop for the repurposed space) with modern technology, sustainability, workplace wellness, and strategic design. The 605,000-square-foot office features open, collaborative spaces, lab benching and prototyping equipment, a soaring town hall, and a variety of amenity spaces promoting serendipitous connections: micro-kitchens, a game room, and multi-purpose areas.