Arlington Heights Light Industrial Adaptive Reuse

Arlington Heights, Illinois / United States of America

Three years ago the owner of a local light manufacturing company approached our firm to design a new corporate headquarters.  They wanted to build a new space to provide more room for their expanding business and also improve upon the culture of the company.  Specifically they were trying to break down barriers between the various departments, improving communication and collaboration, while also increasing the amenities available to employees.

After looking at many sites for a new building, the owner decided that the adaptive reuse of an existing structure was a more viable alternative for both economic and sustainability reasons.  The building chosen was an old plating company that had been twice renovated and turned into a banal office environment.  A dropped acoustical tile ceiling had been added twelve feet below the existing high bay roof structure and high walled cubicles littered the space.  Above the ceiling tiles, we were surprised to find clear smoke hatches that acted as skylights and bathed a large steel crane rail with light.

Our renovation involved removing the entire ceiling and exposing the structure to create a light filled open environment.  Within that space, we slid in a hanging glass conference room that is perched on top of the old crane rail.  The detailing of the conference room takes its cues from the industrial quality of the existing structure and the light quality of the sun filled space. 

Taking a similar approach in front, we opened up large windows that had been hidden to expose the existing garden and connect it to a new kitchen and lounge area inside.  We moved the entry from within the garden to the side of the building and the garden became the center of a new employee amenity area that also includes a new gym, library, and game room. 

Architect of Record

Wefing Design Studio



General Contractor

Reed Construction


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