Louis Sullivan’s last built commission, the Krause Music Store, is restored and reused as the new home of a marketing and communications office. The two-story masonry building and its elaborate terra-cotta façade, completed in 1922, was designated as a Chicago Landmark in 1977 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.
The zone directly behind the façade was kept intact to provide a transition between the old and new, and the busy street and quiet office. Repetitive scrims echo the depth of this zone, establishing a succession of defined spaces that carry from storefront to rear garden. The veil-like translucent dividers, which align on center axis to reinforce the façade’s symmetry, provide a zone of visual privacy for the open workstations and glass-enclosed offices.
A new bay window in the building’s rear employs the same proportion as the landmarked façade, projecting out into the garden to provide an informal place to work, view, or immerse in nature from within.
In addition to visual, spatial and functional requirements to support a highly collaborative workplace, the owner’s criteria for their new office also included their spiritual needs. A Feng Shui Master consulted on optimal placement of the various functions, accessible garden, and meditation room.
Studio V’s new workplace is the unifier between urban and garden, inorganic and organic.
Interiors: Wheeler Kearns Architects (Sharlene Young, founder of Symbiotic Living)
Facade Restoration: Mcguire Igleski & Associates
Structural Engineer: Enspect Engineering
Construction: Goldberg General Contracting
Photography: Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing