IA Interior Architects designs environments for a diverse range of client types around the world. When it came time to express its own brand in its Chicago offices, the design team was determined to not only show off for potential clients, but also celebrate its local style and the personalities of its staffers.
The reception area artfully blends old and new: ornate elevator grill work pays homage to the building’s history, juxtaposed against cutting-edge materials and systems. The IA brand is displayed in a playful typographic treatment embedded in mirrored glass behind the reception desk, and also animated in a digital display.
IA introduces itself with its mission and vision writ large on client conference room glass. Flanking the reception area, IA projects and people are featured prominently on sleek and easily updatable display walls. On glass walls, graphics of architectural drawing symbols add texture and color while nodding to the details of the work being produced.
Some aspects of the office design were crowd-sourced. Employees chose the conference room names—popular Chicago music venues—and share favorite quotes on design that appear in unexpected spots. Staffers express their creativity and get to know each other by teaming up to create displays for a dedicated art wall. The first of the rotating displays was a map of Chicago made of—how appropriate for an interior design firm?—fabric swatches.