|Just like the office spaces they've been creating recently, Interior Architects prides itself on being flexible. That's important in tough times because so many companies are waiting until the last minute to make a decision about moving or renewing, often leaving designers short on time and resources.|
We snapped Tom Powers, Richelle Allen, Robert Lilak, Kara Young, John Hopkins, R.J. Brennan and J.T. Garofalo at their Wacker Drive office yesterday. The team says the frugality of recession has given their young designers a chance to show off their creativity. But they like big projects too: Their proudest in recent years just delivered in December: Mesirow Financial's new home at 353 N. Clark, which they worked on for four years.
IA’s 35 Chicago staffers don't have one distinct style because they research how the space will be used and each client’s specific needs. Current trends include enhanced use of technology and creating less personal space to make more room for group areas. Tom says everyone wants some level of green, even when it’s not St. Paddy’s Day. And since there are no core and shell architects at IA, interiors never play second fiddle.
Here's a shot of Mesirow's reception area on the fourth floor. (We hear the receptionists just greet folks—phones are answered elsewhere in the 45-story building.) Tom tells us the design also allowed for iPod docks and moveable walls to resize rooms at will.