The Old Post Office
Chicago, IL | 130,000 SF
Located inside the landmark Old Post Office building, Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago's (FHLBC) is a celebration of its values, its employees and the communities it serves. FHLBC decided to move from a multi-floor office to the single floor space in the OPO to increase interaction among their departments and make the previously siloed departments feel more like one team.
In conjunction with the office move, FHLBC was also re-examining their branding and core values. They wanted their new office to incorporate elements of this new re-branding initiative and pay respect to the office's iconic location. The design honors FHLBC's purpose, and pays homage to the setting of their new workplace by highlighting four regions the bank serves (urban, small town, rural, and the north woods), dividing the floor to represent each region. Custom motifs were developed to exemplify each area based on the architectural forms commonly found there. This concept carries through every design aspect, with motifs incorporated into millwork and finishes throughout the space. The motifs also serve as wayfinding in the expansive layout. Additionally, an original postage scale, which was required to remain in place due to its landmark designation, created the centerpiece for an open meeting space celebrating the building's history and the company’s history through graphics of historic stamps.
Also as part of the build-out, FHLBC wanted to work with diverse vendors and highlight their inclusive culture of their staff. BOX designed a ramp that provides accessible travel to the main café and a raised area of the floor. This prominent feature weaves around stairs and creates integrated circulation for people of all abilities. Live planters, “street lights”, and casual seating along the ramp evokes sitting at a sidewalk café and encourages employee interaction in this high traffic area. In fulfilling FHLBC's mission to work with and provide opportunities to minority-owned businesses, BOX was a proud member of the XBE vendors and contractors who accounted for 70% of the project fees and costs.