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Exhibiting Sustainability, Subtly and Overtly: Legat Architects’ New Gurnee Studio

December 7, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Opening a new design studio requires catering to the needs of the employees while also being attractive to clientele. For Legat Architects, their new Gurnee office was also an opportunity to express the firm’s core values of design, performance and sustainability.
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The Right Window Means a New Lease on Life … and New Leases

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

The elder sibling of Prudential Plaza turns 60 this year. As a birthday gift, it’s getting a $100 million upgrade which includes new mechanical systems, a 10,000 square foot outdoor deck and other improvements. The most extensive change, however, is hidden in plain sight: the replacement of every window in the building’s façade.
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Sculpting a Green Office

March 26, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action.” So begins a quote often attributed to Michelangelo. “I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to other eyes as mine see it.”

The eight-story building at 20 North Michigan Avenue was such a sculpture—a green, innovative office building trapped in an aging warehouse. It just took a little foresight and years of carving to release it.
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Motorola, Mobilized

January 15, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

This is not just a workspace, it is a rebirth. Motorola Mobility has had a turbulent last few years; first being disjoined from the storied Motorola, Inc. to being purchased by Google and ultimately sold off to Chinese technology firm Lenovo. Amidst all this, the company moved its headquarters into a new, vibrant space in the Merchandise Mart.
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The Gilded Tower: Luxury Apartment Building Obtains LEED Gold

September 18, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

southeast_corner_smallStocked with amenities and attired in several layers of luxury, a new rental tower opened in Streeterville last year. This June, 500 Lake Shore Drive received LEED Gold certification from the USGBC, attesting to the demand for not just opulence but sustainability in the upscale housing market.
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Intelligent Growth in Wilmette

December 18, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

8804-143_5512By Matt Baker

Picture, if you will, a public works facility somewhere in suburban Chicago. You are likely envisioning walls made of concrete masonry units, a bowstring truss roof and maybe some pebbled, chicken wire glass letting in meager light. For most industrial facilities of a certain age, this is de rigueur.

It was true in the village of Wilmette, too. Before a series of expansions, cramped and outdated work spaces reduced the Wilmette Public Works Department’s effectiveness. And when the village decided to upgrade, they took sustainability into mind.
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Cannon Design Does More With Less

December 13, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Cannon Design’s Chicago office once occupied three stories and about 80,000 square feet at 111 W. Washington. This year, they moved into one floor spanning between the buildings at 205 and 225 N. Michigan. But don’t call the 60,000 square feet of space in Michigan Plaza a step down; Cannon Design has proved that less really can be more.
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Environmental Law & Policy Center Sets the Standard for Downtown Offices

June 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

Operating under the premise that ecological progress and economic development are not mutually exclusive, the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) advocates for sustainability policies across the Midwest. Founded in 1993, the non-profit, public interest organization has notched a number of victories, especially lately. Illinois utilities, for example, must increase solar energy purchasing starting next year, legislation due largely to the efforts of the ELPC. They also helped broker the nation’s largest urban solar plant, which was installed in 2010 on the city’s Pullman neighborhood. The multidisciplinary staff is now focused on cleaning the Chicago River, installing controls at coal plants and bringing high speed rail to the Midwest.
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The Taxman Cometh: Ernst & Young’s Green Office and Green Agenda

March 9, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

In 2009, Ernst & Young moved out of their marquee address—the 110-story Willis Tower—into a newer structure up the river. Owned by a joint venture of two John Buck Company funds, Chicago-based investor Brijus Properties and Morgan Stanley’s Prime Property Fund, 155 North Wacker wooed the professional services giant away.
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Hubble Middle School: Designing for the Future

December 16, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

By Matt Baker

When School District 200 approached Legat Architects seeking a firm to design a new middle school for the Wheaton/Warrenville area, they had specific requests and parameters. What school officials didn’t expect was to have the tables turned on them. “If you were to design your own workspace or classroom, what would you design it to be?” That’s the question Legat’s Patrick Brosnan, who served as principal on the project, put to the faculty and staff. “In fifty years, how would you be using the classroom? Because it will still be there in fifty years.”
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