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H&R Wins ALA Merit Award for Simpson Technologies Design

We are pleased to announce that Holabird & Root's design of the Simpson Technologies office buildout has been selected as a Merit Award Winner by the Association of Licensed Architects through their 2015 Design Awards Program. Our firm is very excited to be nominated for this prestigious award and we are very grateful to the Simpson Group for being an exceptional client and affording the firm this opportunity.

Headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, Simpson Technologies is an international engineering company with offices around the world and they are seen as an innovator in process and control technology for the global foundry and chemical process industries. This past year, Holabird & Root was selected to complete a two-phase remodel of their interior office environment with the goal of creating a space that will help attract and retain young engineering talent and appeal to an audience of international clientele and business partners.

The first phase of contracted renovations consisted of changing the location of the breakroom to the exterior wall, moving the boardroom to be in an interior space, and renovating the lobby. Glass walls were used to bring light into the interior workspace. The desired outcome was also to make an ideal breakroom for people to enjoy, and it includes a TV with video games, foosball table, lounge and table seating. It’s also a place for all-company meetings. The breakroom is positioned along an outside wall with access to a patio space and views of a pond. In the boardroom, a video conferencing technology was added for easy communications with Simpson's Swiss office. In reception, a timeline of the company was added as well as “vintage” original pieces of equipment that the company makes. The design also opened up the ceiling in these areas to create more of a loft feel.  Materials used included glass, polished concrete, carpeting and wood.  The ceiling in the breakroom features an exposed steel structure with canted acoustical clouds to control noise.  Wood laminate and solid surface millwork define the pantry and bar space while carpeting and custom steel and glass tables define the lounge end of the room. In the boardroom, a perforated wood screen defines the ceiling and the separation between the main meeting area and a galley kitchenette, used for catering setup and beverage service.  The boardroom also features a small-scale lounge area and writable wall surfaces.  Both the boardroom and the breakroom use full height, glazed, demountable partitions that both accelerated the installation schedule and reduced on-site waste.  The mechanical systems in the building are existing and in good working order, so no major changes were made.  The entry lobby features a custom graphic timeline highlighting the history of this family-owned company alongside some of their specialized equipment.  A carpeted area and ceiling cloud define a sitting area while the remainder of the space shows off the building’s exposed structure and polished concrete floor. The entirety of the work completed for the renovation of these spaces in this office buildout took place over a time span of three months, during which employee work continued regularly. This company stayed fully occupied and active during the entirety of the renovation and remodel.

Team members on this project include Senior Interior Designer Andrea Caputo, Architectural Designer Cory Kamholz, Project Coordinator Tara Churchill, and Principal in Charge Jim Miller from Holabird & Root, with construction contract services by Leopardo. 

The Association of Licensed Architects (ALA) is an organization open to all architects and professions related to architecture. It represents architects registered or licensed in any state, territory or possession of the United States or foreign country. The ALA Design Awards Program is an annual showcase of the power of design by members. Winners are highlighted in the Winter issue of Licensed Architect magazine. 

Images courtesy of Noel Davis Photography.

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