Sukhman Yagoda Law Offices

Type: Workspace
Program: Private Offices, Open Work Space, Lounge, Kitchenette, Storage
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Status: Completed 2018
Brief: Rehabilitation of a 4000 SF office, including custom cabinetry and furniture

When visiting this understated top floor manufacturing loft for the first time, we were captivated by its distressed timber structure, robust masonry walls, and the dynamic qualities of natural light. The southern and eastern orientations captures the immediate city context, the noise of the elevated trains, and the views of Chicago’s most iconic architecture. In our mind’s eye, these spatial nuances needed to be highlighted and experienced by all users of our client’s new law firm.

The iterative development of the office plan yielded a choreographed configuration of heavy posts in various proximities to new partitions, openings, and circulation. Blank white walls weave in and out of the building’s columnar forest, like a sculptural installation, reflecting light and absorbing shadows. Offices with greater privacy needs are separated and pulled away from the adjacent exposures, forming a light-filled lounge at a corner pivot space. Extra-large openings are cut out in the new walls, enabling a direct working connection between the partners and their supporting legal team. Underlined in blackened steel these large apertures act as visual conduits to the exterior and facilitate direct daylight deep into the inner working zones.

The heart of the office environment is anchored by plant life, via a delicate field of ivy, serving as a separation between work space and the kitchenette. Rooted within the main storage element, the translucent green screen lightens the massiveness of this object visually suspending it from the heavy timber beam. Unlike the storage element, the block like desks anchor the work area. Intended for flexible use, these work stations are oriented in the direction to maximize city views both through and in between the perimeter white walls.

Opportunities to design within timeworn structures showcases the significance of preserving and revitalizing Chicago’s building infrastructure. This project exemplifies how thoughtful planning and organization is able to enrich the daily experience of the individuals using this space.