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Corporate Headquarters Relocation, AbelsonTaylor
Chicago, IL
Collaboration alley.
Adaptive reuse of a historic building creates a vibrant social workspace.
Fostering creative collaboration
AbelsonTaylor, among the world’s most renowned health and wellness advertising agencies and a prior client, reached out to HED to design their new space in Chicago's historic Old Post Office. The goals included activating the space into one that would energize creativity and attract top talent, create a space that is vibrant, connected, and inspires a greater sense of collaboration, as well as exposing the creative process to those moving through the space.

Just as the alleys throughout Chicago serve as a network to support and link the city, HED designed Collaboration Alley to serve as a connection between the split levels of the 85,000 sf office space. The flexible space supports the agency's creative process and fosters a behind-the-scenes view into the agency's concept evolution, idea exploration and development.

The concept was pushed even further by adding team rooms that perpendicularly join up with the alley like ribs coming off a spine, with plenty of different height surfaces, seating, and a system of lightweight tackable surfaces that display work in stands throughout the alley or on tracks in the team rooms. This keeps the work constantly on exhibit for anyone to see and contribute to.
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Results
Located in the iconic landmark Old Chicago Post Office, HED developed a design for Abelson Taylor’s new headquarters to maximize natural light and increase collaborative areas and incorporated the few remaining post office artifacts into the final design: green and black floor tile, original to the building and carefully restored, and two large postal vaults were transformed into focus rooms.
Bold wall murals by AbelsonTaylor staff create one-of-a-kind visual experiences throughout the new workplace. Selected in an agency-wide competition, the original works by Colin Craig, Rich How and Eric Pernod present vivid color and diverse artistic styles that highlight AT’s distinctive brand personality.
The 85,000-sf space enables unprecedented freedom to individuals to choose how and where they work, with a dedicated workstation for each employee, 27 focus rooms, 5 open collaboration spaces, 19 conference rooms, 17 flex rooms, and 2 large cafes.
With changes in the size and composition of our agency and the way we work, we needed a more open, collaborative environment and the ability to grow and change in place. Our new workplace gives us that. It’s dynamic, expansive, and brings us together in dozens of inspiring spaces to collaborate.”
Dale Taylor
CEO, AbelsonTaylor
Project Data
Corporate Headquarters Relocation 2018-04680-000
AbelsonTaylor, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois
PROJECT SCOPE
Renovation
HED ROLE
Design Architect
RSF/GSF
85,000
CONSTRUCTION COST
WND
SUSTAINABILITY LEVEL
LEED Certified Equivalent
Project Team
  • Enrique Suarez
    AIA, LEED AP BD+C
    Principal
    Corporate Marketing Leader
  • Pamela Johnson
    LEED Green Assoc.
    Interior Architecture
  • Ellie Green
    Interior Architecture
Adaptive reuse of a historic building creates a vibrant social workspace.
Corporate Headquarters Relocation, AbelsonTaylor
Chicago, IL
PROJECT DATA
PROJECT TEAM
Collaboration alley.