Stylex debuts stunning new Chicago showroom
The Chicago division of architectural practice, Perkins + Will, have designed the Stylex’s Merchandise Mart showroom (Suite 346). Completed in 2013, the contemporary new showroom can be found in Chicago, US.
Stylex’s Merchandise Mart showroom has had a fresh redesign for the summer. The existing showroom was created by Perkins + Will Chicago to showcase Stylex products and the new Share activity-based seating system in thematic environments within a modern office setting. The three areas, which include a focused workspace, a collaborative space for meeting and discussion, and a social space where teams interact, are complemented by a dynamic wall graphic that gives the showroom a sense of greater space and places Share in the context of a standard, desk-based work setting.
We spoke with Tim Wolfe, design director of Perkins + Will Chicago:
What was the biggest challenge during the project?
The biggest challenge was figuring out the graphic wallcovering that appears to continue the showroom into a larger, traditional office space. We used a 3D modeling program to extend the showroom and create the idea that the new Share seating system could be used in an office setting. We studied different ways of viewing into that space, and the perspective we ended up choosing makes a really dynamic illustration from every angle.
How would you describe the design of the property?
We’re seeing workplace trends moving away from traditional settings and providing the freedom and opportunity for people to work as they like in three main ways: 1. Heads down office work spaces 2. Collaborative spaces 3. Social spaces where people from different groups of the office can come together for these ‘serendipity moments’ of natural interaction. The concept of the showroom design was to use Stylex’s Share system and its modularity in many different ways, and show the product in the context of an office space.
What stands out the most for you in the property?
“I think we did an amazing job of understanding the breadth of Share and then demonstrating how many different ways it can function. We were also playful with the brand, which I like. For example, with three-dimensional “Stylex” letters at the back and a subtle etched logo on the front window. The brand is featured in some more unexpected and fun ways.”
John Golden, Stylex president, said: “We worked closely with the Perkins + Will team to give the showroom a realistic office feeling. The new space explores the many different ways the Share system can be used while including a range of other popular Stylex products.”
Perkins + Will design director for the project Tim Wolfe added: “We wanted to focus on Share and its modularity and to contextualize it in a modern office environment. I think there’s a great clarity to the design.”
When entering the showroom, Share is first shown in a collaborative lounge setting. Another Share unit towards the back demonstrates the system’s task height option and pairs it with the available privacy screens. Share is also used to create a dining space based on its task height units arranged as banquettes. Other showroom features include a serviceable coffee bar and whimsical representations of the Stylex logo, such as a subtle glass etching on the front window and, elsewhere, a large sculpture using cast aluminum block letters. In addition to Share, Perkins + Will used a range of other Stylex products, including the award-winning SAVA chair.
Share, Stylex’s new work-lounge system combines task and lounge height seating surfaces in a seamless fashion appropriate for any environment where multi-functional use is critical. Stylex’s in-house design team worked closely with a group of top specifiers to create Share, a collection that truly responds to changing market needs. Share’s versatile configurations and flexible, tech-friendly charging stations add to its appeal for a wide range of contract settings.
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