600 West Chicago Amenity Spaces

Charlie Greene Studio‘s creative direction for the 600 West Chicago Amenity Spaces was influenced by the building’s history and former uses at its prominent waterfront location.

  • area / size 24,000 sqft
  • Year 2019
  • When it was built in 1908 at the bend of the Chicago River, 600 West Chicago housed the Montgomery Ward catalog warehouse. After the demise of Montgomery Ward in the 1990s, the building was redeveloped as a data center. Since that time, it has become the headquarters for some of Chicago’s largest and most innovative tech companies. To further cater to these tenants, CGS was hired to set the creative identity for the building and design the entry, lobby spaces, and public areas on the first floor, as well as signage and wayfinding throughout.

    The current entry point was originally designed as the receiving area for merchandise, with first trains and then trucks accessing the building at this point. The design team found that the efficient circulation developed for these vehicles also provides efficient circulation for the 5,000 tenants in the building, and the romantic vision of steam traveling upwards in the loading area from steam engines informed the light and kinetic mobile structure hovering in the building’s atrium.

    The large reception desk anchors the space, while the tipped brick feature wall behind the desk mimics the dappled effect of sunlight on water. Beyond, the elevator door shrouds celebrate entry, and space is capped with a lid of light.

    Design: Charlie Greene Studio
    Photography: Hall + Merrick Photographers