Epstein's interior design team transformed the 12,000 square foot main entrance and building lobby at 500 West Monroe office building in partnership with JC Anderson, the general contractor, and building owners Piedmont Office Realty Trust, who acquired the tower in 2011. This transformation was the result of Piedmont's desire to make 500 West Monroe a more competitive building in its quest to attract new tenants and improving the building experience for its current leaseholders.
At the main entry, Epstein, working with a budget of $415/sf, replaced the heavy brass framed glazing system with a new frameless, clear glazing system to create a more contemporary street presence and increase natural light. In addition, a new custom light fixture, new granite pavers and new signage also grace the entry rotunda. And along the Monroe Street arcade, new lighting and granite pavers accent the colonnade and brighten the approach to further enhance the curb appeal for this 45-story office tower designed in 1991 and formerly known as the Heller International Building.
In the building lobby, Epstein's designers replaced the light fixtures with new, recessed linear LED fixtures to provide a more controllable and uniform lighting experience. The existing wood ceilings were replaced with a backlit, stretched fabric ceiling panel creating a brighter and more pleasing environment. Additionally, Epstein removed the backlit onyx walls and replaced them with large clear glazed openings to bring in more natural light and create a connection to the streetscape.
The non-structural column enclosures in the lobby were also reduced to lighten the space, open the views and increase daylight into the space. In addition, the interior fountains and pools were removed and replaced with new seating groups and furniture pieces were updated to provide a more inviting and activated lobby. Epstein's interior architects also designed a new reception desk and moved it to a centralized location for increased security coverage for the lobby as well as to accommodate the latest advances in technology.
In the elevator vestibules, Epstein's design team updated the light fixtures and ceilings to coordinate with the new building lobby. The existing bronze elevator doors and frames were refinished to stainless steel for a more contemporary feel, in keeping with the rest of the newly refinished lobby. In addition, elevator cabs received new lighting and finishes. And to complete the new vision for the lobby, new artwork by painter Ted Stanuga, photographer Doug Fogelson and sculpture Carprice Pierucci, was commissioned in partnership with Amy King of King Art Collective, to harmonize the interior design and enhance the visitor experience.
Lastly, Epstein's design of 500 West Monroe has already had immediate and significant economic impact for Piedmont as in late September, Motorola Solutions completed their move of 800 workers into roughly 150,000 square feet (approximately 15% of the entire building) of space on six floors, much of that space had sat vacant for years.