May 4, 2017

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For this weeks Epstein Throwback Thursday we take a relatively short trip back in time to May 1992 for the completion of the redesigned interior office and production space for Capps Studio Chicago, the in-house production department for Leo Burnett, the Chicago-based leader in global advertising. This 30,000 square foot space was designed by our interior design subsidiary at the time, Interior Space International (ISI), and was located within the 35 W. Wacker Drive building, a Class A a 50-story post-modern high-rise completed in 1989.

Reception area millwork & furniture (left) & Detail of work station 'stick' wall system (right)

ISI was challenged with creating architecture based on developing an efficient and highly functional work-flow plan as well as the daunting fact that Capps needed to be operational in a mere 20 weeks. Other design/program challenges included addressing the emerging advanced digital technology requirements of the day and enhancing interaction between the various advertising agency creatives and Capps production team who in 92 were working on campaigns for clients like McDonalds, Disney and Kelloggs.


Photo lab production area (left) & Corridor view of individual workspaces & 'stick' wall system (right)

The ultimate design solution featured a steel "stick wall" system and cork wall planes which provided an architectural order to the plan. The perimeter office wall featured a custom fabricated wall system with lexan screens supported by a unistrut column to create a freestanding wall. By opening the space, both vertically and horizontally, ISI expanded the dimensional quality of the typically confining slab to slab floor plate. And most importantly, the new open space promoted interaction between Leo Burnetts creatives and the Capps Studio production floor employees.


View toward reception from elevator lobby (left) & Corridor view of cork wall element and individual work spaces (right)

In addition to the interior design work of ISI, Epsteins MEP/FP engineers provided complete design services for this space which required significant mechanical, plumbing and electrical demands.

Lastly, this space, in the 25 year old photos seen here, still looks modern and contemporary, which is probably why in 93 our design for Capps Studio was awarded an Interior Architecture Distinguished Building Award by the Chicago Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.