Since 2014, Epstein has been the on-call building architect for 55 West Monroe, a 40-story high-rise office building in Chicago that was designed in 1981. In this role, Epstein's interior architects have been called upon by the building owner, John Hancock Real Estate, to provide a variety of building improvement services for 55 West Monroe's variety of financial, technology and legal services tenants as well as design services for speculative office spaces to attract new leaseholders.
One such project was a 3,400 square foot suite located on the 24th floor, in which Epstein's interior architects designed and oversaw the construction of space featuring perimeter offices and an open work area with exposed ceilings. Epstein's design team enhanced the natural light and views throughout the space by installing workstations with low-height panels and full glass fronts at all offices. In addition, the long entrance corridor provided a design challenge that Epstein fully embraced by branding the space with glass double doors, vibrant accent paints and a stylish metal baffled ceiling, thereby creating a unique branding opportunity.
Within the spec suite Epstein designed a floating enclosed conference room which required privacy, but through the placement of large glass corners allowed for natural light to pass into the corridors and produce an added sense of openness. The Epstein selected finishes consisted of one basic palette, a color that also became the new 55 West Monroe standard, and would allow prospective tenants to easily brand and customize the space once leased.
Lastly, for this spec suite, which was completed for under $75/sf for construction and FF&E, Epstein provided the design, self-cert permitting, bidding and construction oversight. Kent Consulting Engineers was the project engineer, Corporate Office Construction as the general contractor and Henricksen serving as the furniture vendor.