The American Library Association (ALA) was looking to relocate from its long-time office in Chicago and tapped us to deliver a new space that would excite and motivate staff. The association also hoped the new office would elevate company culture and leave a lasting impression on their members and visitors.
Our team designed the office around the concept of a kaleidoscope. As an ever-evolving organization serving diverse communities and made up of unique individuals with fresh perspectives, only when brought together do they become a unified center of knowledge that transforms and inspires.
The office features dynamic graphics that help tell the ALA brand story, a custom reading nook, and a long corridor displaying award-winning books. This corridor leads to the heart of the office: the main library. This is where the kaleidoscope inspiration shines brightest—a plethora of colors including orange, red, and teal merging to showcase the diversity in the community.
The design team strategically placed the library in between the reception and workplace area to ensure staff would need to make their way through it on a daily basis to access the mailroom, print room, café, and conference rooms. The café is adjacent to the library with a large open communal area, access to natural sunlight, and sweeping views of Chicago’s Millennium Park.
There is also an open-floor workplace, which was intentionally left neutral so that the focal point rests on the thousands of books housed both in the library and throughout the open office area in bookcases lining walls and workstations.