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When Ice Miller, a law firm with seven offices and 350 lawyers across the U.S., needed additional office space to accommodate its rapidly growing Chicago office, they tapped our design team to expand and renovate their office at 200 W Madison Avenue. The firm was presented with the rare opportunity for additional, continuous space on the floor above its existing space, and collaborated with our design team to create a workplace where their lawyers were still able to connect while being on two floors.

The overall concept for this reimagined workplace was “the intersection.” By physically locating the conference center, reception, event space, and multipurpose room at the heart of the 35th floor and the event space, conference space, and café at the heart of the 36th floor—connected by a beautiful, open staircase—it created a space that every single employee would need to pass throughout their day.

The design team opened the ceiling to the deck to expose the structure and supporting equipment, giving the space the feel of a law firm with a more tech-focused office look. The exposed area and ductwork were painted black to blend with the shades of green, wood tones, cool and crisp whites, and rich jewel tones selected for the office. The design scheme was made to feel comfortable without being too opulent, and to have a tech feel similar to many of the clients they represent.

Through the exposed ceiling, one can see the beams and the structural pieces intersecting. This is more than a beautiful design—it is an opportunity for symbolic design features and a reflection of the overarching concept of intersection and how individual members can come together to reinforce one another and make the overall space stronger, like Ice Miller’s teammates do for the organization and its clients.