For more than one hundred years, Herman Miller has been providing award-winning furniture and related services and technologies to offices, schools, homes and hospitals around the world. As global leaders in the furniture space, Herman Miller needed a pristine showroom that would highlight their iconic furniture and serve as office space for their employees. The solution was the redevelopment of a 1920s-era 15,000 square-foot historic meat packing facility in Chicago’s Fulton Market neighborhood. Herman Miller added a 30,000 square-foot addition and created a mixed-use office and retail building with raised access floors as a key component.
Raised access floors were used in various capacities throughout the facility but are especially highlighted on the third-floor showroom with Tate’s classic concrete STONEWORKS® raised floor panels. Adjacent to the showroom is the Eames Pavilion, featuring a library, exhibition space and an outdoor terrace, providing visitors with a platform for education, expression and open engagement. The classic concrete finish continues from the inside showroom to the building’s outdoor space and rooftop deck with exterior classic concrete STONEWORKS panels. The transition between the two spaces features perfect alignment of the panel seams, despite the difference in indoor and outdoor panels and understructure, creating a unified aesthetic connecting the spaces and maintaining access to the underfloor plenum both inside and outside. With this being a showroom setting, it was important that the design of the space created a seamless backdrop to highlight the furniture on display and the designers achieved just that with the combination of indoor and outdoor panels in the same finish.
Connor Ptacin, Project Manager for Skender Construction, spoke of the benefits that raised floors brought to this project. “Tate’s raised access floors provided the seamless transition that Herman Miller was looking for to connect the indoor and outdoor areas of the building and establish a cohesive and coordinated space. The delivery and install were quick and straightforward, which helped keep our tight schedule on track, and the end result is a modern and sophisticated floor for the museum-like showroom.”
Raised floors with carpet can also be found in other areas throughout the facility, creating a modern workspace for the Herman Miller employees who call Fulton Market home. Another great feature of the building is the original façade, which the designers were able to retain, making the redeveloped building blend effortlessly into the surrounding historic corridor. The mixed-use space was designed to meet the WELL Building Standard®, which raised access floors can help contribute to. The WELL Building Standard takes a holistic approach to health in the built environment addressing behavior, operations and design.