The Chicago Merchandise Mart created an open-concept lobby by employing Manhattan studio Architecture + Information (A+I) to redesign the entrance with mirrored surfaces and metallic detailing. Renamed 'The Mart,' the concrete historic building pushes the agenda of the public sphere—a concept developed by German philosopher Jürgen Habermas detailing a spatial area in social life, where individuals can get together to discuss societal, political, economical and cultural issues.
The Chicago Merchandise Mart happily employs that concept within its revamped lobby. There is a comfortable seating area, accompanied by a coffee space and a bar. Patrons can take time to work on their computers, relax while reading or engage in intellectual conversations or a friendly match of chess.
Photo Credits: Madga Biernat and Charles de Vaivre
Chicago Merchandise Mart Seeks to Connect People in Its Lobby
1. Open-concept Lobbies - There is an opportunity to create more open-concept lobbies in various industries to encourage social interaction.
2. Shared Workspaces - Creating shared workspaces within lobbies could be a disruptive innovation opportunity for co-working and office rental industries.
3. Social Gathering Spaces - Designing spaces for social gathering could be a disruptive innovation opportunity for event planning and hospitality industries.
1. Real Estate - Real estate developers can invest in creating designs that prioritize public spaces and social gathering environments.
2. Office Furniture - Office furniture manufacturers can create furniture conducive to shared spaces, encouraging social interaction within lobbies.
3. Hospitality - Hospitality industries can utilize similar design principles to create comfortable and welcoming lobby spaces that encourage socializing.