Like Christmas Windows for Architecture Nerds

At Christmastime, families walk along the Loop’s sidewalks admiring the wares on offer in department store windows, and children gaze longingly at the things they hope Santa Claus will bring them.  What’s going on at a West Loop architecture firm is something like that.

Unlike most architecture firms that retreat to the rarified atmosphere of Chicago’s tallest buildings, M+W Zander has its offices on the ground floor of an old West Loop warehouse.  And instead of keeping its models exclusive to clients and museum boards, M+W is proud to showcase what it’s working on in its storefront windows.

There are about six large windows which wrap around the corner of this old building and feature Zander projects around around the world.  Both drawings, and the miniature models that architects create for their clients.

While Zander’s designs tend toward long, low office buildings and laboratories, the exhibits are compelling enough to make you stare for quite a while.  If you have a few minutes to kill before jumping on the Metra to head home for the evening, it might be worth a quick detour to 549 West Randolph Street to see what this firm is working on.

Author: Editor

Editor founded the Chicago Architecture Blog in 2003, after a long career in journalism. He can be reached at

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