Throwback Thursday
Peeking in at Perkins + Will

Last week, Chicago’s largest architecture firm announced it is leaving the historic AMA Plaza (330 North Wabash Avenue) for the even-more-historic Wrigley Building next door at 400 North Michigan Avenue.

It made us think of our last after-hours visit to Perkins + Will‘s headquarters in what was once was IBM Plaza, designed by Mies van der Rohe, who never got to see it built.

So we’ve set the wayback machine to 2011 for a dozen glimpses inside the spaces where the firm came up with some of its best ideas.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001a

Something in the back of my mind tells me this is not actual Eames furniture, but reproductions.  The company brought in $413 million last year, so I must be mistaken.

 

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aFrom the right angle, you can see both the model of The Clare and the actual building in the distance.  This is not that angle.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aHey, we’re in the lobby again!  Well, that’s awkward.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aUnless your company’s conference room has a view of Perkins+Will’s conference room, your company’s conference room sucks.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aBecause sometimes even smart people need to be reminded where they are. We all have our “senior moments.”

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001a

What? Your office door doesn’t have a ¾ offset pivot?  Do you work in a barn?

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aYour conference room continues to suck.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aEvery time a staff member is caught running with scissors, their photo is turned around.  The last person visible has to buy pizza for the whole office.  I suspect some staffers are playing to lose.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aWith this photo we get some insight into the workspace of a real architect.  Blueprint rolls? Check!  Architect swingy springy lamp?  Check!  Sombrero?  Check!

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aScreen Shot 2015-07-19 at 3.44.58 pmThe Perkins+Will staff are so happy with the value and quality of Target’s “Up and Up” line of products that they’ve stenciled the “Up and Up” logo on their room dividers to keep the office parakeet from flying into the glass panes and breaking its tiny green and yellow neck in front of potential clients.

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aNothing says “stability” like punching a hole in the floor of a landmarked skyscraper to join two levels together into one big office. Yes, this is a real sign that a company is committed to its location and there’s absolutely no chance of it jumping ship to another skyscraper.  Oh, wait…

Perkins and Will office - Chicago, Illinois - October, 2011 - 001aNo secrets here.  I just thought it was a cool abstract shot.

Location: 330 North Wabash Avenue, Near North

 

Editor

Author: Editor

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

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