When Whitney Architects decided to move their long-term headquarters to downtown Chicago, they required a space that exemplified both their key brand values, and the spatial solutions required of a bustling firm—an office that prioritized a design-forward, flexible, activity-based work environment.
Upon arrival, guests are welcomed into the heart of the space—the work café, designed as a testament to the hospitality the firm extends to both visitors and staff, and their client-focused approach. To help realize this brand value, the design team turned to Banker Wire’s M33-5—an architectural flat wire mesh pattern —within the café and bar space. The wire mesh, specified in an antique copper plated finish, helps create an eclectic aesthetic, when paired with the rich colors and layered textures in the room. The result is a spirit of space that is approachable, warm, and exudes a sense of home and belonging.
For the bar itself, in addition to seeking an unexpected material that was uniquely textural, the design team required a material with specific technical requirements—one that could be curved around the length of the front of the bar, where the bar stools are placed. M33-5 was a perfect fit; the combination of the large surface area of each wire—and the proportionate amount of open area—makes it a well-balanced weave, suitable for a wide range of design concepts and applications. In addition, the undulating wave-like appearance of each wire enables light to be reflected at all angles. When specified in this refined antique copper plated finish, the end-result is simultaneously subtle and palpable.
“The pattern is unique and does not appear as your typical mesh design—it has a large enough scale to have some presence, but is not overwhelming when placed with the other design elements,” explains Kate Logan, Design Director, Whitney Architects. “The antique copper plated finish works perfectly with the rest of our color and materials palette in this area of the office, providing a nice contrast to the dark green background of the rest of the millwork, and the bright white, large-scale quartz countertops.”
Helping to create a café atmosphere conducive to work, relax, or play, this wire mesh application reflects a larger trend of hospitality-inspired workplace settings that utilize unexpected materials for a pared-back, but design-forward work environment.