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Entries in Commercial Office Buildings (20)


From Fitness to Bowling Alleys: How Commercial Office Buildings Are Differentiating Themselves Through Amenities 

The shared amenity space at the Tata Innovation Center at Cornell Tech. Image © Max Touhey.

Historically, New York commercial buildings have not needed to offer amenities to stand out. The city served as the office backyard, providing food, fitness, and sub-cellar bowling alley experiences. Now, buildings are full of them. The competition amongst developers and building owners to lease space is so fierce that the need to differentiate is more important than ever. Today’s employees are sophisticated consumers who are choosing where they want to work based on specific preferences. Understanding how amenities can support their growing demands is key to unlocking a building’s differentiation strategy. In the tightly competitive commercial leasing market, how can a property stand out relative to its peers and support its tenants?

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Reimagining an American Icon

Image © Gensler

For nearly 25 years, Willis Tower (long known as the Sears Tower) held the distinction of being the world’s tallest building, standing as a symbol of American might and engineering ingenuity. Today visitors queue up to soak in magnificent panoramic views of the city from the 103rd-floor observation deck of Chicago’s soaring black skyscraper that continues to be a point of pride for Chicago. At ground level, however, something is noticeably absent. The tourists come and go, but rarely linger. People who work in the building often walk blocks away to grab lunch or take a break from their offices. And at night, the block is much less active than during the day.

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Office Amenities Galore Coming to Chicago’s West Loop

Image © Gensler

Chicago’s West Loop has quickly transformed from meatpacking district to the see-and-be-seen urban destination for creative, tech and office-rise, warehouse-style buildings with unobstructed views of the Chicago skyline. It’s a draw for people looking for a dynamic urban neighborhood replete with Michelin starred restaurants and loft-style housing, all within a ten minute walk of The Loop. New hotels including the recently-opened Soho House and upcoming Nobu Hotel, Ace Hotel and Hoxton Hotel will further diversify the neighborhood offering to make the West Loop a destination to live, work and play for Chicago residents and tourists alike.

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Transform, Revitalize, Refresh

Tailored design interventions can position existing properties for long-term success.

Discussions about office buildings usually revolve around the businesses that will inhabit them. But at the root of these tenants is their human capital: the individuals that choose to work at these organizations. Employees today seek a connected work environment, one that offers proximity to a host of amenities, such as food, errands and even exercise.

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Seeing Through the Hand: Why Drawing Remains Relevant in the Design Process

Concept Sketch, Syracuse University, S. I. Newhouse School of Public Communications Renovation

Drawing. We’ve all done it. So why is it the exception not the norm in design today. Architecture and design schools have, for the most part, stopped teaching hand drawing, so students don’t regard it as an integral part of the thinking process. Now that computers can create just about any virtual and real-looking environment, drawing is perceived as old-fashioned and slow. Contemporary culture pushes us to celebrate the newest approaches and the latest and greatest gadgets, devices and software. This is unfortunate, because while drawing currently resides on the “out” list, it should be a go-to tool for all designers. Instead it’s become the refuge of senior designers like me, who still appreciate drawing’s capacity to incite creative thinking and engender high levels of understanding.

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