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Chicago Mercantile Exchange Center (CME)

Chicago, IL


AIA Chicago — Interior Architecture, Citation of Merit

Architizer A+ Award — Commercial Interiors - Large, Jury Winner

Architect Magazine Light & Architecture Design Awards — Interior Design, Merit Award

AN Best of Design — Facades, Honorable Mention

AN Best of Design — Interior—Office, Honorable Mention

Fast Co. Innovation Awards, Spaces and Places Honorable Mention

America ByDesign, Architecture — People's Choice Award

​Photography: Kendall McCaugherty | Hall+Merrick+McCaugherty Photographers

Over the course of every workday, 10,000 people enter and exit the CME Center. For years, this experience entailed using one of 18 separate entrances leading into a dark ground floor area. The elevators' route was studded with planters, bike racks, slopes, ramps, and turnstiles. Reaching certain destinations required leaving and re-entering the premises.

Unraveling this knot depended on developing a new internal geometry. Studying the movement of people in, out, and through the center facilitated creating an intuitive, graceful experience.

The new curved façade line moves outward to flow around the building cores, providing serpentine circulation between the buildings and a geometry that encourages a greater connection to the street. Behind the simple and minimal materials lies a sophisticated system of modular geometries in an engineering feat.

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