Located in the Fulton Market district, the Chicago clubhouse is one of three Chief locations across the US that offer support and networking opportunities for women in executive positions.
AvroKO was brought on board to design the interiors for the club, having already helped in the location scouting process for Chief’s New York and Los Angeles outposts.
The design firm wanted the new Chicago branch to have a distinctly cosy, residential feel, much like the company’s loft-like New York clubhouse with its expansive windows and airy open-plan rooms.
Going beyond the hallmarks of a traditional members’ club, AvroKO incorporated nursing rooms for new mothers into the interior and adapted bathrooms to better suit women’s physical frames and heights.
Visitors enter the club via a lobby where the walls, ceilings and even the service ducts have been painted a rich shade of forest green. Matching tiles have also been laid across the floor.
One side of the room is home to a help counter with a corrugated base while the other side houses a small waiting area.
This has been dressed with a sunburst-pattern rug, a couple of brown leather armchairs and a slatted wooden screen divider.
“The space is welcoming and livable,” explained the firm. “Saturated walls are intentionally bold, balanced by the warmth of plush upholstery and broken-in leather, creating approachability with an overall style that is fresh and enduring.”
Forest-green surfaces continue into the adjacent lounge area. Here, AvroKO has left the building’s thick timber ceiling beams exposed while a tile-clad bar in the corner backs onto a mirrored wall.
Otherwise, the room accommodates clusters of seating with a mix of contemporary and vintage furnishings from sapphire-blue sofas to tufted orange stools. Black leather benches are wrapped around the exposed timber structural columns.
Books, artsy vases and an array of abstract canvas paintings have been used as decoration.
A corridor leads off to Chief’s private call booths, which are painted a tangerine hue. Beyond lies a series of boardrooms that have been finished with geometric rugs, large wooden meeting tables and hooded lamps that give off a warm glow.
As well as offering spaces to work and socialise, Chief places its members into “peer groups” of industry experts who can offer advice on career challenges, with representatives hailing from companies including Google, Uber and Universal Music.
AvroKO was established in 2001 and is led by four partners: William Harris, Greg Bradshaw, Kristina O’Neal and Adam Farmerie.
Others in the running include the Education First office in Denver, which was designed to reference the great outdoors, and YTL’s Kuala Lumpur headquarters with their luxurious bronze and marble detailing.
Photography is by Anthony Tahlier.
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