NeoCon & IIDA Launch Inside Design Tour Program

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NeoCon, the world’s leading platform for commercial design, June 10-12, is introducing a series of “Inside Design” tours in partnership with (IIDA) for its 51st edition. These exclusive, designer-led tours will venture off-site, allowing attendees the opportunity to experience some of Chicago’s most innovative and celebrated new spaces with the creative minds that brought them into fruition.  Six tours will be offered this year with plans to expand the program for future shows.
 
“The idea behind the Inside Design tours is to showcase great new Chicago design to the A&D community coming to town for NeoCon.  What makes these tours really unique is that they are led by the design firms and teams who worked on the projects.  So tour guests get a first hand look and perspective on the design and design process," says Lisa Simonian, VP of marketing, NeoCon.

Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, executive vice president and CEO, notesIIDA is pleased to present the inaugural “Inside Design” tour program with NeoCon.


This series allows us to showcase some never-before-seen projects in an up-close-and-personal manner, offering participants the opportunity to directly engage with the designers, project leaders, and potential new collaborators.”

“Inside Design” registration opens April 29. Cost per tour is $65. Shuttle service from the Mart to the tour location will be provided.


The full schedule of tours by day includes the below:

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LinkedIn Chicago
Liz Potokar, Senior Project Designer, Gensler
Monday, June 10 from 10:00AM–12:00PM
Location: LinkedIn Offices, 525 West Monroe Street
Fee: $65, Registration is required


LinkedIn's Chicago office continues to grow and expand. Since completing a significant 40,000-square-foot expansion last year, Gensler has designed an additional 40,000 square feet of expansion that will be freshly completed in early June 2019. With an interconnecting stairway, unique amenities, and an open creative office, LinkedIn is focused on having a dynamic workplace that is infused with its brand story and closely connected to the energy of Chicago. This project relates to LinkedIn's core values of highlighting opportunity, growth and connection.

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C.H. Robinson Chicago
Julie Engstrom, Senior Technical Project Designer, Vocon
Monday, June 10 from 2:00–3:30PM 
Location: C.H. Robinson Chicago, 515 W. Webster Ave.
Fee: $65, Registration is required
 
Vocon’s tenant fit-out for C.H. Robinson evokes a warehouse loft with exposed structure & utilities, metal mesh railings, and exposed concrete floors. The four-story center atrium with open metal stairs serves as a ‘town square’ for the company—making the space visually and physically accessible throughout. The open office with 1800+ seats was fitted out entirely with sit-to-stand desks for flexibility; all seats have daylight and views. Amenities include a conference suite, training, café, serving kitchen, and roof terrace with city views. C. H. Robinson’s personality is on display in the model truck case that features client branding and throughout the experiential branding and graphics that span all four floors.
 

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Willis Tower Catalog and Environmental System’s Design, Inc. (ESD)
Todd Heiser, Principal, Gensler, and Jim Predergrast, Principal, Gensler
Tuesday, June 11 from 10:00AM–12:00PM
Location: Willis Tower, 233 S. Wacker Drive
Fee: $65, Registration is required
 
Willis Tower captures the vibrancy of the city under one roof. From street to sky, it provides inviting hospitality and memorable experiences. An urban destination in the heart of downtown, the tower aims to deliver the best experience in both life and work to residents and visitors of Chicago. The tour, led by Gensler, will offer a glimpse into "Catalog", the new, five-levels of dining, shopping, and immersive experience at the base of the tower. The tour will then move on to the new amenity spaces at the tower's transfer floors, before heading upstairs to Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD). A new headquarters for this engineering company, the space seamlessly integrates a professional service company with a living lab for engineers. Embracing a "no more, no less" tenet of engineering, every element is designed to make an impact.

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Hotel Essex 
Chris McDonough, Principal, Gettys Group and Lindsey Pickle, Project Designer, Gettys Group
Tuesday, June 11 from 1:00–3:00PM
Location: Hotel Essex, 800 S. Michigan Ave.
Fee: $65, Registration is required
 
One of Chicago’s historic landmark buildings, the original 14-story Essex Inn was designed by A. Epstein and Sons. The building’s exterior architecture, including the steel-and-glass façade and the iconic rooftop “Essex Inn” sign will be restored and retained.

The interior renovation and redesign of the historic Hotel Essex is led by Chicago-based design firm The GettysGroup and is influenced by the original hotel’s mid-century modern roots. Guests are welcomed into the hotel’s ground floor lobby with furnishings and décor with 1960s-inspired style, utilizing patterns, color palettes, and materials that modernize the hotel’s atmosphere.
“The mid-century modern design movement is classic, yet innovative,” says Chris McDonough, principal, The Gettys Group. “With Hotel Essex’s transformation, we wanted to convey the timelessness of the era in which the hotel was constructed, while bringing that vibe to the 21st century.”

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TAO Chicago
Linda Daniels, Associate, Rockwell Group and Kevin Lee Yi, Interior Designer, Rockwell Group
Tuesday, June 11 from 5:00–6:00PM
Location: TAO Chicago, 632 N. Dearborn Street
Fee: $65, Registration is required
 
Rockwell Groupwill lead a tour of TAO Chicago, the architecture and design firm's 15th collaboration with TAO Group. Working within a historic 1892 landmark in downtown Chicago, Rockwell Group maintained the structure's soaring brick-walled spaces, arched windows, and special geometry and sight lines, adding TAO's Asian-influenced DNA for the four level restaurant and nightclub. Tour attendees will be able to discover surprising details, such as a restroom bar and lounge, and original artwork by Hush and others, that transports guests night after night.

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McDonald’s Headquarters
Global McDonald’s Design Group
Wednesday, June 12 from 9:00–11:00AM
Location: McDonald’s Global Headquarters, 1035 Randolph St.
Fee: $65, Registration is required
 
The McDonald's Global Design Group, responsible for creating new restaurant experiences around the world, will head a tour of the McDonald’s Global Headquarters. In 2018, McDonald's opened its centralized, global headquarters in the emergent Fulton Market district. The new headquarters is reflective of McDonald's innovative culture and brings together all employees, from the president to Hamburger University trainees, under one roof. The building was developed by Sterling Bay and designed by Gensler, with IA Interior Architectsand Studio O+Aleading the interior design and buildout.