CONDÉ NAST AND PITCHFORK COME UNDER ONE ROOF IN CHICAGO’S MERCHANDISE MART
When two entities decide to coexist in the same workplace, design teams move from helping one client to juggling a balance of two clients. How disparate those entities are when they come to the table varies. An acquisition by one company of another with the same business model or similar processes, and with slightly different cultures, presents its own set of challenges. But there are more complex, more mosaic-like partnerships out there.When media giant Condé Nast decided to combine its Chicago teams – a Condé Nast sales branch and Pitchfork, a recently acquired online music magazine – under one roof, they started down a road with little common ground. So where to start?“There’s two different cultures there, and people working on two different products,” said Michael Berger, director of interiors at local Chicago firm GREC Architects. “Our design needed to create a place for both of them to exist and grow symbiotically.”GREC Architects began by guiding Condé Nast groups through site selection. In this project, site selection was critical. The two entities worked in starkly different circumstances in their previous offices, and their new building would set the tone for the identity the two groups would share in the future.“We walked the Hancock Center space and the Logan Square offices to see how each side worked, and then worked with them to choose the space that would be the right connection for both sides,” said Mr. Berger.