John Hopkins
Design Director
IA Interior Architects, Chicago

A company’s business model, brand, culture, and people are the backbone of its organizational infrastructure. Workplace design solutions are often developed, tried, and tested to confirm the expectations of its C-suite: ensuring the space fosters streamlined processes and efficiencies, enables innovation, supports recruitment, and promotes agility and growth, for example. Equally as important when designing a work space is the company’s cultural infrastructure: how the work space supports its brand and people, instilling a pride of place. In this series John Hopkins, Design Director at IA Interior Architects’ Chicago office, will explore how building infrastructures and floor plates influence and have the potential to better support business infrastructures. Focusing on headquarters, ground-up projects designed from the inside-out, like those for Whirlpool and McDonald’s, are reviewed, as well as interiors projects designed in existing buildings, such as those for LinkedIn and a global financial client.

Discussion points include re-thinking base building infrastructure and floor plates for corporate work spaces, evaluating how infrastructure can reinforce a company’s resilience and business goals, and how the trend toward remote employees can and should affect future tall buildings to support worker expectations and flexibility. How a building caters to its tenants is also discussed, and examines whether a tall building can be designed too specifically, such that it is restrictive toward other types of tenants, or in a manner that is too general. Finally, the possibility of a single tall building to accommodate residential, workplace, education and other uses is evaluated and explored.