Shure Corporate Headquarters / Niles, Illinois/ 1997‑2002
Size: 264,600 sq ft / 34,580 sq m
Height: 7 floors
Status: Completed 2002
Recognition: AIA Chicago Chapter Award; Chicago Building Congress Award; National Design Building Award
At the intersection of Touhy and Lehigh Streets in Chicago, a seven-story corporate headquarters established a new identity for a Chicago-based technology company. Projecting loggias form entries at both ends, dematerializing the building’s shape and providing transitional spaces. The offices, parking, and warehouse are organized throughout the landscape like a collage of shifted geometries around a light-filled seven-story open court. Loft-type offices occupy the lower floors, while showrooms and executive ofﬁces surround a two-story sky court on the upper floors. This clear stacking is legible at the entry façade and contributes to the transparency of the building.
The building was originally known as the HA•LO Corporate Headquarters, before changing hands in 2018 after audio gear maker Shure acquired the property.
The exterior envelope is constructed of a single–shell insulated glazing system. Mechanically operated interior shades provide sun protection and shifting levels of transparency. For additional comfort, the spaces are conditioned by a low-velocity displacement system assisted by fan coil units in the raised floor along the facades to control peak loads. The raised floor allows for long-term flexibility in installation and services, higher floor-to-ceiling heights, and thermal storage in the concrete mass.
The conceptual ideas about the Shure Corporate Headquarters deal with urban planning, function, and technology. The building is arranged like a simple and clear diagram whose components are placed in a logical, rational, and constructed way. Furthermore, interest is focused on engineering and performance, rather than design and style, creating a building of maximum transparency. At the Shure Corporate Headquarters, we move into a new realm, where light is not only directed at the material fabric of a building but becomes the essence of the design. The building is luminous, not illuminated, and the façade acts as a screen that moderates natural and artiﬁcial light.