Pick out any article about a modern loft office and you can pretty much pick out all the elements that will be discussed.
Exposed brick. Distressed wood floors. Exposed beams. And lots and lots of natural sunlight.
It’s not that there’s anything wrong with these design features; they’re popular for a reason. It’s just that these elements alone don’t make a design remarkable.
But when you find something that takes these commonplace elements and introduces something truly unique—that’s when you know you’ve found something special.
Photos by Mike Schwartz, courtesy of Vladimir Radutny Architects
When Vladimir Radutny and his team walked into the former manufacturing loft that was to house the offices of their client, Sukhman Yagoda Law Offices in Chicago, it was these elements that initially caught their attention. The challenge for the design team—made up of Radutny along with Ryan Sarros and Fanny Hothan—became how to emphasize these elements in a unique way, while also making them accessible to all the users of the space.
The resulting design features white, angular walls that break up the modular column layout, “reflecting light and absorbing shadows,” and giving the space a unique feel that is far from a standard modern loft.
Being a law office, the space needed to accommodate a variety of needs. Offices with more privacy and room for client meetings were a must, as well as common areas were supporting legal teams can work. Oversized doorway openings in the private offices keep them connected to the open working space beyond and keep staff members connected.
In the center of that open floor working area is a storage and plant feature that compliments the natural elements of the office. Indoor English ivy climbs up wires from extending from the ceiling to a seemingly suspended storage shelf.
This suspended theme continues in the private offices with cantilevered desks supported at one end from the ceiling.
“I hope this space evokes a feeling of coming back to a place that is comfortable, a place that one can concentrate in, focus and feel connected with the space, the light, and the city,” says Radutny. “A feeling that evokes something personal, tangible, and feels like a personal accomplishment to work in.”