Earles Architects and Associates (EAA) has completed a 28,500-square-foot expansion to Akuna Capital’s corporate headquarters in Chicago. The global trading firm focuses on collaboration, cutting-edge technology, data-driven solutions and automation. The project was completed in July with general contractor Clune Construction.
The space was designed to reflect the firm’s beginnings in Sydney, using a light and airy blue-hued finish palette. Accents adding to the coastal ambience include wicker chairs in the lounge, curved glass outlining the meeting rooms and a water vapor fire feature. The office space includes amenities such as a full-service staffed café, ping pong tables, hidden speakeasy and lounge, napping room, mothers’ room and a variety of break areas for employees. In addition, a separated residential-style work area called the “hackathon house”—a loft-style apartment—provides a highly productive environment where programmers can create and engineer undisturbed.
EAA’s commercial furnishings division, SEAATS, provided furniture design, layout and coordination for seating and lounge furniture. Forward Space supplied the workstation desks, conferencing solutions and seating.
“The overall experience was a true collaborative effort, not only due in part to our internal team and the GC’s, but also that of the Akuna Capital crew. Their integrity to bind the company’s brand to the space was a driving force for much of the design. We held a lot of respect for that desire and the final product, of which we’re all proud, speaks for itself,” said Stephanie McClelland, EAA design director.
The space has a 360 panoramic view of downtown Chicago and Lake Michigan. “To capitalize on the view, we broke off and combined elements to push the majority of the program to the building’s core, freeing up space to create an open, dynamic and beautifully integrated end result,” said Lauren Evans, EAA architectural associate.
The total design included project management, architectural and additional interior design efforts from associate principal Matt Kelly, architectural associates Aliana Ramos and Rob Clubb and design associate Nick Jordan.