Forward Space, LLC held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and virtual grand opening to celebrate its new headquarters in suburban Chicago. PREMIER Design + Build Group was the general contractor for the project, located at 650 N. Wood Dale Road in Wood Dale, Illinois.
The new hub combines 78,319 square feet of warehouse space with 22,420 square feet that serves as both open office workspace and an extensive product showroom for the company, a woman-owned office furniture provider and authorized Steelcase dealer. Highlights of the project include acoustic “cloud” ceilings, demountable wall systems, work café and barista area, huddle and quiet rooms and extensive millwork for product display, including “The Sandbox,” a 16-foot-high installation that spans the building’s entire west wall.
“Our new home reflects the core purpose of Forward Space, which is helping customers create innovative work environments that inspire people to excel,” said Jenny Niemann, principal owner and CEO of Forward Space. “It allows us to showcase the incredible array of furniture systems, space division solutions, wall coverings, flooring, and architectural products that we use to bring spaces to life. We’re so excited to give our employees and customers this amazing place in which to work, learn, and create.”
PREMIER began phased work on Forward Space’s interiors in January 2020 after completing construction of the 100,739-square-foot building. The climate-controlled warehouse space, which has a 32-foot clear height and twelve dock doors, was ready for occupancy in March. The warehouse space provides flexibility for the firm’s operations and installation teams and gives customers the option to store their products through Forward Space’s asset management program.
During the second phase, PREMIER worked closely with the Forward Space team and Sarah Kuchar and Rachel Benitez of Kuchar Studio, which provided architectural and interior design services for the open office and showroom spaces.
“Every one of our clients is different, so we curated this space to offer a vast selection of choices from the moment someone walks through our doors,” said Niemann. “We’re showcasing a wide range of products throughout our new home, including Steelcase, Forward Space’s main-line manufacturer and the largest commercial furniture manufacturer in the world.”
PREMIER’s team included Phil Van Duyne as project manager and Scott Lebak as project superintendent, working with Michael Long, senior vice president and Midwest market leader, and senior vice president of field operations Ronald Nelsen. In addition to serving as general contractor, PREMIER provided mechanical engineering, HVAC and custom product installation services.
“The Forward Space headquarters is a designer’s dream,” said Van Duyne. “I’ve been in the industry for more than 30 years, but I’ve never seen anything like this. From special plumbing and lighting to custom wall and ceiling treatments, this is an extraordinary display of design possibilities.”
Forward Space formed in 2014 and has charted considerable growth since then. In addition to the new Wood Dale headquarters, the firm has a newly renovated satellite office in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. Forward Space will also open the doors to a new showroom in Milwaukee’s Harbor District later this month.