Chicago-based Mary Cook Associates (MCA), a national, award-winning commercial interior design firm, has completed work on The Paragon, a 500-unit rental tower in Chicago’s South Loop developed by Murphy Development Group and CIM.
Located at 1326 S. Michigan Avenue, the 47-story tower is designed to appeal to a broad mix of residents drawn to the neighborhood’s vibrant energy and numerous cultural attractions, including Chicago’s famed Museum Campus. Taking a cue from the high-rise’s glassy exterior and unique chamfered corners, MCA designed the lobby, mail/package room and four model apartments with a Mid-Century-meets-Manhattan aesthetic.
“The architectural facets of the building inspired many of the details visible in the lobby,” said Mary Cook, founder and president of MCA. “The building’s exterior angles are captured in the lobby’s feature wall and flooring, while the tower’s mirror-like façade ties into the metallic accents that are featured throughout the lobby.”
Upon entering the building, eyes are immediately drawn toward a wall of deep mahogany wood with mirrored cut-outs, reminiscent of the glass angles on the building’s exterior. A nod to those same angles is also evident in the lobby floor, where a large-format porcelain tile was custom cut and inlaid with brass strips to mimic The Paragon’s architecture.
“To give the building’s lobby the same level of drama as its exterior, we paired luxe leather furniture against a backdrop of deep, rich colors and then highlighted the space with curated accessories and lighting fixtures in a range of metallics,” said Cook. “Lighting serves not only to illuminate the space, but also as decorative fixtures that add to the character and ambiance of the lobby.”
Upstairs, Cook’s firm designed four model units (studio, convertible, one- and two-bedroom) to reflect the active, urban lifestyle of the buildings’ residents and to take full advantage of the units’ floor-to-ceiling windows. “We chose to carry the Mid-Century Modern design of the lobby through into each unit, keeping consistent with the style’s clean, geometric lines and unfussy, tailored furniture hallmarks to ensure nothing gets in the way of the star of each model: the drop-dead views of the city.”
The Paragon is walking distance from Chicago’s Museum Campus, Grant Park and the CTA’s Roosevelt station, which serves the Red, Orange and Green lines. SCB served as the project’s architect.