Stantec has released the interior workspace photos for the new 200,000-square-foot office in the Old Post Office building for Walgreens. Stantec, along with Walgreens in-house development group, handled the architecture, integrated buildings engineering and interior design services on the renovation and rehabilitation of the project.
The new space will serve as the technology hub for Walgreens and will ultimately host an estimated 1,800 employees. Walgreens was the first tenant to commit to moving into Chicago’s Old Post Office, a mixed-use building that had been sitting vacant since the late 1990s.
Developing an overall aesthetic for the workspace led Stantec in collaboration with Walgreens leadership and in-house design group to create a vision of health and well-being, in their workplace, with a new vision and place. The design utilizes clean lines and an interesting aesthetic that complement the building’s historic structure and tie together future proof IT/AV driven spaces within the workplace.
“It’s remarkable to be involved in the repurposing of this nearly 120-year-old historic building,” said Donna Becco-Schroeder, principal at Stantec. “Our design was inspired by the city of Chicago because Walgreens is an iconic brand throughout many of the local neighborhoods. Our goal was to create a city-scale environment inside the building based around the idea of a city plan.”
Within the workplace, the communal spaces are located in the central core of the space, forming a “city center.” Stemming out from the city center are zones for groupings of individual workstations and specific amenities, which ultimately form “neighborhoods.” Each neighborhood retains its own identity, and the collection of neighborhoods stitches the community together.
The “town centers” bookend the neighborhoods and take the form of huddle rooms, break areas and smaller conference rooms. The main artery of circulation is the “gateway” that breaks the city grid like the European urban plan, which connects all spaces across the massive floor plate.
On the first floor, the new Walgreens University space celebrates the company’s legacy and its future. The space will welcome new hires and current employees for training, meetings, and special events. The Innovation Hall will showcase a series of “creation labs” to display the innovative culture and history of Walgreens. Its design is intended to support flexibility with content changing regularly, engaging people who enter from the building’s main lobby. Along with “new” thinking Walgreens retail store on the first floor.
“Stantec’s Chicago office has worked with Walgreens for more than 10 years,” said Becco-Schroeder. “Our team’s knowledge of the brand, Old Post Office, and workplace trends have influenced a design that we’re excited to share with the local Chicago community.”
Walgreens currently employs nearly 4,200 people in the city of Chicago, where it also operates 120 drugstores.