It’s an awe-inspiring feat of design
Chipman Design Architecture was tapped as both architect and interior designer to guide the two and a half year development schedule for the 50,000-square-foot food hall that brings together some of Chicago’s most famous chefs to the West Loop’s Fulton Market. Coordinating with stakeholders and consultants both in Chicago as well as internationally, the firm was able to leverage their food service design and operations for the complex programming of 18 eateries, three bars, a speakeasy, rooftop area and a demo kitchen spread out across three floors. With the recent influx of popularity in food hall concepts, the project team was challenged to develop a concept that would provide an engaging experience and differentiation in the market.
Contextually designed to reflect the iconic brand behind the food hall and the energy of West Loop’s rapidly changing neighborhood, the team paid homage to the building’s utilitarian past as a meatpacking plant with the utilization of authentic materials such as blackened steel and poured concrete floors. Modern finishes such as vertically-installed tiles on bar fronts, Acacia wood community tables and stools and a striking ‘Chicago’ tile-installation provide contrast to the casual bleacher.
Situated amongst a dynamic enclave of foodie destinations, converted industrial lofts and plentiful office space, it became clear once architectural development was underway that the existing building would not fulfill the operational needs required for an underground dishwash commissary (all food is served on real china with silverware), as well as meeting utility and engineering requirements. Expanding the depth and size of the existing basement while increasing the structural integrity of the building was complicated by the location in a historic district. In order to meet architectural and programming requirements while adhering to historical aesthetic criteria, the precast concrete wall panels were raised and then covered with the original 100-year-old brick. A new structural steel frame allowed an expansive 75’ x 50’ two-story atrium capped by a massive skylight
Much like the city in which it is located, this food and cultural market creates an enduring framework to an ever-changing experience and a roof to bring together the best the city has to offer.