Akira

Location:Chicago, Illinois
 
Project description: In an effort to revitalize the 53rd Street corridor in Chicago, Antunovich Associates worked closely with the University of Chicago to rehabilitate a former Borders Bookstore into a dynamic retail space that can host a variety of tenants and better serve the neighborhood. The 27,000 square foot space is split evenly between two levels and has entrances on both sides of its long rectangular shape. Located near a major intersection with access to Metra trains as well as multiple bus lines, the corner building stands out from its neighbors with its use of darker materials and large storefront windows.

As a part of a complete reprogramming effort, the building breaks away from its original single tenant layout by splitting the first floor into the clothing retailer AKIRA and The Promontory restaurant, complete with outdoor seating. The second floor is divided between a yoga studio and a concert venue, which also pairs with the restaurant below. However, the true highlights of the project are its four facades and use of materials. Light gray zinc panels gradually checkerboard and transition to nearly black panels interspersed with display windows. Intended for occupation at all hours, a custom lighting scheme gives the building a night time presence unlike any structure nearby.

Size: 27,000 SF

Services: Architecture

Chicago Office
224 West Huron Street, Suite 7E
Chicago, Illinois 60654
phone: 312.266.1126

Washington, D.C. Office
2200 Clarendon Boulevard, Suite 1150
Arlington, Virginia 22201
phone: 703.224.1126

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