fairlife Offices – Chicago

  • Client fairlife,
  • size 9,000 sqft
  • Year 2017
  • Location Chicago, Illinois, United States,
  • Industry Food / Beverage,
  • BOX Studios was tasked with the office design for milk distributing company fairlife, located in Chicago, Illinois.

    Fairlife, a dairy farm committed to sustainability, has grown exponentially since opening in 2012, and reached out to BOX to expand their original design of the dairy company’s headquarters in Chicago. BOX set out to expand the innovative workspace with an open yet home-like concept that fits personality of the growing team. As a company with a special affinity for the natural environment, Fairlife wanted a farm-to-table atmosphere with plenty of natural light and plenty of greenery throughout.

    Immediately faced with the challenges of designing around power poles due to the cost and difficulties in trenching an existing concrete floor, BOX created a solution to embrace them. Instead of hiding them, “Main Street” was created to bear a resemblance to a side street in a small village. BOX designed clever street signs to transform the power poles, upholstered benches around a copy and printing area for casual conversation, and planters with healthy plants to set the mood.

    The staff is never far from nature. Planters are plentiful throughout the entire office, acting as visual barriers and bringing green life indoors. In the conference rooms, green carpet resembling grass fields stretches into realistic wall graphics of rolling meadows on the far wall, transporting employees to an outdoor farm table with a horizon of blue skies in the distance.

    Just like on the farm, dogs can roam free at Fairlife. But this farm is adjacent to Chicago city streets, so BOX took measures to ensure that the four-legged team members don’t wander out for a stroll on their own. In the open air café, a fully-functioning garage door opens when weather allows. A low wooden barn gate can be shut beyond the open garage door so that staff can be worry-free knowing their pets are safely enclosed.

    Finally, break and gathering areas were expanded to accommodate the bigger team. These spaces were kept clean and bright, while increasing functionality and seating capacity. In front of a living plant wall, staff can gather for quick meetings or brainstorming over coffee in the casual seating area. It’s a cozy spot with sofas and armchairs reminiscent of home. Wooden slat ceiling clouds hang above, visually lowering the vertical height and warming the space to encourage comfortable or impromptu conversations.

    DesignerBOX Studios
    ContractorKattara Construction
    PhotographyJames John Jetel