CA Ventures
CA Ventures

Translating the Collegiate Campus Experience into a Corporate Workplace

CA Ventures, Company Headquarters, Chicago, IL

CA Ventures, a real estate investment firm operating across a broad spectrum of property types but with its initial success founded on student living environments, sought to create a new company headquarters that leveraged the energy and atmosphere of collegiate campuses as a means to strengthen employee recruitment and retention. Our resulting design captures the spirit of higher education within the workplace and features unique hospitality amenities to enrich the work experience.

The design of the headquarters is rooted in extensive research around the plans of collegiate campuses to learn how they empower students. The team recognized that diagonal cuts across campus quadrangles could be incorporated into their workplace design to evoke campus environments while functionally connecting different areas of the office for teaming and collaboration. To integrate the green space often found on college campuses, the new workspace features a living wall that anchors both its reception area and main staff quad. The biowall’s planning pattern unfolds as a campus plan with strong diagonals cutting across the grid. All of these design elements help the entire workplace operate like its own campus plan, incorporating the main path with offices and meeting areas that connect from East to West and brighten the workspace.

Authentic materials, such as wood, exposed brick columns and hot-pressed steel lend the space warmth and an ambiance that is more akin to a student union than a corporate office.