Since it first opened back in 1930, the 25-storey “Merchandise Mart” department store in Chicago has been one of the largest commercial buildings worldwide with a gross floor area of over four million square meters. On account of its size, for many years the complex even boasted its own zip code. Designed as a “city within a city” by architect Alfred Shaw of Graham, Anderson, Probst & White “The Mart” is a symbol for the striving for economic prosperity in the 1920s. Built in the Art Déco style of steel and limestone, Shaw relied on minimal recesses in the upper floors, towers on the facades and a cladding of terracotta and bronze to infuse the colossal building with a dynamic structure. Moreover, the podium is also largely glazed lending it a pleasantly airy feeling.
Timed to coincide with NeoCon, a trade fair focusing on interior design, Pedrali recently opened its first showroom in the United States – in the store’s majestic setting. The showroom now forms an integral part of the range of goods and services offered in “theMart”: In suite 330 on the third floor visitors can experience a selection of the Italian manufacturer’s extensive portfolio in premises of 280 square meters. Milan-based architectural office Calvi Brambilla masterminded the showroom’s interior design and has divided the space into diverse scenarios – from an office via a lounge to a setting devoted to hospitality complete with coffee bar. As the showroom is generously glazed anyone standing in the corridor is offered a variety of perspectives on the products offered by this family-run firm: They may glimpse the elegant “Blume” collection designed by Sebastian Herkner with its flower-shaped profile, Claudio Bellini’s luxurious office chair “Elinor” or the comfortable “Buddy” seating by Busetti Garuti Redaelli. At Merchandise Mart in Chicago, Pedrali’s core themes of beauty, tradition and innovation are perfectly communicated in the new showroom. (am)
Showroom Pedrali @ theMart
3rd floor, suite 330
222 W Merchandise Mart Plaza
Chicago, IL 60654