10 unforgettable tech offices we saw in 2016

by Andreas Rekdal
December 28, 2016

The tech industry is known for its spectacular office spaces, and Chicago's tech scene is no exception. This year, we looked behind the curtain at 30 different companies, asking the people who work there what they like best about their offices.

To round the year off, we decided to narrow our list of the coolest offices we've peeked into this year down to 10. They say curiosity killed the cat, but another quick peek couldn't possibly hurt, could it?

 

Bright green isn't for everyone, but STATS pulls it off in style. The sports analytics firm's new global headquarters in downtown Chicago has a private balcony, collaboration rooms throughout and a gorgeous glass-ceiling atrium that brings light into the entire office. Employees also have ergonomic stand up desks with articulating screens.

 

Having more or less outgrown its global headquarters, Morningstar recently opened up a new floor at 108 North State Street above Block 37. Clocking in at 29,000 square feet, the space has mobile workstations, integrated audiovisual equipment and loads of natural light.

 

It's cool to see offices that perfectly capture what a company is all about. In this respect, Vivid Seats' space in the Loop is tough to beat. Its lobby is designed to look like the entry of a concert venue, and the lunch area is marked up like a basketball court. Also, the in-office bar is a sports bar, because obviously.

 

Our favorite thing about Cision's Chicago office is how its designers juxtaposed sleek white surfaces with natural wood details and bright pops of color. The centerpiece of the space is a café area with Ping Pong, espresso and more than 100 soda options. Cision also has an epic rooftop overlooking Millennium Park.

 

DRIVIN's River North offices in 600 West Chicago has a gorgeous open bar area with beer on tap, bright furniture, huge windows and a custom-built metal sculpture of the Chicago skyline. CEO Kayne Grau said the space was designed to be big enough to host major gatherings while maintaining a cozy feel. The neighbors aren't bad either: DRIVIN shares a building with companies like Groupon and Uptake.

 

With a high-contrast gray color scheme and red accents, Havas' workspace in the Loop is definitely one of the boldest designs we saw this year. But the aesthetic isn't the only thing about the "Chicago Village" that caught our attention. The location also has a massive open work space where teams are organized by the clients they work with, meant to foster more seamless cross-departmental collaboration. 

 

The focal point of Avant's 115,000 square foot office in the Loop is a massive two-floor atrium that lets the team put on company-wide demonstrations. Avant also has themed meeting rooms, including a Nintendo room complete with Nintendo 64 and Super Nintendo gaming systems. 

 

CraftJack's Evanston office is home improvement-inspired with a futuristic twist. The workspace has an open layout and is located right above the Sketchbook tap room. Employees say they love the Foosball and Pop-A-Shot, and the great food options surrounding the location.

 

3D-printed crane sculptures adorn the ceiling in the lobby of Origami Risk's Merchandise Mart offices, bringing the company's branding to life. The company's conference rooms are named after local breweries, and open areas for collaboration are spread throughout. But what really sold us on Origami's offices is the exquisite bright-yet-soothing color scheme. Well played.

(Photo credit: Hedrich Blessing)

 

Based in the Merchandise Mart, VelocityEHS has one of the coolest game rooms we've ever seen, with foosball, pool, Ping Pong, video games and a Chicago Bulls-themed Pop-A-Shot machine. The company also has a sweet open-concept office to match and a rooftop overlooking the Chicago River.

 

Images via featured companies.

What do you love about your office? Tweet us a picture @BuiltInChicago

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