With a prime location in the Borg Warner building adjacent to the Symphony Center, The Symphony Store provides a modern link between the Symphony Center and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). The sleek frame on the store exterior offers a striking contrast to the historical Orchestra Hall. Oak Park, Ill.-based Schafer orchestrated a soothing, multi-sensory retail experience that welcomes tired shoppers in from blustery Michigan Avenue. The interior unfolds from the Michigan Avenue entrance in eloquent, arced, sound-wave shapes that radiate from the main cashwrap. Hues become gradually lighter and waves widen as they extend outward. Anchoring the sound waves is the "Lapis Lazuli" blue CD wall, which begins at the storefront and leads to the children's listening section at the back of the store. The wall features a projected image of the first piece of music ever performed by the CSO. A giant timeline along the wall also traces the orchestra's history. The "performance wall" arcs through the space and becomes a backdrop for multimedia video and slide presentations. It even airs live CSO performances. The cloud-like acoustical panels suspended from the ceiling mirror the steel-and-glass canopy above Orchestra Hall's stage. Fixtures are elegant but modern. Honduras mahogany matches the millwork in Orchestra Hall and contrasts with clear, white maple. Stainless-steel fixtures differ from the Hall's brass metalwork and add a contemporary face to the CSO. A new "gold" paint chosen for the opposing blue CD wall subtly reinforces the regal bold and brass tones of Orchestra Hall.
Client: The Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Chicago - Tom Hallett, vp, finance and administration; Jeri Webb, store manager Design: Schafer, Oak Park, Ill. -- Beth Howley, principal-in-charge; Brian Priest and Keith Curtis, creative directors; Lori Mukoyama, project designer; Jennifer Sweas, color and materials; Jube Manderico and Stephanie King, project graphic designers; Jamal Oliver, graphic production manager; Walter Plavsic, project manager Architect: Ridgeland Associates Inc., Oak Park, Ill. Engineers: Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago General Contractor: Price Woods, Mesa, Ariz. Suppliers: Progressive Audio, Columbus, Ohio (audio/visual); The Huff Co., Lake Bluff, Ill.; Ceilings Plus Inc., Mt. Prospect, Ill. (ceiling); Pacific Coast Showcase, Puyallup, Wash. (fixturing); InterfaceFLOR, Chicago (flooring); Andres Imaging and Graphics, Chicago (graphics); Greg Morton, Chicago (soffit graphic); RSA Lighting, Chatsworth, Calif.; Bruck Lighting Systems, Tustin, Calif. (lighting); Benjamin Moore Paint Co., Montvale, N.J.; Master Coating Technologies, Minneapolis (paint); Avonite, St. Paul, Minn. (surfacing) Photography: Scott McDonald, Hedrich Blessing Ltd., Chicago