WOLF POINT ADVISORS
Wolf Point Advisors set out to reinvent the business of commercial insurance. The company name, alluding to a historic site of commerce in downtown Chicago, demonstrates the scale of the startup’s ambitions.
Before it could transform the industry, Wolf Point Advisors had to transform its own way of working. Its young founders approached BatesForum to create an interior that reflects and supports the company’s disruptive, creative culture.
Located at the pinnacle of one of Chicago’s best-recognized Art Deco skyscrapers, the two-story office is reached by a vintage “birdcage” elevator complete with ornate inlays and iron filigree. The small floorplates — each totaling under 6,000-square-feet — dictated an additional constraint. Working within a historic setting, BatesForum imagined a space that easily blends the irreverence of its young founders and the grown-up gravitas associated with the insurance business. Bold infusions of yellow serve as daily reminders of the company’s non-conformist brand. On the top floor, modular furniture supports the nomadic work styles of Wolf Point Advisors’s staff, who spread throughout the circular workspace. Light pours in from windows on all sides, illuminating pillars clad in whiteboard paint. A single glassed-in enclosure is a “Wolf’s Den” where the firm’s co-founders work, meet with staff, and host clients. One floor below, accessed by a circular stair, desks give way to an open space designed for team building, casual meetings, and entertainment. Wired for the latest digital technology, the entire floor is intentionally flexible; only a harvest table in the center serves as a collision zone. At one end, a conference room featuring iconic modern classic furniture is available to be used by the company’s clients when they visit from suburban offices or fly in for meetings. At the other, a stunning outdoor area serves as the site of warm-weather office gatherings.
The design, sensitive to both the existing quality of the historic space and to the cultural and programmatic desires of the client, places a heavy emphasis on simplicity: uncluttered floorplan, adaptable furniture, and clear brand identity. For a company that prides itself on moving fast ahead, the new workplace feels exactly right — a platform on which to imagine the future.
*Originally designed by Forum Studio