Posts tagged with "Wight & Company":

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Work begins on Chicago culinary incubator

Chicago takes culinary experimentation seriously. In recent years, a number of restaurants throughout the city have developed novel cuisines and presentations that have made the city a magnet for foodies and chefs alike. With the groundbreaking of a new project on the city’s West Side, the food community is one step closer to having a space where young chefs can hone their skills and launch their businesses. The Hatchery is a 57,000-square-foot incubator that the city hopes will keep the creative juices flowing in the burgeoning local restaurant industry. Located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood, directly west of the Loop, The Hatchery will include 56 private rentable kitchens, one large shared kitchen, co-working space, multi-function spaces, bulk storage space, and an industrial loading dock. The complex will be situated in a building from the 1920s as well as a new larger structure. Acting as designer, architect of record, structural engineer, and construction manager is Chicago-based Wight & Company, with site design group handling landscape design. "Adaptability in design is critical for The Hatchery to accommodate flexible programming and future growth," said Matt Zolecki, project executive for Wight & Company, on the occasion of the groundbreaking. "We are creating a space not just for food production, but for mentoring, coaching, presentation, and collaboration." Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand for the event, and the city has shown its support for the project in part through the selling of the needed 3.5 acres of land to the development for $1. While it is not overly common for the city to sell land and buildings for such a small amount, it is also not unheard of. In many West and South Side neighborhoods, the city owns enormous amounts of land, which it is willing to let go to organizations that have a clear mission to improve the area. Developing the Hatchery are two non-profit community organizations, Accion Chicago and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago (ICNC). Accion Chicago will also base a new headquarters in the development, where it will work to provide direct access to small business loans and support programs for The Hatchery’s tenants and members of the local community. Kellogg and ConAgra, multinational food companies with Michigan and Chicago headquarters, respectively, are also sponsoring the project. The complex is expected to be completed in 2018 at a cost of $34 million. Thanks to a scalable and flexible design, the initial layout of the project can then be adapted as tenants grow and cook up new ways of working in the space.
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New justice center design unveiled for Joliet, Illinois

The southwest Chicago suburb of Joliet will soon be home to a new justice center. Chicago-based Wight & Company has released the first rendering of the future Will County Justice Center, which will serve one of Illinois’s most populous counties and replaces an outdated 1960s structure on an adjacent site. Wight worked with Lohan Anderson principal Dirk Lohan on the early development of the project as part of a new relationship between the offices. The design for the new center is meant to transform public perception of the justice system, with an emphasis on openness, transparency, and accessibility. The project features green roofs and a landscaped public plaza. Extensive high-efficiency glass brings sunlight into the project while maintaining sustainable goals. The justice center will initially house 28 state-of-the-art courtrooms with the ability to expand to 38 as the needs of the county change. Criminal, civil, and family law cases will be heard at the new facility, which will also have a law library and self-help legal center. Completion date is 2017.

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100-year-old high school gets a contemporary facelift from Wight & Company

Darien, Illinois-based Wight & Company has recently finished a 43,000-square-foot addition for Joliet Township High School campus. Joliet, a city about 40 miles southwest of Chicago, is the fourth largest city in Illinois, and the town’s high school campus was in need of updates and space. Wight’s design added an expansive student center, a dining facility, multi-purpose areas, and an elevator to improve ADA accessibility to the four story building. The campus as a whole is comprised of four main academic buildings, which serve approximately 2,600 student. The most distinguishing portion of the new design is a 50-foot-tall glass curtain wall atrium, which now encapsulates a 1901 gothic-revival facade. The space houses the schools new main entry and provides students with a place to work, congregate, and access student services. "The architecture team envisioned a space that would serve as the heart of the school, connecting the new with the old," explained Kevin Havens, director of design for Wight, in a press release "Our atrium design references elements of the Collegiate Gothic style of this landmark building, but does so in a modern way that is light and airy.” Wight acted as designers, Architect of Record, structural engineers, MEP engineers, interior designers, and landscape architects on the project.