Sievert Electric and Crane was a renovation and expansion project that sought to not only update this growing company’s headquarters, but to reshape Sievert’s workplace culture and to serve as a home base for Sievert’s team— most of which are working in the field throughout Chicago. Sievert’s rich history and heritage was a key focus for the design and the story of Sievert’s longevity and investment within the local community was thoughtfully and subtly communicated throughout the interior space.
In keeping with Sievert’s mission to showcase their investment in their employees, multiple elements were incorporated to support health and wellness (both physically and emotionally) throughout the project. All employees received sit to stand desks to promote individual movement. Flexible conference rooms included multiple focus spaces for individuals to reserve for uninterrupted work. A central cafe space became a hub for gathering where safety meetings and continued education classwork could be hosted.
Moving away from high-partitioned 10’x10’ cubicals allowed for increased optimization of space and amenities. New workstations include 6’x8’ workstations that host sit-to stand work surfaces, ample storage and tack-able partitions. Within the crane division, where collaboration is high, a bench style sit-to-stand desking solution was favored. Closed offices with glass partitions keep sight lines open, re-iterating Sievert’s desire for an open and transparent workplace. Tackable felt wall coverings were incorporated within offices to create a “work wall” where schedules, reminders and project data can be posted.
Local artisans and craftsmen were leveraged to create numerous branding focal points. “Buying small” became a mantra during the procurement of specialty materials. Hand flamed old-growth wood lap wraps the central portion of walls making an impact upon first arrival where a steel sign cut by a local artist subtly displays Sievert’s logo. A large community table crafted by a local furniture artisan made of 100 year old barn beams, echo Sievert’s heritage of being in business since 1913. A large mural of the original Sievert truck serves as a reminder of small beginnings. A hand crafted wood block wall was installed to provide a flexible employee controlled photo wall. Employees are encouraged to snap photos during events and highlight new crew members who’s photos are then, with hammer in hand, nailed onto individual blocks. A functioning blue crane hoist soars above the crane division’s open office area creating a conversation topic for prospective clients who come for meetings. Art throughout the project is comprised of vintage prints of electrical motors and original historical photographs of the city in which Sievert has served for over a century.
Low ceilings, high cubical walls and closed offices created an isolated interior space.