NEXT – 347 W. Chestnut, Chicago, Illinois
By John W. Hammerschlag
NEXT is a luxury apartment building located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. A hotspot of art, culture, shopping, dining, and nightlife, River North has a lot to offer, making the once derelict area attractive to developers and residents.
In early winter 2018, Hammerschlag & Co, Inc. was contracted to advise Fifield Companies on how to improve the parking facility graphics for the newly developed 310-unit building. Fifield commissioned several notable graffiti artists to paint a unique mural on each floor, bringing the vibrancy of the neighborhood inside. Hammerschlag & Co., Inc. worked with Dave Monahan of All American Sign to incorporate recognizable wayfinding signage that coordinated with the garage’s design aesthetic.
Each floor is color coded with primary Pantone colors to complement each mural. Elevator core interiors, exteriors, and columns on each floor were painted to give each floor its own identity. The murals add a hint of edginess to the parking structure, a nod to the neighborhood’s lively atmosphere.
A parking garage may be a necessity but with planning and creativity, it can be elevated to match the energy of the surrounding environment through tasteful and effective graphics.
John Hammerschlag is President of Hammerschlag & Co., Inc. and is a member of IPMI’s Planning, Design, and Construction Committee. He can be reached at email@example.com.