The interior of the Swiss Consulate in Chicago is prone to 1960s modernism

The Swiss firm HHF and the Chicago studio Kwong Von Glinow collaborated on the interiors of the Swiss consulate located in Chicago’s John Hancock Center.


Located on the 38th floor of a 100-storey super-skyscraper, the 1,500-square-foot office is designed to pay homage to the shared architectural history of Chicago and Switzerland.

The Swiss Consulate is located in the center of John Hancock

HHF i Kwong from Glinow it was drawn from the home interiors of Swiss modernist architect and designer Otto Kolb, who taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

The original Otto Kolb lighting elements were used all the time, and the mid-century office-style furniture is the result of a collaboration with Ginger Zalab, Kolba’s grandson and the company’s founder. Zalaba Design.

Interiors of the Swiss Consulate of HHF and Kwong Von Glinow
HHF and Kwong Von Glinow commented on the work of architect Otto Kolb from the 1960s

“The Swiss consulate was developed as one fluid space,” the designers told Dezeen. “Similar to design Villa Kolb on the outskirts of Zurich. “

In the center of the office, the area is carved with curved pieces of wooden slats and plants in relation to the cylindrical fireplace of Villa Kolb.

Green kitchen office interiors in Chicago, HHF and Kwong Von Glinow
The kitchen is painted in dark green

These wooden dividers – painted deep green on the inside and white on the back – work to separate the social parts of the office from the workspaces, loosely enclosing the green kitchenette and the central high desk.

“The light-changing screens that form the green core act as intermediaries between the larger public space and the consulate’s work areas,” the designers explained.

“Taking into account how kitchens are usually used in the house as a place where interactions between family members take place on a daily basis, the kitchenette becomes a meeting place for the Swiss consulate.”

Three desks sit next to this central core, while two individual offices and a conference room are separated from the more social area by large frosted glass partition walls that help draw light deeper into the plan.

Meeting room at John Hancock Center
Meeting rooms are glazed with frosted glass

“Since the meeting room does not have access to direct light, natural light comes from matte partitions separating it from the deputy office,” the designers explained.

Since privacy and security are important, the only entrance to the office is through a chrome-plated mirrored door that stands next to a bright red reception cabin.

Reception and chrome doors of the Swiss Consulate in Chicago
The reception is painted bright red

Kwong Von Glinow recently completed his first project since founding an internship in 2017, a light and spacious house in Chicago aimed at demonstrating an alternative to developer-led housing.

The global practice of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, the original designers of the John John Hancock Center where the Swiss consulate is based, also recently unveiled plans for a new curved glass canopy for the State / Lake subway station in Chicago.

The photo was written by James Florio.

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