Jan 07, 2013
THEME: Workplace

Emerging from the Deep Freeze: SRAM’s New Global Headquarters

Our design for the new global headquarters of SRAM, a bike components manufacturer that is passionate about cycling, is underway for the previous site of a decades-old ice storage building in Chicago’s Fulton Market District. 

Photo courtesy of the author, Perkins+Will

Not your typical headquarters, our team is developing a design that will connect two levels of workspace with a bleacher stair for group gatherings, a product development machine shop, and an internal cycling test track. This is also not your typical adaptive warehouse reuse project—up until last October the space was part of ten stories of cold storage for the meat and fish market…

After decades of use, the building literally had to be defrosted like an old freezer. See the Time Lapse Video (courtesy of Sterling Bay Companies.) At the: 24 second mark, you can see the large propane heaters brought in to accelerate the melting process.

Photographer: Gary R. Jensen Photo courtesy of the developer, Sterling Bay Companies


Photographer: Gary R. Jensen Photo courtesy of the developer, Sterling Bay Companies

The many large columns pictured above is a unique feature and challenge for the design team.

Photographer: Gary R. Jensen Photo courtesy of the developer, Sterling Bay Companies


Photographer: Gary R. Jensen Photo courtesy of the developer, Sterling Bay Companies

Pretty cool, hey? 


  1. Phil Harrison Phil Harrison
    9:56 am on January 9, 2013 | Reply

    I can’t wait to see how this project develops! SRAM is one of the most prominent examples of American design and manufacturing ingenuity (my opinion anyway, since I rely on their products to make my bikes go faster!). Their HQ design will undoubtedly match the company’s level of standout innovation! Heat up the deep freeze!

  2. Brian F
    11:25 am on January 16, 2013 | Reply

    What problems are you expecting to run into due to the prior use of the building? Are you expecting any structural issues from the freeze/thraw?

    • Eric Mersmann
      12:17 pm on January 16, 2013 | Reply

      To Brian F – Perkins+Will is not working on the base building core/shell project, so we are not specifically responsible for this analysis and scope. That being said, we will be watching the thaw process closely as the demolition continues into 2013. Since the building is being stripped down to the structure, including the removal of most of the brick facades, any structural issues should be easily visible. Hopefully with the prior use as a storage warehouse, the robust concrete structural frame will not suffer any damage during this transition. As our tenant interior project nears we will be looking closer at moisture content in the slabs and confirming the building has been sufficiently dried out, and also “aired out”. Let’s just say the fragrance of frozen meat and fish has not quite left the building yet.

  3. Fred
    7:26 pm on January 16, 2013 | Reply

    I am so happy to see Chicago returning to the forefront of bicycle technology again. All I need now is a story about SA re-purposing that university in Nottingham and my day would be complete!

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Verbazingwekkende foto’s van de ijsopbouw kunt u hier zien. […]

  2. […] Developed by Sterling Bay Companies, and designed by Hartshorne Plunkard Architects and Perkins+Will, 1K Fulton is already under renovation to become a new LEED-certified office and retail building in […]

  3. […] SRAM, a bike component manufacturer who will use the space for its global headquarters. Architects Perkins + Will were hired to help convert the ice-encrusted space into a new, modernized office building and were […]

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