Case Study

Hillshire Brands

Hillshire Brands

Challenge: Hillshire Brands—formerly Sara Lee Corporation—took its new identity on the road in late 2012, moving from the suburbs into downtown Chicago. The building of choice for its new world headquarters was a 1946 four-story, Alfred S. Alschuler II designed, Art Moderne building in downtown Chicago’s West Loop. Not only did the building team have to complete the $75 million project under a strict, 10-month timeline, it had to make a 66-year-old space new again.

  • Chicago, IL Location
  • Office Building Type

Influence: The goal was to renovate the building to create a campus feel in the Canal-Congress district of the West Loop, an area that is in the midst of revitalization. Hillshire Brands is one of the anchors in an area transitioning from a mix of older, deteriorating buildings and vacant lots to commercial and residential buildings and an expanded transportation center.

Criteria: The heavy brick facade needed a fresh, new look, and Hillshire Brands wanted an open, collaborative work environment, which required a full retrofit inside and out that would enhance its commitment to sound and sustainable business practices.

Solution: SunGuard® SN 68

Architect Proteus Group called for gutting the interior and removing significant portions of the exterior brick walls, stripping the building down to its concrete frame. The exterior is now punctuated with long bands of ribbon windows, including bent glass corners to continue the look, helping bring expansive natural light into the open floor plan. Mark T. Maturo, AIA, director of design at Proteus Group points out, “The excellent light-to-solar gain ratio of the selected glass contributes to the building’s low energy consumption, moderating the internal temperature while providing the occupants with abundant natural light that moves through the open, community-minded workspace. Also, the low-tint, clear color complemented the 1940s streamlined aesthetic of the building.”

Results: The building is LEED Gold certified and was named 2012 Office Redevelopment of the Year by the Commercial Real Estate Development Association of Chicago.