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Best Buy

Michigan Avenue

Chicago, Illinois

Project PDF

Inside-Out: A Strong Visual Attractor


A Best Buy at this high-profile 30,000-square-foot location needed to stand out among the many upscale storefronts and competing architecture of Chicago's bustling Michigan Avenue. We wanted to give customers the feeling not just of shopping at any Best Buy chain store, but of actually being in a part of Chicago's distinctive landscape.


Having two floors at The John Hancock Center offered us unique opportunities to express the Best Buy brand to the street by "letting the inside out." Partial-height fixture walls, with bold graphics facing the street, soar away from floor-to-ceiling windows. Thus we used the massive glass panes to present an imaginative landscape of technology floating inside a glass-and-steel box.

Because Best Buy wanted stairs rather than an escalator, the open-rise stair configuration we chose opened a new well space from the first to the second floor, filled with natural light and active shoppers to make it as inviting as possible. Murals of Chicago neighborhoods and landmarks add a local reference. A grand boulevard traverses the entire length of the building, greatly simplifying circulation so that customers can move effortlessly throughout the store.

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