January 14, 2013
Bike component manufacturer, SRAM, is getting a new global headquarters in Chicago, courtesy of Perkins + Will. Located in Chicago’s Fulton Market District, the new two-story office will feature everything from bleacher seating to an interior cycling test track. Interestingly, the project repurposes an old cold-storage warehouse, thus presenting the architects with a very peculiar problem. Large structures of ice covered the walls, floors, and ceiling of the space, which, of course, had to be thawed before the architects could begin with their intervention. Lots of waiting ensued.
While the suspended ice ceilings and crystallized stalagmites created a beautiful winter scene, the cold refrigeration was less than conducive for traditional office work (it’s nearly impossible to type while wearing gloves!) Last November, propane heaters were finally brought in to speed the melting process, providing us with a mesmerizing, icy time-lapse video of the process. Click through for video and more images of the epic thaw.