The sustainability approach to the Hive on Hubbard was a four-fold comprehensive investigation. First, the project was inherently focused on salvaging and abandoned furniture warehouse and revitalizing the building for office use and private events in the heart of the Kinzie Corridor of Chicago. Next, the design team set minimum energy use goals that focused on passive ventilation and increased insulation to reduce the buildings footprint. Since the design process focused on material reclamation and protection, the project was able to minimize use of new materials. For example, bathrooms and breakrooms that would be refinished with tile were relocated to areas of the building with the most damaged wood flooring; any salvageable planks could then be reclaimed to repair other areas of the space. Finally the project increased site vegetation and plantings in order to minimize site water run-off and reduce heat island effect.
Busy Bee Promotions is an international guerrilla marketing firm specializing in food promotions. As such, they needed a space to showcase cooking experiences and host events to celebrate their client’s product lines. In 2013 they acquired an abandoned warehouse in West Town Chicago. The building, originally built in 1872, served as a furniture company helping Chicago retailers rebuild after the Great Fire. The rehabilitation preserved this history through structural and accessibility upgrades for building reuse as an office and event space.
One major aspect to the project was developing a new accessible entrance that would situate a new ramp for universal access while maintaining and protecting the original design elements. Working closely with the city’s MOPD office, the project constructed a new entrance and canopy at the east end of the building closest to the parking lot, allowing for the protection of the original cast iron canopy at the opposite side of the building.
In addition to the entrance, the revitalization of the event space required new accessible bathrooms and updates to the stairwells. The design team minimized material impact in order to maintain and restore original features of the building.
The project focused sustainability efforts on material reuse, minimized energy usage through passive ventilation and increased building insulation, and provided landscape vegetation to minimize site water run-off and reduce heat island effect. The space is now featured as one of Chicago’s premiere private event spaces and is a sought after venue for weddings and corporate parties.