Devon Patterson: “WMS Gaming wanted a state-of-the-art facility with a dynamic, inviting environment and fantastic amenities package for its game developers. The most exciting part for me was the opportunity to create a space that competes with the design and amenities that technology companies offer on the West Coast, helping keep technology professionals right here in Chicago.

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Devon Patterson is a design principal at Solomon Cordwell Buenz in Chicago. Photo: Samantha Simmons

“To achieve LEED Platinum in a four-story building where running slot machines and advanced software programs are part of daily life, we needed to reduce the energy load. The developers actually prefer to work in a dark space similar to a casino interior, so we dimmed the lights, significantly reduced the lighting density per square foot, and utilized an automated daylight shading system. We also limited glass on the exterior walls, resulting in U-values ranging between 0.0033 and 0.36.”


The crinkled roofline above the main entrance serves both as an on-site rain harvesting system for toilet flushing and irrigation and as an aesthetic gesture connecting the new building with WMS Gaming’s former warehouse building. Photo: Dave Burk, Hedrich Blessing


Gathering areas such as this informal cafe space were given natural light and views. Spectrally selective glazing lets in visible light without solar gain. Photo: Brian Palm


A landscaped rooftop terrace overlooking the Chicago River to provides an attractive outdoor area for employees and to mitigate urban heat island effect. Photo: Brian Palm


Because WMS employees can work long hours, the ground floor was given over to amenities, including a basketball court, fitness center, and café. Photo: Brian Palm


Sited on the north branch of the Chicago River across from a burgeoning recreational area, the WMS Gaming building is also near public transportation, local restaurants, and other amenities. Photo: Dave Burk, Hedrich Blessing

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Next project:
Ignite Glass Studios
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Andrew Metter