The Eight O Five apartment building in Chicago bills itself as being “not just a box” but “architecture with a soul.” If that’s the case then you can glimpse intriguingly twisted little bits of that soul in the various elevator lobbies of this 33-floor tower.
Commissioned to come up with a collection of 90 unique art prints for the building, that city’s Thirst design studio developed “a system for assigning characters and design techniques to each print,” explains founder and design director Rick Valicenti; three prints are displayed in each of the 30 elevator lobby bays. “Taking guidance from a Google spreadsheet for the color palette, prints on:
- Floors 4–30 were assigned a letter of the alphabet
- Floors 31–33 the characters &, #, !
- And the penthouse level appropriately showcases the $.”
The pieces themselves are quite unique. Picture Carl Jung high on LSD falling backward through the pages of OMNI magazine circa 1980 and you’ll be pretty close to the mark.
And as you would expect in a residential tower in which apartments go for upwards of $5,000 a month, those pieces of art were produced using top-of-the line methods. Classic Color in Broadview, Ill., printed them on an 8-color Komori UV press with UV gloss coating on Sappi Opus 110 lb. Cover, complete with a dull varnish strikethrough.
Finally, Thirst also designed a limited edition keepsake box containing all 90 prints for those who attended the opening reception at Eight O Five. Sure, they could’ve simply placed these in a simple container…but why do that when you can create a die-cut package that leaves people gaping in awe?
The residents of Eight O Five may never fully appreciate the production process involved in creating their lobby art but we do. We also get a giddy little thrill thinking that even now some resident of the building may be using it to help teach their children their ABCs…
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