A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of visiting the brand new global headquarters of Motorola Mobility, located in the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago. I was there with the Midwest #VZWBuzz team, part of an ongoing social media initiative for Verizon Wireless.
Motorola has a long history in Chicago, having started out there as Galvin Manufacturing Corp some 90 years ago. At over 600,000 square feet, the new Motorola Mobility facility represents the largest downtown lease since 2005. It occupies the top four floors and rooftop of the Merchandise Mart, space that previously housed over one hundred home interior showrooms.
The architecture firm Gensler was hired to effect the transformation, and the result is an eye-popping blend of high-tech imagery, graffiti art, and flexible office space that fully reflects the innovative ideals of the new company.
About 2,000 employees have moved into the new space, which includes 75,000 square feet dedicated solely to labs. These labs are now at the forefront of the design and testing of the new Motorola Mobility devices that will follow in the footsteps of the Moto X, Moto G and the iconic Droid smartphones.
The new facilities also include nine kitchens, a game room, and what seems like acres of open work space. Employees are encouraged to move around to facilitate collaboration and there are even treadmill desks if they get tired of sitting still for too long. Of course, landlines are a thing of the past, so no-one is tied down by desktop communications.
Kudos to Motorola Mobility for having the vision and resolve to create such an amazing space.