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Take a Ride Through SRAM's New Chicago HQ

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This bicycle component manufacturer has the most bike-friendly office in Chicago


When the old Fulton Market Cold Storage building at 1000 W. Fulton Street reopened as 1K Fulton last summer, the development marked a major transformation not only for the building, but for the greater Fulton Market area from a meatpacking and food distribution center to the new home of some big tech tenants. While Google may have garnered the most attention for their relocation into the building, SRAM Corporation, a homegrown bicycle component maker, is also doing big things in the West Loop. The Chicago-based company, previously located in the River North neighborhood, teamed up with the architects at Perkins + Will to design a new office that would not only be a fun and exciting place to work, but one that would reflect the ethos of the company as a leading outfit in the bicycle industry.

SRAM and its staff of 100 moved into their new office at 1K Fulton last summer. And from a glance, it's hard to mistake SRAM's office for being the home of anything other than a bicycle component manufacturer. The office has many bicycle-themed features, including a bike path that winds around the space, work benches and bike stands for mechanics, bike parking, and locker rooms with showers to help promote bicycling to work. While the office has an open air floor plan, employees aren't crammed together in long rows of shared desks. Instead, there are individual work stations, as well as a number of areas for employees to interact or to simply get some quiet time. There are only four private offices in SRAM's 72,000-square-foot HQ.

The materials used are also telling. Throughout the office, there are hints of recycled wood, plated steel, and even bicycle grip tape found on door handles. Of course, SRAM's company colors of red, white and black are also found on furniture, walls, and lockers.

For employees looking to take a break, there's a kitchen large enough to accommodate the entire staff of the company, as well as an outdoor deck space with tables and chairs. Employees can help themselves to coffee at the office's cafe and catch the latest stage of the Tour de France, or get their hands dirty in special areas for machining equipment. While the office is sleek and stylish, the company's products are meant to be used outdoors and take years of abuse.

One Day at SRAM from Perkins+Will on Vimeo.

·SRAM [Official website]

·Perkins + Will [Official website]

·Curbed Inside archives [Curbed Chicago]