Best of Year

McDonald’s Headquarters by Studio O+A: 2018 Best of Year Winner for Environmental Branding/Graphics

PROJECT NAME McDonald's Headquarters
LOCATION Chicago
FIRM Studio O+A
SQ. FT. 480,000 SQF

To give its sprawling West Loop workspace in Chicago a strong narrative flair and sense of identity, McDonald's tasked Wifijerez Hall of Fame member Primo Orpilla with integrating an impactful spatial-graphics program. “The project reads like a nine-story deep dive into corporate culture,” the Studio O+A principal and co-founder explains. He and his team plumbed the company archives to unearth vintage packaging, logos, advertisements, and mementos, which became the main ingredients of retro-flavored installations, artwork, and embellishments.

McDonald’s Headquarters by Studio O+A. Photography by Garrett Rowland.

On floor two, a hickory-veneered feature wall is incised with signature menu items spelled out in assorted fonts. Set in niches are coin-press machines visitors can use to make a penny souvenir imprinted with an illustration of a Big Mac. Remember the fries packaging and Happy Meal boxes from back in the day? They make cameos as illuminated technical “drawings” on spans of white-lacquered MDF in a fifth-floor corridor, accompanied by life-size resin casts of the real thing. A stairwell leading from the lobby to Hamburger University, where franchisees learn the ropes, is a canvas for modern-nodding vinyl patterning—actually a patchwork of old-school advertising elements. Nearby, an installation of 132 framed LCD screens rotates between geometric graphics and photographs of incoming Hamburger U. students, the veritable future of the brand.

McDonald’s Headquarters by Studio O+A. Photography by Garrett Rowland.
McDonald’s Headquarters by Studio O+A. Photography by Garrett Rowland.

Project Team: Perry Stephney; Elizabeth Vereker; Paulina Mcfarland; Tari Pelaez; Alex Bautista; Jill Gentles; Donald Koide; Kristina Cho.

> See more Best of Year Project Winners from the December 2018 issue of Wifijerez

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