The Latest and Greatest Tenant Amenity? Modern Art.
Chicago, IL | October 31, 2017
To compete in the CRE amenity wars, owners of CRE are offering everything from tenant lounges featuring guest baristas to yoga and meditation rooms. The owners of the Inland Steel Building, also known as 30 West Monroe, are appealing to Chicago's cultural side and have installed the internationally acclaimed artist Anish Kapoor’s piece, Blood Mirror. This is a significant addition to the building’s already impressive collection of contemporary art. Recognized for his use of simple curved structures and monochromatic color schemes, Kapoor is also the genius behind Millennium Park’s Cloud Gate, otherwise known as, “The Bean,” that’s visited by thousands of selfie lovers from all over the world.
Created in 2000, Blood Mirror is a 6.5-foot-tall, 400-pound sculpture that’s deep red in color with a highly reflective, concave surface made of stainless steel and lacquer that distorts the images around it. The sculpture was purchased by Richard Cohen, president of Capital Properties and owner of the Inland Steel Building, who has been the driving force behind making modern art a prominent amenity in the historic building. The piece joins Richard Lippold’s Radiant One, a golden rod and wire sculpture situated inside of a fountain in the lobby’s center, as well as a security desk designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, popularly dubbed “Icehenge,” for the structure’s translucent, blocky form. Like Kapoor, Gehry also contributed to Millennium Park as the architect for the Jay Pritzker Pavilion.
"Like Radiant One and Icehenge, Blood Mirror complements the property’s stainless-steel façade and black marble interior that’s representative of its postwar era origins,” said Cohen. “The lobby artwork also serves as the finishing touch to the recent renovations that redefined the building as an embodiment of progress, while maintaining its midcentury modern style.”
Inland Steel has always been a big draw for those with a taste for aesthetics, as is evident by some of the property’s tenants. “We currently have a number of high-profile architectural firms located at our building who truly appreciate the commitment Mr. Cohen and Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill have made to preserving its contemporary and sophisticated design, while simultaneously improving its energy efficiency and enhancing tenant features,” said MB Real Estate vice president and general manager of Inland Steel, Cate McCormack. “Installing Blood Mirror in the building’s lobby keeps in tow with that commitment.”
One of the city’s defining commercial high-rises and a Chicago Landmark, the Inland Steel Building was designed by Bruce Graham and Walter Netsch of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill. The property recently underwent renovations that included the addition of high-end washrooms, a fitness center and two green roofs, upgrades to building systems, and a new plaza. The 19-story, 235,000 square-foot building was constructed in 1957 and was the first skyscraper to be built in Chicago’s Loop after the Great Depression. The Inland Steel Building was also the first commercial office building in the Loop to provide contemporary art as a permanent installation and tenant amenity, making it a place not just for work, but for art.