Office Buildings

Project Showcase: Chicago Cruise Lines

The new headquarters, a 9,800-square-foot office, is conveniently located next to the cruise line’s docking area on the river.
By RTM Associates September 11, 2019
A 9,800-square-foot office space in the Chicago Loop overlooking the Chicago River. The space includes private and open office space layout, conference rooms, and an open kitchen and cafe space. Photo courtesy: RTM Associates

Scenic and strollable, the Chicago Riverwalk stretches for over a mile along the south bank of the Chicago River. The Riverwalk is dotted with restaurants, bars, museums, and monuments – and is the ideal location for a river cruise company’s new central office.

Two sister Chicago cruise lines recently merged their previous office spaces – a suburban headquarters and a supporting city office – into one impressive location on the 15th floor of 303 E. Wacker Drive, overlooking the Chicago Riverwalk. The new headquarters, a 9,800-square-foot office, is conveniently located next to the cruise line’s docking area on the river.

A 9,800-square-foot office space in the Chicago Loop overlooking the Chicago River. The space includes private and open office space layout, conference rooms, and an open kitchen and cafe space. Photo courtesy: RTM Associates

RTM provided mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering design for the office, working closely with Bear Construction as a general contractor to meet special requirements, and Collective Office for architecture and design services.

The space featured private offices, open-plan workstations, conference rooms, and an open kitchen space, café, and dining area. The open design of the space created an airy, modern aesthetic but it also presented several mechanical and electrical challenges that RTM had to find solutions for.

A 9,800-square-foot office space in the Chicago Loop overlooking the Chicago River. The space includes private and open office space layout, conference rooms, and an open kitchen and cafe space. Photo courtesy: RTM Associates

To provide adequate air circulation in the private offices while maintaining privacy and appearances, RTM designed a system featuring linear slot diffusers with a sound boot. The diffusers prevented noise from the private offices from carrying into the open-plan area. A sound masking system throughout the office also added a layer of ambient background sound in order to reduce noise distractions, safeguard private conversations, and enhance overall employee comfort.

The electrical design for the office included lighting controls to meet IECC energy code. And to reduce the overall amount of electrical lighting needed and save on energy usage, RTM used daylight harvesting, placing a section of workstations next to a row of large windows.


This article originally appeared on RTM Associates’ website. RTM Associates is a CFE Media content partner. 


RTM Associates