Project Detail


Serta International Headquarters

Chicago, IL United States


Project Description

Located on a sloping wetlands site in the Prairie Stone Office Park near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, the Serta headquarters is a suitably Midwestern exercise in horizontality—along the historical lines of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright. The bulk of the building is an S-shaped, single-story, post-tensioned concrete volume that seems to float on its recessed base. The south end of the building rests on piers to maintain the horizontal baseline where the site slopes sharply down to a water detention pond.

The building façade is demarcated by a projecting lip of concrete at the top and another at the base; both run the length of the structure. The area within these “brows” is glazed to allow maximum views out and daylight in. Interrupting the glass expanse are five projecting bays, which add texture to the façade and create additional space within the narrow floor plate for executive offices and conference rooms. The largest bay houses a training room and cantilevers out 14 feet from the building’s base.

A two-story steel-framed structure on the east side of the building houses the R&D facility. Clad in channel glass to obscure the industrial interior, the structure features a roof canopy that covers the sole second-story element on the main building—a cafeteria and sunshaded roof deck.

The main building’s interior is split into two zones—public and private—by a frosted glass interior wall along the eastern edge. Most enclosed spaces are ganged up along the wall, leaving the rest of the floor for open office space. And open it is—post-tensioned concrete beams allowed for 47-foot clear spans, limiting the number of columns in the space. The finishes show a hyper-attention to detail, with Metter designing some of the drawer hardware himself to maintain the minimalist aesthetic.

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Project Details

Serta International Headquarters
Shared by:
Project Team:
    Andrew Metter, principal designer; Daesun Park, design architect; Doug Fullick, project manager
  • Landscape Architect: Jacobs/Ryan Associates Landscape Architects 
  • Structural Engineer: Epstein Engineering 
  • Civil Engineer: Epstein Engineering 
  • Electrical Engineer: Epstein Engineering 
  • Mechanical Engineer: Epstein Engineering 
  • Plumbing Engineer: Epstein Engineering 
  • Interior Designer: Epstein Interior 
Project Type:
Project Status:
Project Size:
    90,000 sq ft

Specified Products

Spancrete Spancrete Concrete Plank

Architect Andrew Metter specified precast planks from Spancrete as infill between the roof’s cast-in-place post-tensioned concrete beams. He chose concrete because it could give a much sleeker profile at the perimeter roof overhang than a steel structure would have allowed, and Spancrete panels helped to finish the structure in a cost-effective manner. The roof is strong enough to support the additional weight of a green roof—an idea that was discussed but did not make the final design.

Bendheim Wall Systems Channel Glass

To conceal the industrial R&D works without minimizing daylight, Metter’s team turned to channel glass from Bendheim Wall Systems. The glass allows the space to operate largely without artificial lighting but hides the piles of materials and machinery from public view. The glass channels are one of the few vertically oriented elements on a very horizontal building, emphasizing the relative height of the two-story volume.



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