TERRA Office Renovation


Located in the heart of the River North neighborhood of Chicago, this 6-story structure was built in the early 20th century and featured timber loft-styled interiors which boasted 14-foot exposed ceilings. In collaboration with SMNG-A, our project involved the remodel of an approximately 10,000SF corporate office including the combination of the 3rd and 4th floors into one cohesive working space.


TERRA Engineering, Ltd. (TERRA) is a full-service engineering firm that also offers full-service Landscape Architecture and Land Surveying expertise. Internationally recognized for keynote projects across the globe, TERRA experienced significant growth within their industry and their existing office space could no longer comfortably house their increasing numbers of staff. Additionally, TERRA sought to create an office environment which inspired their personnel and encouraged camaraderie and collaboration among their team.


The design consisted of a vibrant color palette which capitalized on the cool tones of the existing timber structure. Lighting was entirely reimagined and upgraded throughout the spaces. All existing workstations were replaced with new adjustable height desks. In addition to providing a more efficient and functional layout, the design also created a recreation space on the lower level which featured a ping-pong table, shuffleboard, and a dry bar. This area could also be transitioned into a collaborative area for large groups.

Integro was challenged on this project to manage an intense occupied phasing schedule which required multiple relocations of the office personnel in order toexecute our work. We worked closely with TERRA’s internal project management team, SMNG-A, and several outside vendors via weekly on-site meetings and intense coordination in order to successfully maintain our deadline.


Our phasing schedule was further stressed by constructability issues regarding the steel staircase which was custom fabricated by the Integro team to join the 3rd and 4th floors. The original intent to structurally reinforce the staircase involved the installation of massive beams from beneath the 3rd floor office which required extensive coordination with the 2nd floor tenant. However, several factors contributed to the reality that our structural installations would compromise the aesthetics of the 2nd floor offices.
As such, Integro and TERRA collaborated intensely and quickly to find an alternative solution. Ultimately, TERRA’s structural engineers envisioned a structural hanging system which allowed the staircase to hang from our 4th floor joists. Integro custom fabricated structural brackets and rods to achieve the proper bearing loads and fastening systems while SMNG-A coordinated and obtained efficient approvals from the authorities at the City of Chicago.


Our final product for the TERRA offices delivered a cohesive layout with improved functionality for productivity and collaborative areas that encouraged a positive working environment. The vibrant colors contrasting with cool tones provided an inspirational experience throughout the space which allowed the TERRA brand to flourish.

Project Photos

River North Neighborhood, Chicago, IL