Original AT&T headquarters designer tabbed for Bell Works project

  • Somerset Development has retained Chicago-based Wight & Company to provide architectural design services for its Bell Works Chicagoland redevelopment in Hoffman Estates.

    Somerset Development has retained Chicago-based Wight & Company to provide architectural design services for its Bell Works Chicagoland redevelopment in Hoffman Estates. Image courtesy Wight & Company

 
 
Updated 7/12/2019 2:45 PM

The original designer of the former AT&T headquarters campus in Hoffman Estates has been selected to lead the redevelopment of the site into a "metroburb," the project's developer announced this week.

Somerset Development said it has selected Chicago-based firm Wight & Company to provide design services for the redevelopment of the campus into the Bell Works Chicagoland development. Wight & Company Principal Dirk Lohan -- who designed the original Ameritech Center campus in 1989 -- will be on the project, the company said in a release.

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Lohan and the Wight team will work with Somerset planners to convert the former 1.65 million-square-foot headquarters into Bell Works Chicagoland, an ecosystem of residences, offices, shops, dining, event space and community resources. The project is similar to one Somerset developed in Monmouth, New Jersey.

"This project offers an incredible opportunity to re-imagine a magnificent building and location for the next generation," Lohan said. "On a personal level, it is a gift to be able to not just revisit, but re-imagine a structure I designed in an era when suburban development was approached quite differently."

The Bell Works project will retain some of the original development's most distinguishing features, according to the company. The 67,000-square-foot solarium that served as the AT&T food service area on the building's top level will be transformed into an event center, overlooking the property's landscaped grounds. The glass-roofed corridors that connected the building's wings to a central atrium will be converted into restaurants, retail and services for Bell Works tenants and the public.

Somerset plans to include an 80,000-square-foot conference center and 29,000-square-foot fitness center. Future plans for the project will eventually incorporate separate retail, residential and hospitality space on the surrounding property.

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