Marshall’s Landing Set to Debut on the Second Level of theMART

Scheduled to open to the public just prior to NeoCon, Marshall’s Landing will include a variety of seating options, with a bar as well as a series of curved banquettes near the windows. Image courtesy theMart and A+I.

Further enhancements to the public amenity spaces within theMART in Chicago will debut just in time for NeoCon. Last year, a new staircase incorporating bleacher seating connected the lobby to the second level of theMART, which is owned by Vornado Realty Trust. The 2017 improvements will be seen at the top of those stairs, with upgraded options for eating, drinking, and relaxing. To be named Marshall’s Landing in homage to theMART’s original owner, Marshall Field, the second-floor area will be as much for the building’s 16,000 workers, many of whom are with tech companies, as for the trade show visitors.

A+I, the same New York–based firm that conceived the staircase, has designed Marshall’s Landing with Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates serving as the architect of record. The landing will include a full bar, a coffee bar, open seating and nooks, and a long workstation. “It represents a perfected understanding of the space based on the pop up,” says Ashley Bryan, director of design communications at A+I.


Image courtesy theMart and A+I.

With Marshall’s Landing, theMART will be expanding its offerings for dining. “Food and beverage was the missing element,” says Toni McIntosh, theMART’s vice president of leasing for office and retail industries. “This space is a reflection of our tenants’ needs and new social norms. You can get a full meal or socialize.”

Basic elements from last year’s roughed-out version of this social area will remain, including the exposed concrete floor and columns and the black-painted ceiling structure. A+I is tempering the interior’s hard edges with soft seating and rugs that will subtly define boundaries. Banquettes will add more formal seating along the south wall, where windows face the Chicago River. An L-shaped bar with wood and bronze details will be an inviting focal point.

Walnut finishes and furnishings will be added, including custom library-style tables near the bar. The wood will mark the transition to a private dining room that can also be used for corporate events.


Image courtesy theMart and A+I.

An innovative tech feature will enable customer service. A wireless device will be available at each seating group to summon wait staff, who will have tablet devices to quickly take orders and serve customers. The food and drink selection promises to be enticing as well. To create a full-service menu with a variety of choices, theMART partnered with Chicago-based DMK Restaurants.

A+I posits that Marshall’s Landing will provide a model for contemporary lobby-adjacent spaces. “We don’t always want to be in the office,” Bryan says. “Shared amenities are the next frontier.”