In March of 2009, Joel Berman Glass Studios, Ltd [JBGS] once again retained marquardt+ (work performed as Design Collaboratives) to extensively renovate and expand product presence for their Chicago Showroom located at the Merchandise Mart. The original design, completed in 2001 by marquardt+, was a minimal "L" shaped box that fit perfectly with the client's original needs.

The 2009 client brief requested the re-use of existing product displays and support systems with new glass, branding and the densification and division of areas through the installation of new glass applications, hardware, display systems and color. In addition, JBGS introduced a new line of lighting fixtures called Heat that they requested be scaled and profiled as a main fixture of the newly defined conference area.

marquardt+ re-envisioned the Berman showroom to emphasize product layering, light and translucency, as well as to increase density without losing focus on the benefits of the product. Every aspect of the space was designed with consistency of scale and materials to maintain the original minimal feel of the showroom while increasing product displays and preserving the sculptural quality of the showroom.

A variety of glass products and textures were added to the space. The design utilizes post-mounted, pivoting displays and product laminated to walls to allow client review without reducing floor space. The layered, pivoting display panel and hardware allow better understanding of transparencies, textures and light control in privacy applications.

marquardt+ showcased JBGS's new glass screen divider hardware system by using the product to sub-divide the conference area from the main showroom and staff support offices. The screen also became the perfect application to present an intermix of the Berman Interlayer glass line that sandwiches a variety of metals, wire and other materials between glass panels for added sheens, appearances and screening effects.

The JBGS team and marquardt+ worked together to develop a new color scheme that was more restrained and provided an unexpected tonality not normally seen with architectural and interior glass products.

The rear wall, formerly a focal point of the space through the use of aggressive paint colors, was transformed by laminating with 56"x 18" sections of Salt, JBGS's new granulated glass surface product for 2009. This wall modulation was developed by flush mounting the vertical joints to create a 1/8" horizontal, flush steel edge detail where the glass could be mounted to articulate the horizontality of the wall. Between the dry textural appearance of the Salt product and restrained, sophisticated taupe/grey paint used, the display wall becomes an unexpected discovery of light and touch. This color and detail transforms the coordinated interior tones of white, grey, blue and green into a more elegant, soft experience for prospective customers.

The resulting renovated space is more lush and sensual while maintaining a creative feel that showcases why Joel Berman Glass Studios is the industry leader in kiln and pressure formed products. It is also why they are one of the most respected and valued clients of marquardt+.