LOOKING UP

Biophilic Design in Light of Art, Neuroscience, and Technology

New Installation: Chicago Mid-Century Office

Restoring employee wellness in underground offices now has an evidence-based solution.

Written by: David Navarrete

Imagine that you work at the national headquarters of a well-known professional organization. The central office conjures images of a beautiful high rise or skyscraper with a spacious lobby, elegant artwork, and granite walls.


Every morning, however, rather than head to the elevators and punch double digit numbers to soar high above the city’s skyline, instead you depress a double letter indicating you’re heading down. To the basement. To your office basement.

So much for the fancy downtown address or attractive architecture. When you find yourself in the foundation of the building, rather than swept to the upper floors, the confining nature of the workplace impacts wellness and performance. Yet, this is the reality for many who are in call or training centers located in isolated interior areas.

“It’s a challenge for us on the lower level,” says Charles, Manager of the Member Service & Training Center for a professional association in downtown Chicago. “I have been here for 13 years and we’ve had the virtual skylights for a year and a half now and we are very grateful to have this installation.”


Sky Factory installed a series of 2’ X 6’ Revelation SkyCeilings in the main training center and an additional pair in the team’s underground lounge.

“They bring a wonderful dimension to the call center and lounge. Even though they are just an optical illusion, we do feel like we have a sense of the outside. The skylights do something to the ambiance of the room,” adds Charles.


The skylights calibrated daylight-quality light help mimic the same frequency of daylight we experience between 9 am and 3 pm when light intensity supports mental acuity and focused tasks.

“They help you especially during winter when you can’t go out and you’re down here. You come in at 7:30 – 8:00 am and you don’t leave until 4:30 pm, so there’s no chance to get any light. Psychologically, the simulated skylights make people more positive,” adds Charles.


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