KPMG Ignition Centers throughout the United States serve as the innovation and transformation hubs for the global professional services firm. Each is uniquely designed to represent the disruptive thinking that happens within the space and serve as everyday inspiration for both workforce and clients.
Forcade designed the KPMG Ignition Chicago space to deliver a “City Centric” expression of discovery and innovation that is unique to the Chicago market. We started by crafting a positioning statement centered on the rich history of “firsts” shared by both Chicago and KPMG, which served as a guide for the creation of the project and a benchmark for the design ideas.
Complementing the interiors designed by Perkins+Will, we added 7-feet-tall neon KPMG letters to greet visitors in the entryway. This larger-than-life design element instantly conveys that the Ignition Center isn’t just another KPMG office. But going big wasn’t the only way we made an impact.
Once you enter the space, you’re instantly drawn to an awe-inspiring wall made entirely of little pennies. The “Penny Wall” offers a bold statement about Chicago reaching back to the 1893 Columbian Exposition. The installation features 30,000 rolled pennies – a novelty of the Exposition – that are inscribed with the “firsts” that were invented in Chicago. It’s also a highly interactive, engaging and entertaining experience, allowing visitors to help build the story by “rolling” pennies and hanging them in place on the wall.
We continued the innovations of Chicago theme throughout the general work areas and collaborative environments. These include a dimensional quote wall from Ferris Bueller (the cult-classic movie takes place in Chicago) as well as red zippers (another Chicago first) used as intriguing details on leather walls that spell out KPMG.
The importance of KPMG “firsts” is represented in highly creative and inspiring ways, too. We hand-painted the history of the company’s many faces through the years and even gave a fun nod to the Scottish roots of the founders by overlaying a neon message on a field of “KPMG Plaid.”
The finished KPMG Ignition Chicago space provides a lively, energetic backdrop for the incredibly innovative work that happens within it. Focusing on the common ground of the pioneering history of both the company and the city resulted in an unparalleled design solution that sets the space apart from any other KPMG office in the world.