What a Crazy Year!

The view from the new studio. Photo by Dan Kramer/The Drucker Group.   Words by Founding Principal Tom Zurowski

The view from the new studio. Photo by Dan Kramer/The Drucker Group. 

Words by Founding Principal Tom Zurowski

Whew! The last 365 have been a whirlwind here at Eastlake! I finally found a minute to reflect on all that’s happened in 2017.

There’s so much that I had to put it in a list - here it goes:

  • We finished a ton of great projects and landed some amazing new ones, working with Steve Hall and Kendall McCaugherty on more photo shoots than we can count. It’s rewarding to see the work we’ve done through the story their photos create! Check out Levy, ActiveCampaign and Slayton to name a few.

  • Kevin survived a near-death experience on a ski trip to Vail in February. He came out with a compound break of his arm (and other miscellaneous fractures), but was lucky enough to be operated on by Olympian Lindsey Vonn’s doctor! We’re glad to say Kevin’s back up to full speed (much to the dismay of many contractors).

  • The Studio attended the Chicago Commercial Real Estate Awards and got to see many of our friends in the real estate community come out victorious, including Office Broker Team of the Year (Matt Carolan, Jeff Liljeberg, Meredith O’Connor, Bill Rogers, Steve Steinmeyer of JLL).

  • Eastlake won a third consecutive People’s Choice Award for Pandora at IIDA’s annual Red Awards. Hope to pull off a four-peat next year!

  • We enjoyed monthly studio retreats at locations ranging from sketching at the University of Chicago campus to zip lining in Bemis Woods.

  • Two of our projects, Equator and NCSA, appeared on the Crain’s Coolest Offices shortlist, a competition we won in 2016.

  • With the help of a few friends, we threw a killer party on the rooftop of Navy Pier in conjunction with the Rolling Stones’ Exhibitionism. Who even knew such a thing was possible?  

  • Eastlake received an Interior Architecture Honor Award at AIA Chicago’s annual DesigNight for Pandora’s 80’s-themed office. We also had a blast partying with many industry friends and picking up our award.

  • Eastlake’s design for ActiveCampaign's workplace was featured in Built in Chicago and Crain’s.  

  • New Pru, our early concept for the Chicago Tribune’s new workplace, was included in Chicago Architecture Foundation’s Between States exhibition, part of the Chicago Architecture Biennial. It was an honor to be included among so many amazing firms, and we were excited to be one of the few to focus on interiors.

  • As a member of CBRE's Furniture Forum core group of participants, Christina helped drive an industry discussion about a new process for furniture procurement. We also helped the Forum receive national coverage on Interior Design’s website.

  • Eastlake’s work for Mason Avenue Partners was featured in Design Solutions, the American Woodwork Institute's national publication.

  • Christina hosted the fourth annual Chicks with Sticks golf outing, which never has anything to do with golfing, but has fostered relationships with the amazing and powerful women in our industry.

  • Amy Gozalka, Kevin’s wife, helped us develop an amazing new brand identity. We put that new logo on everything - E is for Eastlake!  

  • Amy also created a new website, and we launched in December. We’re proud of it, and we know the website better communicates who we are and where we’re going.

  • Related to the website, we started this “news and views” section of the site to talk about current studio happenings, industry trends and all of our adventures in and out of the design world.

  • Eastlake supported multiple fundraisers, most significantly when the entire studio pitched in to help out Gabe and Carla’s home turf, Puerto Rico. We also helped the Telos Group sell tickets to their Hurricane Harvey event, extending community outreach and sponsorship beyond our annual support of groups like the American Cancer Society, the Cara Program, City of Hope and Chicago Youth Programs.

  • The studio had one final epic Halloween party, From Gothic to Deco, at our former Neo-Gothic home, Tribune Tower,  before moving to our new Art Deco home, 333 North Michigan. We shall see if the new space can top those great parties…

  • We moved into a beautiful new studio. We look forward to celebrating with you in the former Tavern Club space (as well as snowball fights on our roof deck this winter) and many years of great design here!

  • We celebrated 30 years of Eastlake. You missed our anniversary? Don’t worry, we’re celebrating all damn year, in true Eastlake style. Mark your calendar for our Open House on January 18th!

  • Speaking of getting on in years, we opened our 25th anniversary time capsule recently. We’re pretty sure Kevin was pushing for this because he put a bottle of vodka in it. We drank that bottle, and started gathering things for a new time capsule, closing out an epic 2017!

It’s been a crazy, exciting ride, and we’re eager for the next 365 days, and the next...We couldn’t have had done it without an abundance of great clients, staff, engineers, contractors and product reps as well as family and friends… yeah, you! THANKS, EVERYONE!

Eastlake Studio