This article was originally published on Metropolis Magazine as "Will the Culture of Good Taste Devour McDonald's?" At a new corporate headquarters in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood, there’s a double-height lobby filled with green walls and massive art installations. Travel to its top floor roof deck and you’ll find a cozy fire pit next to a fitness center and bar (happy hours are on Thursday). Elsewhere, stair-seating terraces face floor-to-ceiling windows with views of the Chicago skyline. This vertical campus settles in peaceably among its tony Randolph Street neighbors—Michelin stars, tech giants, and boutique hotels. At first glance, it’s refined and tasteful enough to be any one of these. But this gleaming new building, designed by the Chicago offices of Gensler, Interior Architects, and Studio O+A, is home to one of the most recognizable and ubiquitous brands in the world—McDonald’s. And you will be hard-pressed to spy its iconic golden arches in the public lobby or anywhere else.
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