Chicago, Illinois

The Exchange

An architectural icon, reborn

Northworks was appointed to carry out a major renovation of one of Chicago’s most architecturally significant addresses. Located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago Loop, Daniel Burnham’s historic 1904 Railway Exchange now stands as The Exchange, a landmark hospitality venture offering world-class dining and entertaining experiences.

Our team took on the challenge of breathing new life into the iconic building’s interior, on behalf of the DMK Restaurants group. Working in close collaboration with award-winning chefs, art consultants, and audio engineers, we created a series of sophisticated dining concepts that activate the building’s 8,000 square-foot, glass-ceiling atrium in its entirety, in addition to adjacent spaces.

We took an innovative approach that embraced the building’s classic ornamentation whilst harnessing the natural light that filled the original three-story atrium.

Our interior team successfully shaped the indoor space into a virtual outdoor oasis. Throughout the renovated Atrium lobby, glass doors affixed to the surrounding bars and restaurants create the effect of streetwise entries. Meanwhile, custom-built faux olive trees and rattan chairs form a relaxed park-like ambiance to tempt visitors inside.

The Exchange Listening Room


Within The Exchange, The Listening Room is a 50-seat bar and lounge with a state-of-the-art sound system, designed specifically for guests to enjoy an immersive auditory experience. Much thought was given to details that would enhance the acoustics of the nightclub-inspired space, such as upholstered seating and plush area rugs. Over in Theo’s Restaurant, moody tones, luxe light fixtures, and soft leather textures were chosen to complement a selection of custom-commissioned artwork.

The Exchange Restaurant Design


Reimagining the interiors of such a historic landmark – without compromising the design essence of the original – was a highly complex undertaking. However, with the sensitive yet forward-thinking approach of our hospitality architect team, The Exchange leads Burnham’s iconic design into the present, to be enjoyed by a new generation of visitors.

The Exchange Coffee Bar
The Exchange Bar


Full service architecture and interior collaboration




DMK Restaurants Owners

Bramco ConstructionGeneral Contractor

Timothy MushoPhotography

Stephanie MortonArt Consultant

Decibel AudioAudio Consultant

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