Travelers passing through Chicago’s Ogilvie Transportation Center have a new reason to look forward to their morning commutes. The Eastman Egg Company, a restaurant serving up breakfast sandwiches and craft coffee, has nested in a cozy, second-floor corner of the Helmut Jahn–designed building.
The 1,100-square-foot space is intimate and inviting. Designed by Woodhouse Tinucci Architects, it reinforces the culinary philosophy of the restaurant’s founders. “We set out to give people a great option that is also fast,” said cofounder Hunter Swartz. “We’re able to do that because of how we source our food and design our spaces.” Like the ingredients used in their signature sandwiches, which come from local farms and bakeries, most of the restaurant’s interior finishes were manufactured in and around Chicago.
Raw industrial materials like hot-rolled steel, laminated plywood, and concrete are juxtaposed with the pristine white walls and elegant cove-lit surfaces behind the coffee bar. Contrasting materials, interlocking shapes and planes, and shifting ceiling heights converge to create a dynamic space that feels much larger than it is. An L-shaped cutout in the back wall creates views into the kitchen, and stools at the coffee bar promote social interaction between customers and Eastman staff. “The goal was to create an integrated experience,” explained Nathan Bowman, project architect. It does exactly that.