A retail cart—featuring locally roasted coffee, a seasonally inspired grab-and-go menu, and curated everyday essentials—in the lobby at 515 North State Street, a 29-story office building owned by an affiliate of Beacon Capital Partners.


Located in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, the building was designed by Kenzo Tange in 1990. The lobby—clad in stainless steel and polished granite—features the architect’s unique blend of Japanese style and modernist detailing.  


In keeping with Tange’s architectural legacy, Cart is an abstraction of a traditional form. Cart measures 5 meters long, 2 meters wide, 3.4 meters tall and recalls the image of a stationary yatai cart, or the mobile food stall dating back to 17th century Japan. The term “yatai” translates to “food stand.” In lieu of a traditional yatai cart’s two wheels, Cart rests on six stainless-steel cylinders atop which appear to float stainless steel refrigeration equipment (four refrigerators, one cooler) and an array of jatoba wood shelves for coffee and light refreshment service. Where a typical yatai cart would feature a gabled roof to protect its goods and operator from the elements, Cart features an open ceiling that supports a four-sided continuous LED ribbon that is designed to pair with an existing 7m tall media wall by ESI. Like a dynamic banner, the screens display messages to passersby through text, icons, or moving images. Although Cart is stationary, its abstracted metallic form is designed to imbue the lobby and adjacent public plaza with the image of movement.



Beacon Capital Partners


515 N. State St., Chicago, Illinois, USA




1,100 ft² / 100 m²

Project Team

Thomas Kelley, Spencer McNeil

Consultant Team

Media: Pixelflex; Structural: TGWA; Mechanical: Salas O'Brien; Refrigeration: PJP

Construction Team

-ism, Andrew Kephart


Daniel Kelleghan