New York based architecture, design and strategy firm A+I, cofounded by Brad Zizmor and Dag Folger, is pleased to announce the completion of transformative architectural renovations at Chicago’s Merchandise Mart for Vornado Realty Trust - a $40M project marking the building’s conversion to theMART. A+I developed the program and architecture to transform the Chicago landmark. Highlights of the $40M project include a new park along River Drive, renovation of 27 elevators, new wayfinding, and the full renovation of the Food Hall. Today, A+I unveils The Grand Stair, theMART’s new portal, featuring The Lounge at the Top of the Stairs, and new Reception below. The Grand Stair spans 5,600 square feet, covered with 300 slabs of classic Roman Travertine stone. Below it lies the Reception and Information Desk. Here, the wall, ceiling and stair’s underside are covered with 566 solid, laser-cut bronze panels, each one unique. A+I’s use of stone and bronze stems from the building’s original material palette. The design reinvigorates and connects historic parts of the building and will dramatically change the way the community - theMART’s tenants and visitors alike - will experience the building. theMART is one of the largest privately held commercial buildings in the world. With 4.2 million-square-feet, it encompasses two city blocks. Vornado is integrating office spaces into this iconic showroom building, becoming the home to Chicago’s most creative and technologically innovative companies. Founded in 1996, A+I has grown to be an internationally renowned practice of architecture, strategy, and branding. A+I is recognized for its outstanding workplace programming and design, including recently completed projects for Horizon Media, Tumblr, and iHeartMedia. A+I partnered with Valerio DeWalt Train Associates, Architect of Record on the project.