Glendale Heights Post Office

Location: Glendale Heights, Illinios
Program: United States Postal Service Facility
Status: Complete, 1989
Photography: © Barry Ruskin
Selected Recognition:  1992 Federal Design Achievement Award, Presidential Design Awards/National Endowment for the Arts. 1992 Bronze Medal, Illinois Indiana Masonry Council. 1991 Institute Honor Award for Architecture, American Institute of Architects. 1990 National Honor Award for Design Excellence , U.S.P.S./National Endowment for the Arts. 1989 Distinguished Building Award, AIA Chicago.

The suburban post office became the only retail operation in a warehouse-filled industrial park when completed. The design distinguished the facility from its neighbors, while maintaining the red and buff brick palette. First impressions of the building are from the adjacent highway, meaning the facade had to be visually comprehended at 45 miles per hour. Striped walls enclose the workroom and carrier parking. A blue glazed brick wall defines the service and lockbox lobbies and is punctured with a field of small openings that admit light while blocking an uninspiring view of parking lots. Bright gold screens mark the workroom skylights on the facade. The triangular forms are repeated as roof scuppers. The plan is simple consisting of two basic components; a high bay workroom and a low ceiling customer lobby. Interaction between the two worlds, the receiving and depositing of mail, happens in the folds of the facade, illuminated by skylights. The design of the interior spaces concentrates on creating a dynamic, competitive image for the Postal Service.