CSG was initially approached to develop furniture recommendations for this 40th-story pool deck on Michigan Avenue, where extremes of wind and sun pose real problems. We quickly expanded upon the initial assignment to encompass not only chaise lounges but also benches, planters, lighting and irrigation systems, and the ultimate luxury furnishings – custom-built Shade Cabanas of our own design.

The challenge was unusual and extreme: this very exposed and windy deck could only support built loads of 60PSF (pounds-per-square foot, an engineering term), which meant designing a heavy structure to resist wind but not so heavy that it would exceed the weight limitation and potentially damage the substructure. Working with a structural engineer, we settled on ipe (Brazilian hardwood) for its durability and good looks. The built-in benches provide a storage solution; framed, removable black bamboo panels overhead provide a shade solution; more bamboo on the sides creates a solution to the blustery winds. Planter boxes on each side add color and softness; and custom cushions and night lighting add a luxurious touch. Illuminated at evening, each Shade Cabana provides a refuge for 6-8 adults, and becomes a mini-playground after dark.

Our clients have been ecstatic over how the space has been transformed and have seen a multi-fold increase in tenant usage and enjoyment. At night the pool deck is the scene of small parties and leisurely wine sipping, surrounded by a constellation of lights from neighboring skyscrapers and the twinkling stars above.