McDonald’s reimagined flagship restaurant in Chicago features plenty of wood

McDonald’s unveiled its reimagined flagship restaurant in Chicago on 9 Aug, showcasing a modern and environmentally-friendly design.

Cross-laminated wood dominates the interior landscape of the reimagined flagship Mcdonald’s restaurant (Photo credit: McDonald’s)

“Chicago is truly a special place for McDonald’s. Not only is it the new home for our modern global headquarters but new restaurant experiences that are unique to this city,” said McDonald’s President and CEO Steve Easterbrook. “We are proud to open the doors to this flagship restaurant which symbolises how we are building a better McDonald’s for our customers and the communities where they live.”

The 19,000-square-foot steel and wood timber constructed restaurant was inspired by McDonald’s commitment to sustainability and has abundant green spaces and energy saving features. Cross-laminated timber (CLT) dominated the interiors of the restaurant and laminate or veneer panels are used for booths and tables

More than 70 trees are planted at the ground level. There is also a vegetated roof space and a floating glass garden of ferns and white birch trees. Native and drought resilient plants are being used throughout the landscape, along with permeable pavers for a significant area of surface to minimise irrigation and reduce storm water runoff.

On-site solar panels are used to offset some of the restaurant’s non-renewable energy consumption; interior and exterior LED lighting; and energy efficient kitchen and HVAC equipment including energy saving freezer/coolers, low oil fryers, energy efficient fans are among the green measures taken.

The restaurant will operate seven days a week and 24 hours a day, serving both drive-thru and dine-in customers.

The restaurant was designed by Chicago-based Ross Barney Architects. The modern interior including furniture, graphics and layout were designed by Sydney-based Landini Associates, a worldwide known design firm that has collaborated on other McDonald’s projects. The restaurant is applying to become LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified.

As reported by Woodworking Network, CLT and mass timber construction have been trending throughout the U.S. Buildings constructed with CLT can be as strong and fire-resistant as those made of steel and concrete. There are also a growing number of architects and environmentalists who believe that CLT and mass timber construction is a much greener method for housing the world’s growing population.