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Coffey Group Architecture, LLC


Bloomingdale's at Medinah Temple

Medinah Temple was once a major auditorium for the Shriner's organization. The exterior is an exotic example of Islamic Revivalism. The deteriorated structure was significantly adapted by COFFEY GROUP ARCHITECTURE, LLC* to become a freestanding Bloomingdale's Home + Furnishings store. The transformation required the complete removal of the interior structure including demolition of the main floor and balconies. Additionally, excavation of the basement allowed the insertion of four levels of modern retail space. During the construction, only the roof, exterior walls and plaster dome ceiling remained in place.

A key part of the architectural experience is the strong contrast between the dark, heavy exterior and the new, light, spacious interior that is organized around a 4-story atrium below the original plaster dome. This concept allows slow rediscovery of old interior elements within the context of the new. This is an intentional reversal of the initial contrast between the historic exterior and the modern interior.

Moorish column capitals, fragments of the proscenium arch, and a recreated 'stage' drape, form a rich backdrop for the crisp modern display of merchandise against Bloomingdale's distinct black and white décor. The large ornamental plaster ceiling dome provides a dramatic cap to the central atrium and unifies the experience of a new store within an exotic shell.