05.11.2018Project Reports

HYATT Headquarters in Chicago relies on mafi natural wood floors

Floors, walls and ceilings all in one shot. The mafi Oak Country is the natural setting for one of the most innovative workplace concepts in recent years.

The global hotel chain Hyatt has around 920m² of mafi Oak Country in service at its new Chicago Headquarters. Here you can find out here what advantages this offers, how the decision was made and why a product manager from the contractor visited our production in Austria.


Global certifications for mafi underpin the knowhow leadership regarding well living and helathy workplaces.

The HYATT Headquarters was planned and designed in conjunction with Gensler Architects Chicago and Gensler Architects San Francisco. The architects got serviced by the mafi partner aml in Sausalito. The concept is innovative and takes an exciting approach. The premises are similar to actual Hyatt hotels, minimising the supposed distance between guests and staff. As it were, the workplaces were designed in such a way that the employees can deliver maximum performance through optimal conditions. That approach is what brought mafi into play.

mafi natural wood floors are key for a healthy working environment

mafi planks have been shown to be one of the most natural and health-promoting floor products on the market. As a pioneer in living health, mafi relies on its open-pored surface and the unadulterated processing of domestic woods. Thanks to the large-surface processing, the room air is filtered through the wood and improves air quality in the long run. This improvement in the quality of the room atmosphere significantly improves the concentration and performance of employees. In times when we spend 90% of our day indoors, the materials built into the rooms and their impacts are becoming more and more important. Global certifications for mafi underpin the knowhow leadership in this branch. These include being certified by the Australian Asthma Council or the American MAS green program and the Declare Label Red List Free.

For a long time, it has been well known that wood does not need to be rustic. The white-oiled surface on the Oak Country is the best evidence of this. But it also gets exciting when you mix the surfaces and materials together. Thus, mafi parquet has been installed not only on the floor but also on walls and ceilings. However, all three surfaces were never covered with wood at the same time, but only ever set as individual aspects. This breaks up the entire object and divides it into its own zones.

Interview: mafi and its benefits for Contractors

Quality is found not only in a beautiful appearance, but also in areas such as material selection, structure or surface. The people responsible for the Hyatt project also knew this and therefore asked for a visit to the production facility by the  Project Manager, Patrick Kilcoin from Power Construction Company in Chicago. His job was to get to know the production and the company more closely.

Transparency in the production process is a matter of standard for us, which is why we were happy to comply with this request. At the same time, we took the opportunity to learn a bit more about the project and the background:

mafi: Patrick, what were the biggest challenges in building the new Hyatt Headquarters?

Patrick Kilcoin: “That was certainly the expectations of the design team to combine with the product characteristics of wood. Topics such as sorting, grain and colour were key aspects here. mafi was clearly at an advantage with its made-to-order production and the associated individuality.”

mafi: What detail will you remember from your visit to us in Austria?

Patrick Kilcoin: “Certainly, the production. I came to understand the general handling of the product and to get an impression of the quality. I found a fascinating interplay between the production of high quantities and individual craftsmanship, which specifically improves the product.”

mafi: Wood and workplace – what advantages do you see in it?

Patrick Kilcoin: “Wood, if left natural, helps to integrate nature and the outside world into rooms. mafi’s white Oak also has a very calming effect and grounds people.”

mafi: What was the decisive factor for mafi floors in this project?

Patrick Kilcoin: “The product was specified directly by Gensler Architects. The experience with mafi was very good and I actively recommend you on during viewings of the project.”

mafi: What do you personally like about our products?

Patrick Kilcoin: “In short - the naturalness.”

The product in detail: mafi Oak Country

The Oak Country brushed, white oiled is a timeless classic from the Country House plank segment. A clearly recognisable grain, knots and cracks accentuated in black and with imposing widths of up to 30cm – these properties characterise the Oak Country planks. The floor was brushed and oiled white, which softened the yellows of the Oak and thus appeared more modern. 

Oak in itself is an ideal wood for processing as a floor. The European Oak is tough, robust and visually appealing. The mafi Oak Country appeals mainly, in addition to the natural longevity, due to a simple and easy-care surface. Characteristics which are convincing in the commercial property sector.

mafi planks are finished with natural oils and air dried. As a result, the oil penetrates deeply into the wood without forming a layer on the surface. The benefits that come from this process are multi-faceted. On the one hand, the floor can be repaired locally without having to reseal the entire area. In ongoing daily office operations, this is a real added value. On the other hand, the open-pored wood regulates the room air and improves air quality, which directly affects the performance of the employees. Last but not least, cleaning is simple and, as it were, natural. Hot water and mafi wood floor soap guarantee long-term protection and sustainable preservation of the floor.

Hyatt Headquarters

150 North Riverside Plaza
IL, 60606 Chicago
United States