May 25, 2017

Drawing Room at Arts Club of Chicago Draws Miesian Influence

In the drawing room, frosted glass tops the custom meeting tables, lined by Hannes Wettstein chairs. Photography by Tom Harris.

“There are not many truly beautiful rooms in the world,” Nada Andric declares. The Interior Design Hall of Fame member, associate director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and member of the board of the Arts Club of Chicago, is taking a seat in its new “drawing room.” Unveiled to mark the club’s 100th birthday, the room was designed by a fellow board member, Vinci Hamp Architects associate Alex Krikhaar, with her pro bono participation. And what makes a truly beautiful room? “It’s all about proportion,” she replies.

Interior Design Hall of Fame member Nada Andric collab­orated on the “drawing room,” completed for the club’s 100th anniversary. Photography by Tom Harris.

She and Krikhaar certainly checked that box—with a 14-foot-high oak door and 9-foot-tall mirrors reflecting garden scenery. While morphing from stately library or meeting room, by day, to chic members-only bar during the evening, the 800-square-foot room also pays subtle homage to the club’s architectural patron saint, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who designed the interior of a building the club occupied previously. The current clubhouse, completed by Vinci Hamp in 1997, is “a very respectful continuation of Miesian doctrine,” Krikhaar says.

Liquor bottles can disappear behind mirrored panels during the day, when the room serves as a library and meeting space. Photography by Tom Harris.

However, the room does give the club’s overall utilitarian elegance a few jolts of the unexpected. Flat-screens behind the bar play provocative video art rather than sports, for instance. And there are plenty of the quirky color choices the club is famous for, such as the mauve mohair on a sofa.

> See more from the March 2017 issue of Interior Design

In the current reception area, Mies furniture gathers beneath a Peter Doig painting in distemper on gesso. Photography by Eric Allix Rogers.
Salvaged from the former location, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and occupied from 1951 to 1995, this staircase was reinstalled. Photography by Christopher Barrett.
The Arts Club of Chicago used to own this Constantin Brâncusi sculpture, sold to the Art Institute of Chicago to finance the construction of the current clubhouse by Vinci Hamp Architects. Photography courtesy of the Arts Club of Chicago.

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