January 30, 2015

2014 BOY Winner: U.S. Hotel

Groundbreaking architecture is a boundless source of Chi-Town pride, as everyone knows. So when two New Yorkers, Will Meyer and Gray Davis, were brought in by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for a redo of this 520-room property, researching indigenous architectural themes was a must. The resulting reinvention emphasizes energetic colors and urban forms.

Behind every bed, glass-beaded wall covering reproduces a cityscape—as it would appear mirrored and distorted by a glass curtain wall. The guest rooms’ carpet, with an abstracted aqueous pattern, pays homage to Lake Michigan. In a suite, contoured mirror-tiled dividers ripple like moiré.

In the bar, curtains of beaded chains encircle seating groups, turning them into semiprivate lounges. Gray-striped marble on the floor may, to some eyes, resemble the shadows cast by skyscrapers. “The stone has a linear qual-ity, and we laid it in a bar-code pattern,” Davis says.

“Researching indigenous architectural themes was a must” 

He and Meyer call the restaurant’s raised enclosure the “oyster,” although those bivalve mollusks are not found in the Great Lakes. The top and bottom “shells” of this functional sculpture consist, ingeniously, of curved strips surfaced in mirrored brass laminate.

Project Team: Patrick Martin; Lauren Williams; Kristen Cochran.

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