The newest Ace Hotel has opened in Chicago. Located in the city’s West Loop neighborhood, the 159-guestroom Ace Hotel Chicago was developed by two local businesses: Sterling Bay Companies funded the project while GREC Architects built it.
This is GREC Architects' second project with Ace Hotels, having also worked with the company on the conversion of Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. The architecture firm designed the Chicago building "incorporating the spirit of the New Bauhaus" while preserving the existing Fulton Market landmark cheese factory façade on the south side of the building.
For the interior design, Ace tapped Los Angeles-based studio Commune to combine mid-western craftsmanship with utilitarian design. "Simple, straightforward and thoughtfully detailed materials evoke Mies Van Der Rohe’s work at the Illinois Institute of Technology and simple coloration, hand-woven textiles, natural leather, wools, and linens were used to add a layer of warmth and texture to the clean lines." Each of the guestrooms has a unique piece of art on Ace Hotel Chicago letterhead stationary--each carefully stippled, painted or hand-drawn by a student of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, a project curated by SAIC painting professor Dan Devening. Built-in plywood and linoleum furnishings juxtaposed with the polished steel are nods to the designs of Arne Jacobsen and Richard Neutra.
Commune also worked in concert with Chicago’s Volume Gallery and their artists for a series of works commissioned specifically for the hotel. Volume Gallery focuses on American design, with a strong emphasis placed on emerging, contemporary designers. The works span the entire hotel space, either playing with texture, light, and shadow, or engaging the framework of the city itself.
To mark the opening, Ace partnered with three local organizations, raising over $25,000 by donating a portion of reservations and events. The organizations--Little Black Pearl, Young Chicago Authors and 826CHI--all focus on the empowerment and social development of youth in Chicago. Little Black Pearl exposes urban youth to art and culture, educating them about profitable connections between art and business. Young Chicago Authors, home of Louder Than A Bomb: The Chicago Youth Poetry Festival, is a not-for-profit arts and education group dedicated to giving voice to the youth of Chicago, transforming the lives of young people by cultivating their voices through writing, publication and performance education. 826CHI amplifies young voices and teaches the necessary skills for Chicago’s youth to be the writers of their own futures, undefined by circumstance.
Ace Hotel Chicago is the newest member of the Ace family joining Seattle, Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Downtown LA, London, Pittsburgh and New Orleans.