Autograph Collection, SMASHotels open Chicago's Hotel EMC2

Autograph Collection Hotels and hospitality-management company SMASHotels officially opened the Hotel EMC2 in downtown Chicago. Hotel EMC2 joins the portfolio of more than 100 Autograph Collection hotels around the world.

Direct bookings by guests will support the youth STEM programs of Chicago-based Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments), an organization that combines art and science to create experiences for youth within Chicago communities. Autograph Collection Hotels is joining Hotel EMC2’s effort to support Project SYNCERE with a commitment of up to $50,000 this year in matching funds, contributing to a combined minimum annual donation of $90,000.

“I have always been fascinated by art and science, and I’m truly ecstatic to bring a hotel experience like this—geared toward both left- and right-brained guests—to Chicago,” Scott Greenberg, president & CEO of SMASHotels, said in a statement. “At the core of our hotel is the idea of inspiration; we want to ignite guests’ imaginations while educating and challenging them to channel their inner explorative spirit. Through our partnership with Project SYNCERE, we are able to extend that passion even further.”

“We are thrilled to introduce Hotel EMC2 and the unparalleled creative spirit that provides guests with a standout experience that is exactly like nothing else,” Julius Robinson, VP and global brand lead, Autograph Collection Hotels, said in a statement. “Our brand is committed to making its mark on each destination by celebrating the community and supporting organizations that make a powerful impact; Hotel EMC2’s partnership with Project SYNCERE represents exactly that.”

Hotel EMC2 will also collaborate with the organization on additional initiatives and will remain committed to the partnership beyond its opening. The property will be led by GM Christine Wechter.

“We are honored to partner with Hotel EMC2 to expand our E-CADEMY program,” said Jason Coleman, executive director and co-founder of Project SYNCERE. “The hotel’s emphasis on art and science perfectly aligns with our organization’s mission, and we look forward to coming together to make a difference in the lives of these students.”

With interiors designed by the Rockwell Group and architecture led by KOO, art and science are woven throughout the 21-story, 195-room hotel. The hotel's design includes artwork by nearly a dozen artists that were directly commissioned by the developer, while the property's guestrooms were influenced by 1920s laboratories with freestanding bathrooms at the center resembling a “wet lab.” Each room is adorned with rose gold fixtures and gramophones that project music from any mobile device.

The hotel’s 120-seat contemporary American restaurant, the Albert (a nod to the scientist), presents seasonal, globally inspired dishes from executive chef Brandon Brumback and Rebecca Royster, the hotel’s director of food & beverage. At the center of the Albert, a custom glass chandelier-like structure known as the “infusary” pours house-made infused liquors. The space also has a 20-seat chef’s table, allowing curious foodies to witness Brumback’s culinary canvas, firsthand, along with commissioned artwork from West Coast surrealist painter, Paul Bond, and local artist Jonathan Plotkin.

The nearly 2,000 square feet of meeting space honors mathematician Emmy Noether, as well as the principle of symmetry, which underlies the convergence of art and science. The two multifunctional meeting and event spaces have blackboard-style artwork installations and the art of Eugenia Cheng (a British mathematician, musician, author, artist and scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago).