The Hoxton to Open a New Hotel in Chicago

Main Photo: The Hoxton Chicago Lobby

Date: February 2019

Location: Fulton Market, Chicago’s West Loop, Illinois, USA

Name: The Hoxton Chicago – opening April 2019

No. of Keys: 182 with a dedicated open-plan co-working space with 400 desks

Seller: Ennismore transformed three meatpacking warehouses into a new build with GREC Architects. The developer is Shapack Partners, developers and owners of Soho House Chicago.

Buyer/Owner: London based Ennismore, Hoxton’s parent company.

Inspired by the neighbourhood’s meatpacking-district roots and drawing inspiration from local architecture and galleries, the new Hoxton Hotel will open in Chicago’s West Loop this April.

The London-based hotel brand chose the neighbourhood around Fulton Market because of its rich history of industrial design and sense of community.

“It resembles a lot of where we started with our roots in East London,” says Sharan Pasricha, CEO of Ennismore, Hoxton’s parent company. “An industrial neighborhood that has an industrial past with a very creative future.”

It’s the brand’s second new-build, but it comes with a number of firsts. The Chicago location will have a dedicated open-plan co-working space with 400 desks, as well as the brand’s first fitness studio, with rotating programs from local experts covering mental and physical health.

The seasonal rooftop pool is more uncharted territory and will be accompanied by a year-round rooftop Peruvian restaurant from chef Stephanie Izard, an enclosed space for the cold winter months. Hoxton is working with Boka Restaurant Group on three restaurants in total, including a basement piano jazz bar and a third project still to come.

While all Hoxton Hotels have a common DNA, with spacious lobbies, a bar on entry, and a focus on design, the Chicago location is unique.

“Fulton Market was the heart and hub of distribution in Chicago, and a lot of the buildings were very purpose-built for that industry,” says Greg Randall, managing principal at GREC Architects.

“You can feel it in the neighbourhoods with the size of the streets, the loading docks, that real connection steeped in Chicago history as the city of big shoulders. We felt the architecture should give a nod to the husky fabric of the area, but not be mimicking what was there. The exterior is mostly brick, the windows are punched in a very industrial style, and there’s that deep relief of buildings and rich quality of materials.”

The hotel base is a three-story podium that aligns with most buildings in the area, then pulls in before rising another nine stories. “We stepped it back before we went higher to get light and air into the streets that the neighbourhood is used to,” Randall says.

“And from here it becomes more contemporary.” The colour changes from red brick to black after the third story. “It’s sort of a, ‘Hey, this building hasn’t been here for 100 years,’ but it represents the area.”

The interior also nods to Chicago’s style and history: Bedrooms have raw exposed concrete and floor-to-ceiling windows with views downtown, custom patterned rugs and wallpaper unique to the Chicago location, and a bed-sheet designed by local artist Cody Hudson.

Hoxton interior designer Megan Gibbon worked with a local art consultant to find prints and lithographs from Chicago artists for each bedroom and to source high-end pieces for the public spaces.

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House inspired her to use handmade elements, like the lighting in each room, and to work with local makers on personal touches. “We’re creating books and other elements that will be in the room to give a personal, local feeling quite symbolic of the city,” she says.

Though it is a hotel with guest rooms for visitors, the brand hopes locals will enjoy the space as well. “We very much have an open-house philosophy,” says Pasricha. “We want sort of a neighbourhood town hall. It’s not pretentious, it’s accessible, and it’s beautifully designed. I hope it becomes a space for the locals to hang, whether coming in for coffee, lunch, or dinner, I hope it just becomes that hub.”

THPT Comment: Great to see that Hoxton is one of the first to combine co-working with hotel, surely a trend that will continue in 2019.

First Seen: Architectural Digest

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