Ace held its ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the official grand opening of Ace Hotel Chicago on Thurs., Aug. 10, 2017. Located in the city’s West Loop neighborhood, known for its vibrant cultural, food, art and design scene, the 159-room hotel offers event space along with a restaurant and rooftop bar.
"It feels so good to be in Chicago—to pay tribute to the city's great thinkers and makers and celebrate its design history, its culinary expertise and its ongoing cultural renaissance,” said Kelly Sawdon, partner & chief brand officer, Ace Hotel/Atelier Ace. “We hope to ... provide [an innovative] gathering space.”
Sterling Bay Companies, an investment firm and commercial real estate developer, is the developer behind the project while the team at GREC Architects served as the architect for Ace Hotel Chicago.
For the hotel’s design, Ace partnered with Los Angeles-based design studio Commune to bring to life a vision that pays homage to the city of Chicago by marrying midwestern craftsmanship with utilitarian design. Straightforward and 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.
Each of the rooms are complemented by 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 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. Either by playing with texture, light and shadow, or engaging the framework of the city itself, the collection rewards those keen on details.
Ace Hotel Chicago also has officially opened Waydown, a rooftop lounge area located on the hotel’s seventh floor. The venue boasts panoramic views of the downtown skyline with inspired cocktails, spirits and beer & wine menus created by Caitlin Laman, Ace Hotel Chicago beverage director. Waydown offers a distilled food menu as well from the hotel’s Executive Chef, Pat Sheerin. Those looking for a full dining experience can head to the hotel’s restaurant, City Mouse—a collaboration with Chef Jason Vincent.
To mark the opening of the hotel, 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.
Ace Hotel Chicago is the newest member of the Ace family joining the already functioning Seattle, Portland, New York, Palm Springs, Downtown LA, London, Pittsburgh and New Orleans locations.