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Gensler Designs First Le Meridien in Chicago

Aug 1, 2014

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has unveiled Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center, a Rockbridge Portfolio property, following a $25 million transformation. The Chicago office of Gensler completed the design, led by Carlos Martinez and Todd Heiser, the firm's design principals. .

“We are on track to triple our North American portfolio since Starwood first acquired Le Méridien in 2005,” says Brian Povinelli, global brand leader for Le Méridien and Westin. “With shared passions for culture, the arts, and cuisine, Chicago has long been on our short list, and the location is a great backdrop for our Le Méridien brand promise to unlock the destination for the curious and creative-minded traveler.”

Le Méridien Chicago – Oakbrook Center features 172 guestrooms and suites, including the Presidential suite and six executive suites, which are adorned in contemporary and mid-century inspired furnishings. The hotel also boasts 3,500 square feet of event space, two contemporary spa suites, and a Spanish restaurant, El Tapeo.

Featuring the work of local Chicago artists, the hotel offers abstract installations representing notable Chicago symbols, such as bicycles and the Ferris wheel, which debuted at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. At the entrance, a mural depicting the architecture of the city by contemporary artist Justus Roe of the Chicago Artists Coalition stands. The Hub also features an installation of a deconstructed bicycle, a nod to Oak Brook’s many biking trails, with the bike chain in the shape of Illinois and the headlight representing Chicago.  

Each floor of the hotel’s elevator lobbies showcases images taken from Chicago’s “L” train, including the mileage and direction from the hotel in relation to where each particular shot was taken. The Executive Club lounge features eight photographs by Chicago native Satoki Nagata portraying city locals caught in the rain. Custom graphic patterns throughout the hotel are abstract designs of local contextual nuances, including original Daniel Burnham city plans for Chicago and maps of the Windy City’s public spaces.  

hdtalks: the interviews

During HD Expo 2014, Hospitality Design’s Michael Adams sat down with HBA’s Michael Bedner to talk about his half-century in the hospitality design industry. View the video.



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