Instructors: Jon Lott
GSD 3rd Semester Options Studio, December 2014

Located on the Prentice Women’s Hospital’s old site, the hotel complex includes 200 rooms, pools, and a variety of gym amenities. Given that the project is adjacent to many Northwestern Medical campus buildings, the challenge is to design a structure of privilege and luxury while respecting the history and culture of the site and its surroundings.

In order to negotiate the tension between an inherently private program and the need for public access, I located the lobbies to the hotel, gym, and baths at the midsection of the high-rise. As a result, the ground floor is relieved from the role of the barrier between the private and the public; it is now the beginning of an entirely public view corridor that stretches from the street all the way to the top of the building. The hotel rooms, located around the slanted central atrium, benefit from a view both into the void and out onto the city. They are also linked together by a private circulation path that offer a different cadence than that of the gym and baths programs.

This project is the mediation between many dichotomies: public and private, hot and cold, large span and small span, and, most importantly, solid and void. An otherwise monolithic structure is made street-friendly through the introduction of a sheared puncture through the massing, and the result is a vertical city that brings one up from the street and down again all in one move.

Designer, illustrator, mathematician.