Midtown Athletic Club, Chicago

For client: MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUBS Floor area: 24000.00 M² Year of completion: 2018
Submitted for: 年度健身俱乐部

Public Score
5.73 Function
5.76 Innovation
5.69 Creativity

About the Project

Located off Chicago’s Elston industrial corridor, the 24,000 sqm expansion of Midtown Athletic Club and Hotel transforms what was the largest indoor tennis club in the country to the largest lifestyle center in the country. The club had its “glory days” in the 1970’s and 1980’s, frequented by revered professionals like Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, and fitness was purely an amenity to the tennis. Now, the progressive hybrid Club and Hotel create a destination for the ultimate experience in fitness, entertainment, relaxation and more.

The Club spans 3 levels, featuring multiple programs – from boutique studios such as Yoga, group fitness, multimedia Spinning, Boxing and The Field with rooftop workout areas – to custom amenities such as a signature Restaurant, indoor/outdoor Pools, Mind & Body suite, Spa/ Salon and retail. Facilitating the Club community, a large open “landing pit” at the top of the grand staircase serves as the hub of Midtown where people can meet, work, enjoy entertainment in comfortable seating and with access to the restaurant, outdoor pool and fitness areas. Staying true to the project concept and requirements, relentless attention was paid to the overall unification from master planning to the smallest detail.

What’s unique about it

Originally a 3-story building for just the Health Club, we were “design complete” when it was decided to add 2 floors to accommodate a hotel. This programmatic change posed a challenge requiring modifications to the structural design and circulation with minimal changes to the already designed health club. We maintained agility as the design evolved resulting in a unique hybrid brand of Athletic Club and Hotel.

The aggressive schedule and budget had the design team rethinking materials and its uses. In particular, sustainability was embraced in imaginative ways, most notably by reusing most of the wood formwork from concrete construction as finish material; salvaging granite end blocks as the reception desk and backdrop wall; and repurposing relics from the Club’s history as jewel pieces in a metal trellis floating above the grand staircase and communal hub. When the Hotel was added to the program and two columns interrupted the Yoga studio, a design opportunity presented itself. Inspired by the Bodhi or “wisdom” tree, the team transformed the space by artfully cladding the columns in strips of wood, dressing the trunk in layers of bark branching out into limbs and twigs in a delicate balance.

Our design is “experiential” and creates significant and memorable events by combining technology, custom craftsmanship and unique elements in a cohesive way.

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