14. September 2018
Inspired by the Flâneur, a French literary figure from 18th century France known as a free spirit and eye for exploration, designer Todd-Avery Lenahan created this Hotel in Chicago
Objective and Inspiration of Lenahan’s Entire Hotel Interiors: He wanted to create a dynamic connection between two potentially disparate archetypes. On the reverse interior elevation of the historic façade, Lenahan articulated the historic fenestration pattern with cleanly delineated and deeply recessed orthogonal window boxes that are the direct footprint of the historic façade but appear to be an entirely new geometric assemblage based upon their method of articulation. It is in essence, the contemporary white ghost of the historic brick face on the reverse face of the building. As a juxtaposition to this faced, the arrival living room’s remaining three walls establish a hierarchy of monumental scale with the over 30’ foot tall Proust tableau towering over the living room with colorful graphic bravado while simultaneously being quietly elegant in its precise, elegant, and shimmering presentation of thousands of words to be contemplated by each view on his or her own terms. A landscaped of mid-century inspired furnishings recall an iconic period in Chicago’s architectural history. For the massive bronze sculptural reception desks, Lenahan drew upon the surprise and delight of happening upon the extraordinary modern sculptures by artists including Calder, Picasso, Miro, and Kapoor that are found throughout the city’s urban landscape and sought to create entirely new delight in what is often a purely conventional and mundanely functional piece of furniture.
Why was Proust chosen?
„The tableau of Proust quotes is a collection of his works over the course of his lifetime and not a singular poem or essay. Lenahan designed and curated the Proust tableau to be an engaging and provocative work that inspires repeat exploration and introspection on both an individual and collective level among guests such that the power of brilliantly composed words into succinct thoughts and musings are considered by the viewer in contrast to how communication has de-evolved as manifested in the form of text messaging, social media sound bites, and benign memes and gifs. In a space where viewers will most assuredly be in constant contact with mobile devices even while interacting socially with others, the tableau towers above guests and projects its voice across the room to either be merely “heard” for its graphic and visual impact, or truly “listened to” by being deconstructed, read, contemplated, and even discussed in an environment where it competes for the attention of viewers whose eyes and mind make a conscious choice to either be provoked by Proust, or be imprisoned by their hand-held devices. The tableau is a new assemblage of Proust’s singularly provocative quotes extracted from his prolific and brilliant works that have earned him recognition as one of the most important authors of the 20th century. For an intelligent social space in an intelligent social city, the Proust tableau elevates hotel lobby with scale, impact, and provocation that is befitting of the Viceroy brand’s entry to the Chicago market”
Positioned at the intersection of Cedar and State Streets, this urban resort rises a magnificent 18-stories and is home to the neighborhood’s first rooftop pool. This desirable rooftop space, in addition to floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the hotel, affords guests sweeping views of Lake Michigan and the cityscape, offering a unique vantage point of Chicago to inspire curiosity and exploration. An enviable location, Viceroy Chicago is steps away from top Chicago attractions including Lake Michigan, the Magnificent Mile, and some of the city’s favorite high-end storefronts and boutiques on Oak Street. “A hub for culture, cuisine, and style, Chicago is the ideal location to start Viceroy Hotel Group’s journey into the Midwest,” said Bill Walshe, CEO of Viceroy Hotel Group.
Images: Christian Horan