// THE RITZ, RE­BORN

ONE OF THE CITY’S MOST LEG­ENDARY HO­TELS DE­BUTS A DRA­MAT­I­CALLY RE­DESIGNED LOBBY JUST IN TIME FOR FALL.

Michigan Avenue - - CONTENTS - BY J.P. AN­DER­SON

One of the city’s most leg­endary ho­tels de­buts a dra­mat­i­cally re­designed lobby just in time for fall.

Even icons need a makeover ev­ery so of­ten, and The Ritz-carl­ton, Chicago has just un­der­gone a doozy: a two-phase, nine-month ren­o­va­tion more ex­ten­sive than any since the luxe ho­tel opened on the Mag Mile in 1975. While the project touched all cor­ners of the his­toric prop­erty—from re­vi­tal­iz­ing the spa to adding the Ritz-carl­ton Club Lounge—its pièce de ré­sis­tance is the ho­tel’s jus­tun­veiled new lobby, which has been trans­formed into what may be one of the most stylish pub­lic spa­ces in the city.

“It’s all about cel­e­brat­ing the ver­ti­cal,” notes lead de­signer Billy Quimby, prin­ci­pal at San

Fran­cisco de­sign firm BAMO, of the reimag­ined space, which beck­ons with dis­crete bar and din­ing ar­eas and a cen­tral lounge, above which floats the room’s show­stop­per, by Prague-based Lasvit: The Fly­ing Wave, a sculp­ture whose four types of hang­ing hand­made glass pieces are de­signed to evoke the un­du­lat­ing wa­ters of Lake Michi­gan. Soar­ing win­dows, mir­rored col­umns, and a bustling rear café space com­plete the pic­ture, cul­mi­nat­ing in a grand, sweep­ing room be­fit­ting the brand. Sums up ho­tel GM Peter Si­mon­celli, “The new lobby will bring peo­ple to­gether in a way it has never been able to be­fore.”

160 E. Pear­son St., 312-266-1000; ritzcarlton.com/chicago

The reimag­ined lobby of The Ritz-carl­ton, Chicago beck­ons with a cen­tral lounge space above which hangs the strik­ing cus­tom-made sculp­ture The Fly­ing Wave, meant to evoke the wa­ters of Lake Michi­gan.

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