The Langham, Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

This project involved the adaptive reuse of the lower 13 floors of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s iconic IBM Building, completed in 1971 and now a Chicago Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The project converted 342,000 square feet of former office space into a new 316-key luxury hotel—one of the only true five-star hotels in Chicago.

With a separate entry and modest sitting area on the ground floor, the hotel formally welcomes guests on the second floor, with a main reception area that features floor-to-ceiling windows, fireplaces and an art installation suspended from the ceiling in a newly created two-story space. Floor slabs were cut out to provide double-height spaces for not only the reception area and tea lounge but also for the main ballroom and a large pool adjacent to the fitness center.

The hotel features a 16,000-square-foot Chuan Spa, a second-floor restaurant and a special client lounge area on the 12th floor. Despite the large size of the building’s 40,000-square-foot floor plate, the new layout is very efficient and effective for life as a hotel.