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Marriott Intl.’s Autograph Collection and hospitality management company SMASHotels have opened Hotel EMC2 in downtown Chicago. With interiors by New York-based Rockwell Group and architecture by local firm KOO, the 21-story property’s design celebrates the convergence of art and science, project participants say.

“I’ve always been fascinated by art and science, and I’m truly ecstatic to bring a hotel experience like this—geared toward both left- and right-brained guests—to Chicago,” says Scott Greenberg, president and ceo of Lincolnshire, Illinois-based SMASHotels. “At the core of our hotel is the idea of inspiration; we want to educate and ignite imagination and innovation at every turn, challenging guests to expand their understanding of how everything is connected.”

The 195-key hotel’s arrival experience showcases typographic design elements, such as the following words of Leonardo da Vinci: “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses—learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Da Vinci’s vision informed much of the hotel’s overall design, including pieces of commissioned artwork, rose gold fixtures in the guest rooms that reference 1920s laboratories, and gramophones that can stream music from a mobile device.

Serving up another science-centric nod is the hotel’s 120-seat American restaurant, the Albert, which is named for Einstein. Helmed by executive chef Brandon Brumback, the restaurant evokes the warmth of a 1930s institute of higher learning. It features a 20-seat open kitchen and is decked out with commissioned artwork by West Coast surrealist painter, Paul Bond, and local artist, Jonathan Plotkin. At the center of the restaurant, a glass chandelier takes cues from a scientific experiment and pours house-made liquors.

The theme of creative expression carries through the hotel’s nearly 2,000-sq.-ft. of meeting space. Paying tribute to German mathematician Emmy Noether and the principle of symmetry, the two multipurpose meeting/event spaces are adorned with blackboard-style artwork installations by Dr. Eugenia Cheng, a British mathematician, musician, author, artist and scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

“Hotel EMC2 is the perfect addition to Autograph Collection Hotels with its complex, yet enriching concept and complementary design elements,” says Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our hotels and resorts are known for providing standout guest experiences that are ‘Exactly Like Nothing Else,’ and we believe that Hotel EMC2 will exceed this promise.”


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