DMAC Architecture Redefines Midtown Athletic Club
DMAC Architecture, one of Chicagoland’s premier architecture firms, spearheads the revamp of the iconic Chicago Midtown Athletic Club, housing one of the largest indoor tennis facilities worldwide, a two-story hotel – The Hotel at Midtown, and a retail complex all part of a ‘Midtown Campus’. As the Architect and Interior Designer of Midtown, DMAC introduces a new genre of lifestyle destination, transforming the facility into Chicago’s preeminent athletic club and the largest health-and-fitness property in the U.S. In a city that is already a mecca for architecture, the firm unveils a game-changing urban hub and lifestyle destination unlike anything else in Chicago.
Helmed by Founder and Principal Dwayne MacEwen, AIA, the firm leads the architecture and interiors of the 575,000 square foot progressive club and hotel, as well as the entire shopping complex surrounding the property. The look and feel of Midtown celebrates guests and brings in the urban environment of the surrounding neighborhood, addressing contemporary values around luxury, health and community.
MacEwen and his team comprehensively reimagined the property with a distinct approach. By incorporating unique design elements throughout each floor, DMAC rewards guests, creating a “path and reward system” as they move throughout the space. According to MacEwen, there is a choreographed relationship between the spaces. The fitness areas are visually connected with the terrace, while the restaurant is seen as an indoor-outdoor space. The building itself is fluidly layered vertically, enhancing visual relationships between certain areas such as the hotel and outdoor pool. There are no static points or A to B corridors, rather a collection of spaces and experiences.
“Differing from your typical hotel facility where a small portion of the property is dedicated to amenities, Midtown is 96 percent amenity and only four percent hotel. This is a complete game changer for both the hotel and club experience,” says MacEwen. “This project is incredibly exciting, and we look forward to creating a new type of destination where health-minded individuals coming from near and far can stay and experience it all through contemporary, innovative architecture and design.”
The Floating Hotel
The 55-room hotel spans the fourth and fifth floors of the hybrid facility, including four suites, with panoramic skyline views of the city. With glass covering its entire exterior, the hotel appears as a floating volume on top of the revamped club. Designed with light stone, sleek wood and soft fabric furnishes, as well as individual murals and floor-to-ceiling windows, the unique design elements and materials in each room contribute to the hotel’s contemporary feel.
World-Renowned Tennis Epicenter & Fitness Facility
Guests enter Midtown through an Uber lounge, offering a sophisticated transitional area with a country club ambiance. The ground floor experience continues into the 15-court tennis lounge, inspired by the neighborhood’s industrial heritage. The ground floor also houses a 100-foot pool, surrounded by Brazilian walnut walls and board formed concrete ceilings, coupled with a hydrotherapy pool amidst waterfalls.
Entering the second floor through a monumental staircase complete with built-in fireplaces, guests are welcomed into a contemporary fitness space with expansive views of the Midtown Campus. The second floor also includes a café open to the outdoor spaces, offering an indoor-outdoor feel, as well as a private dining space. A door leads to a tranquil area housing the yoga and Pilates studios, complete with upholstered walls, comfy benches, end grain mesquite flooring and tree-like structures, all custom designed by DMAC.
The outdoor pool deck features an urban garden and a whirlpool resembling a cenote, with the overall space converting into an ice hockey arena come winter. Custom lighting also illuminates the pool, enhancing the already scenic views and merging with the skyline.
Ascending to the third floor, guests encounter a 40-foot turf field for professional training and boot camp, and a vintage-inspired boxing ring. With the goal of optimizing extra space between the club and hotel, DMAC creates an all glass ‘in between’ space with an outdoor feel.
Midtown’s exterior exemplifies an urban environment, engaging the street and giving back to the city. Strategically designing the surrounding shopping complex and retail space, DMAC creates a campus-like feel, redefining the intersection and connecting the retail shops with the athletic club and hotel, along with a new 500-vehicle parking structure.
“We wanted to give something back to the urban street experience, and we did this by creating a Midtown Campus, similar to an urban island oasis,” adds MacEwen. “Guests can see the city and feel the energy, while still experiencing the solidarity and exclusivity of the club and surrounding block, forming our own community.”
V STARR Interiors, the full-service interior design firm founded by tennis star Venus Williams, was also hired by DMAC Architecture to design the club’s Tennis Lounge and The V Suite – one of the hotel’s four private suites.
“We set out to create the world’s best athletic club and boutique hotel in our hometown of Chicago,” said Steven Schwartz, CEO of Midtown Athletic Clubs. “We chose long term partner DMAC Architecture to lead the design team, knowing the firm’s expertise and experience would deliver our vision of offering the best in boutique hospitality and fitness under one roof. Together we are setting a new bar in health-and-fitness hospitality with the redefined Midtown Athletic Club.”
With DMAC’s expertise in hospitality design, the firm presents groundbreaking spaces melding hipness and healthiness at one of the country’s first fitness and lifestyle hotels. As a long-term partner of Midtown Athletic Club, having designed eight Midtown fitness centers and now the Chicago flagship club, DMAC plays a key role in transforming Chicago’s foremost tennis club, creating a bold, progressive destination that will impress the public upon opening.
More information on DMAC Architecture can be found by visiting http://dmacarch.com or by calling (847) 905-0944. For more information on V Starr Interiors, visit http://vstarrinteriors.com or call (561) 744-7177. More information on Midtown Athletic Club can be found by visiting https://www.midtown.com/chicago or calling 773-235-2300.
ABOUT DMAC ARCHITECTURE
DMAC is a full-service architecture firm based in Evanston, IL, specializing in commercial, hospitality, and select residential projects, with a portfolio ranging from simple interiors to complex buildings. Founded in 1995 by Dwayne MacEwen, the firm prides itself on its ability to generate exceptional, unique and award-winning work. Each project is based on the fundamental approach of identifying the distinguishing elements, with the belief that the careful development of ideas is more important than a dependence on a style. Providing clients with innovative and custom tailored designs, DMAC takes a holistic approach with the philosophy that architecture contains the arts, and is not just a container for the arts.
Under MacEwen’s leadership, DMAC respects the past without attempting to repeat it, experimenting while basing the firm’s foundation on successfully executed projects. DMAC is known for its extensive knowledge of current fabrication methods, designing and developing interior elements in addition to traditional architecture. Notable projects include Midtown Athletic Club, Michael Jordan’s Steak House, Roka Akor, Doc B’s Fresh Kitchen, Rivers Casino and Resort, Mario Tricoci Hair Salon & Day Spa, and Lamborghini Gold Coast, with a host of prestigious projects underway.
ABOUT MIDTOWN ATHLETIC CLUB
Midtown Athletic Clubs manages a portfolio of super-premium health and fitness clubs in the U.S. and Canada, including Midtown Athletic Club and The Hotel at Midtown in Chicago, which is scheduled to open in July 2017. Midtown provides members and guests with the places and people to help them live healthy and happy lifestyles. Midtown Athletic Clubs feature the best of everything at world-class facilities – from spas to swimming pools, tennis to turf training, bistros to boutiques, and of course, state-of-the-art fitness. For more information, please visit www.midtown.com.
ABOUT V STARR INTERIORS
V STARR Interiors was founded by professional tennis player, Venus Williams, in 2002. Combining Williams’ value for excellence as an athlete with her passion for design, V STARR Interiors is a full-service commercial and residential interior design firm. High-profile clients such as InterContinental Hotels, Midtown Athletic Club and The Hotel at Midtown, Curio by Hilton, Related Group and Howard University, among others, have turned to V STARR Interiors to successfully translate their vision into reality. The company is based in West Palm Beach, Florida. For additional information, please visit www.vstarrinteriors.com.