The Ace Hotel Chicago is located in Chicago’s historic Fulton Market District. The building design concept was inspired by the establishment of The New Bauhaus in Chicago by Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, which paved the way for an enduring legacy of modern design and architecture. The building configuration provides a setback from the property line to create an outdoor terrace on Green Street, animating the street experience as well as the hotel entry experience. This design decision complements Ace’s commitment to engagement with the surrounding neighborhood and the city as a whole. Preservation of a masonry façade contributing to the Landmark District was encouraged, and a portion of the building is designed to harmonize with that structure. A partnership with local urban agriculturists, The Roof Crop, allowed for a portion of the building roof to provide seasonal produce for the hotel’s food service. Ace Hotel Chicago was awarded a 2017 Chicago Landmark Award for excellence in new development in a landmark district
The project is designed for and has achieved basic LEED certification (v. 2009), incorporating a number of energy- and water-conservation measures. Additionally, views from the property and the introduction of daylighting to interior spaces was a design priority. Public amenity spaces include skylights, “sky-tubes” and are designed to be in proximity to usable outdoor spaces which provide generous natural daylighting.
Although the building occupies more than 90% of the buildable site, the incorporation of landscaping and native planting materials was a design priority. Included are >50% green roof coverage for stormwater detention, as well as landscaped amenity spaces. Most notably, the Level 5 roof deck provides an occupiable space surrounded by an extensive vegetated roof of native materials. The outdoor dining terrace at grade incorporates a rich material of climbing vines along the steel-gridded street wall.
The design concept of on-site food production was achieved through a partnership with The Roof Crop, a local urban agricultural leader. Seasonal crops are grown on 2,500 SF of roof space and harvested for use by the hotel restaurant.
A number of energy reduction measures were pursued, resulting in utility credits for projected 23% design electricity savings and 81% natural gas savings (compared to ASHRAE 90.1 2010 baseline).
The predicted EUI is 67.4kBtu/sf/yr; the total bulding energy usage is 9,392,372.49 kBtu with a total building area of 139,348 sf.
Green power was purchased.
Ace Hotel is situated in a downtown urban location, with excellent access to public transportation, and well within the Transit Oriented Development distances stipulated in the Chicago Building Code. The site is located within one block of the Morgan Street station of the Green and Pink transit lines of the Chicago Transit Authority, as well as the Lake Street CTA bus line. The Randolph Street/Fulton Market Innovation District is a thriving neighborhood of recent commercial development, including headquarters for both Google and McDonalds. The Ace Hotel accommodates a significant number of business travelers doing business with local corporations in an ideal walking environment. The project’s walk score = 96 (from walkscore.com).
The project provides 31 valet parking spaces on one level below grade for 159 guestrooms. Bike riding is actively encouraged with a number of house bicycles available for guest use, as well as secure bike storage provided for employees and the general public.
Hotel use often challenges water conservation, given the high density of plumbing fixtures and the frequency of their use. The additional burden of food and beverage service certainly exacerbates this challenge. For the Ace Hotel, very careful consideration was to plumbing design and specifications to balance guest expectations and potable water use. These efforts resulted in a project-wide regulated potable water use reduction of 20% from baseline.
Stormwater is managed on site by way of intensive and extensive vegetated roofs and a subgrade tank to meet Chicago’s rigorous detention requirements. Native prairie planting materials are used throughout the main occupied roof, and a temporary irrigation system was employed for plantings to establish, but will be decommissioned upon establishment.
The façade of a contributing structure in the Randolph Street Fulton Market Historic District was preserved and integrated into the building design. Brick masonry units were salvaged from demolished portions of the structure and employed in the restoration of the faceade.
Indoor materials were selected and specified for high recycled content, such as the homosote – a product made entirely from recycled paper - used throughout the project. Low- and no-VOC emitting materials, coatings, and adhesives were specified throughout.