HOTEL EMC2, AUTOGRAPH COLLECTION HOTELS & SMASHOTELS, Chicago
Some might call it genius; all will call it “exactly like nothing else.” Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR), together with SMASHotels, an award-winning hospitality management company, announced the official opening of Hotel EMC2 in downtown Chicago. Celebrating the convergence of art and science through its design, cuisine and guest experience, Hotel EMC2 joins the diverse and dynamic portfolio of more than 100 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world that are independent, one-of-a-kind and champion values of vision, design and craft.
“Hotel EMC2 is the perfect addition to Autograph Collection Hotels with its complex, yet enriching concept and complementary design elements,” said 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, attracting global travelers and Chicago notables alike.”
Driven by the vision and passion of local real estate developer, leader and disruptor Scott Greenberg, President and CEO of SMASHotels, as well as General Manager Christine Wechter, the hotel’s interiors are designed by the award-winning Rockwell Group and architecture by KOO. Art and science are thoughtfully woven throughout every nook of the 21-story, 195-room hotel beginning with a typographic design that greets guests upon arrival and features the commanding words of legendary Renaissance man 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 sets the stage for the experience to follow, guiding the design of the hotel: from the captivating pieces of artwork commissioned specifically for the hotel, to the well-appointed guestrooms subtly influenced by 1920s laboratories with rose gold fixtures, luxurious furnishings and playful gramophones that project music from any mobile device.
The hotel’s 120-seat contemporary American restaurant, the Albert (a nod to the extraordinary scientist), presents seasonal, globally inspired dishes from acclaimed Executive Chef Brandon Brumback. The dynamic opening menu has been meticulously created to celebrate the fresh flavors and aromas of summer. Unlike any culinary experience in the city, the restaurant offers the warmth of a 1930s institute of higher learning, where professors swirled a scotch and talked about the mysteries of the universe. The Albert also offers an intimate 20-seat open kitchen where diners are invited behind-the-scenes to witness Brumback’s culinary canvas, firsthand, while marveling in the commissioned artwork from West Coast surrealist painter, Paul Bond, and local artist, Jonathan Plotkin. At the center of the restaurant, a glass chandelier evokes a scientific experiment and pours house-made infused liquors developed by Director of Food and Beverage Rebecca Royster.
Creative expression also extends to nearly 2,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. Honoring Emmy Noether, one of the greatest math minds of all time, and the principle of symmetry, which underlies the convergence of art and science, the two multi-functional meeting and event spaces boast 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).
“I have 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,” said Scott Greenberg, President and CEO, 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. Through our partnership with Project SYNCERE, we are able to extend this passion even further.”
A shining example of the brand’s value of having a role in the community, Hotel EMC2 and Autograph Collection Hotels have committed to support the youth STEM programs of Chicago-based Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments), an organization that combines art and science to create transformational experiences for youth within underserved Chicago communities. With the support of Autograph Collection Hotels and Hotel EMC2, Project SYNCERE will jump start the career exploration of 20 high school students by providing hands-on, real life engineering experience through its E-CADEMY program. The hotel will also collaborate with the organization on additional initiatives and will remain committed to the partnership beyond opening.