Sometimes an underdog, sometimes a villain, America’s Second City has witnessed its share of both wonder and hardship. St. Regis Chicago, formerly Vista Tower, stands as one of Chicago’s newest architectural marvels, and KTGY’s interior designers relished the opportunity to work inside the space created by Studio Gang. Establishing a concept that could complement both a storied location and a historic building was no small feat.
Tasked with realizing a design to match the exterior architecture when the Wanda Vista Tower rebranded as the St. Regis Chicago, KTGY’s interior designers lent their expertise to the hotel’s public spaces, the presidential suite and Iridium Spa. They wanted the space to reflect how Chicago’s upheavals worked their way into the city’s DNA.
The 1871 fire forced a second founding on the city and made the way for steel skyscrapers. The fire, serving as thematic backdrop, sets a dramatic tone for the hotel’s public spaces. Elements playing off light and shadow feature heavily throughout the space. The lobby plays with interior grids, reimagining steel structures as modern design installations. Grids and steel frames reinforce the verticality of public spaces, showing how the city grows in response to its anthropologic and natural history. Chicago is not all smoke and steel; however, and our design team looked to the winding coast, public green spaces and the city’s progressive history for complementary themes.
In the hands of some, the two aesthetic directions are at riskof clashing, but KTGY’s experts skillfully brought them together in delightful ways. The 10th-floor Iridium Spa features juxtapositions that evoke the shoreline and softer natural spaces with rough carved forms and bright metals, including onyx pedestals and brass inset details. The double-height lobby complements its smoky marble and chandelier with curving furniture and natural forms.
The glamorous presidential suite carries characteristic variations in rough-carved forms and opulent materials. Bespoke abstract sculptures coexist with industrial materials, as neutral tones and organic shapes contrast with metallic details, all within the impeccable luxury of 3,200 square feet of private space. Providing extraordinary views of the Chicago River, Navy Pier, and Lake Michigan, this suite, designed to feel like home, also features a walk-in closet, private fitness room, luxury bath and steam shower.
The interior design for St. Regis Chicago reflects both the client’s exacting standards and the layered past of the Second City. The elegant yet daring design represents Chicago’s future as a metropolis undaunted by difficulty. The triumphant spirit evoked by this design is the latest addition to the city that KTGY’s interior designers are proud to call home.
Owner | Developer: Magellan Development Group
Interior Designer: KTGY
Architect: bKL Architecture
Purchasing: The Parker Company
Photographer: Mike Schwartz
First 11 Stories of the 101 Story Building
Number of Keys: 192
Lobby: 4,870 sq. ft.
Spa: 6,503 sq. ft.
Presidential Suite: 4,644 sq. ft.