After breaking ground nearly two years ago, the Hoxton Chicago has opened its doors as the Fulton Market District’s newest and most anticipated boutique hotels. The London-based Hoxton brand self-describes its projects as “inspired by the diversity and originality of the streets and scenes that surround them,” and the newly completed West Loop location continues in that same mold.
“Architecturally, we thought it was appropriate to pay homage to the neighborhood and embrace that ‘hog butcher to the world, city of big shoulders’ vibe,” Greg Randall of GREC Architects told Curbed. “We wanted to acknowledge the area’s industrial and meatpacking past, but not come across as an imitation.”
The red brick at the base of the 12-story structure at Lake and Green streets is a clear reference to the surrounding Fulton Market Historic District. Three stories up, the design gets more contemporary as the tower portion steps backs from the street and transitions to a dark, detailed masonry facade with deep punched windows.
Inside, the Hoxton blends the hard-edged industrial aesthetic of its exterior with the comfortable and familiar shapes and textures of midcentury modernism. Ennismore—the hospitality company the owns the Hoxton brand—tapped AvroKO to design the communal areas and food and beverage spaces and used its in-house team of Ennismore Design Studio to create the guest rooms and corridors.
The double-height lobby seamlessly flows between reception, a coffee counter, a bar, and Cira—an all-day Mediterranean eatery from the Boka Group. Above, a mezzanine-level meeting and event space known as “the Apartment” overlooks the lobby like a foreman’s office atop a factory floor. The private area offers its own lounge and reconfigurable dining and presentation rooms at eye-level with passing L trains.
Moving higher in the building is a partially enclosed rooftop space that’s home to a pool deck, a firepit, and Cabra—a Peruvian-inspired restaurant and ceviche bar from chef Stephanie Izard. The downtown views from the top are sublime but likely to change as new office and residential towers prepare to rise on virtually all sides. Thirsty visitors can also head to the Hoxton’s basement for a classic cocktail at a dimly lit piano bar called Lazy Bird.
The hotel’s 182 guest rooms are accessed via elevators wrapped in old maps of Chicago and hallways lined with geometric carpeting and a two-tone color scheme smattered with painted antiques glued to the walls.
The rooms themselves continue the dual color theme and feature unfinished concrete ceilings and oversized warehouse-style metal frame windows. The room layouts are cozy but manage to avoid feeling cramped thanks to a generously sized bed, an abundance of light, and open closets.
With so many different communal spaces available, guests will likely be encouraged to explore other parts of the hotel. “This is where we think hospitality is headed,” added Randall. “The guest room still has everything you need, it’s just more compact and efficiently arranged—almost like a train car.”
The Hoxton Chicago also plans to offer a 24,000-square-foot coworking space spread across two floors. Expected to open later this summer, the shared offices will stand out from competitors by providing all the perks of the hotel guest experience to its members. Instead of crashing at your desk after a late night, you could lay your head on a soft bed upstairs.
The Hoxton Chicago is developed by Shapack Partners—the group responsible for the nearby Soho House hotel and private club. It is the Hoxton brand’s seventh location worldwide and third in the United States, joining hotels in Brooklyn and Portland.
Its completion signals another step forward for the Fulton Market District’s transition from food wholesale hub into Chicago’s hottest neighborhood to live, work, dine, and play. It’s no wonder that upcoming hotel projects from Nobu, Equinox, and others are hot on the Hoxton’s heels.