SOPHY Hyde Park
Boutique hotel SOPHY Hyde Park opened in Chicago at the beginning of October 2018. Located in the heart of Hyde Park at 53rd Street and Dorchester Avenue, SOPHY Hyde Park is the first luxury boutique hotel in Chicago’s South Side in over a generation.
The team behind the hotel took inspiration from the area in which it sits, reflecting a rich legacy of intellectual, artistic and cultural innovation that continues to this day. The name of this new 98-room boutique hotel is rooted in the Greek word ‘sophia’, meaning wisdom and dedication to excellence through the pursuit of knowledge. It pays tribute to Hyde Park’s unique legacy and is reflected in both SOPHY’s architecture and design.
“From the outset,” said Mike Zimmerman, Vice President of Development for The Olympia Companies, “we wanted the design of the hotel to reflect the eclecticism of Hyde Park’s history, manifested in a richness and layering of design elements that invited curiosity and intellectual engagement.”
The property is close to the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, the Museum of Science and Industry, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House and the site of the future Barack Obama Presidential Library.
The architecture of the new building has been overseen by GREC Architects. Based in Chicago, the practice is known for redefining environments by employing responsive, artistic and integrated architectural methods. Brick masonry appears as a common theme and has been embraced in the hotel’s façade. The structure has also been clad in Norman brick, similar to the elongated masonry module employed by Wright on the Robie House. The punched windows of dark metal and glass pay homage to Chicago’s progressive industrial era.
“SOPHY’s design pays respect to the rich history and diversity of architecture in Hyde Park, while celebrating new technologies and innovations,” says Greg Randall, a Principal of GREC Architects, the architect of the project. “The hotel is cosy and artful, yet provocative. We organized the ground floor to create an atmosphere of discovery for guests. From the warm, inviting front entrance, to the secluded, landscaped outdoor terrace, SOPHY creates a meaningful environment for hotel guests and the Hyde Park community.”
Moving inside the hotel, the interior design has been overseen by Stonehill Taylor. Stonehill Taylor is a hospitality-focused architecture and interior design firm based in New York City. The firm’s Principal Michael Suomi, commented:
“SOPHY stands apart from bustling downtown Chicago as a sophisticated sanctuary reflective of surrounding Hyde Park. Each space in the hotel celebrates the arts, sciences, music and literature. We combine upscale materials with sinuous forms to achieve an elegant aesthetic throughout and crafted expansive public areas and oversized guestrooms, layering in textures and a prominent art package. Our goal is to create luxurious yet intimate spaces reminiscent of the neighbourhood’s residential interiors.”
Design highlights include a 1,000 lb. swirling chandelier inspired by Hyde Park’s musical legacy in the reception lobby. The décor of the hotel’s restaurant, meanwhile, has been influenced by local 20th century literary figures. Imagined as an author’s dining room, bookshelves have been carved into columns to partition seating areas.
Guestrooms take a lead from the fine arts legacy of Hyde Park. Each room is anchored by an 8 foot abstract painting by local artist Joey Korom, rendered in fabric, and is finished with books, ornaments and even a record player with a selection of local musicians on vinyl. With hardwood floors, area rugs, custom lighting and a comfortable seating area, these unique hotel rooms aim to inspire guests to build on Hyde Park’s amazing legacy.
For more information on SOPHY Hyde Park, please visit www.sophyhotel.com.