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06.05.2014
Open> I/O Urban Roofscape
Pearlescent wallpaper and alligator-skin motifs make a splash at this rooftop lounge.
Marian Kraus

I/O Urban Roofscape at the Godfrey Hotel
127 West Huron St., 4th floor, Chicago
Tel: 312-649-2000
Designers: Gettys Group and Valerio Dewalt Train

The 4th-floor I/O (Indoor/Outdoor) Urban Roofscape patio bar at the Godfrey Hotel opened in April after a protracted wait for the end of a particularly harsh winter. Chicago-based Gettys Group designed the space, working with building architects Valerio Dewalt Train Associates. I/O shares the rest of the hotel’s “technology-forward” aesthetic. That includes USB ports and electrical outlets tucked into the bar between each stool, and sleek white furnishings catching light bounced off whale tail–shaped canvas canopies. But its signature piece of hardware has to be the TELS R1 retractable roof, which measures 24 by 79 feet and was custom designed by Libart Stoett. The buildings to the south of the Godfrey are low-rises, allowing for stunning views of the Chicago skyline.

   
 

The main area rests under the retractable roof and between two bars, but a few other spaces offer variation in the expansive lounge’s program. A fire pit, whose stacked slate mimics the hotel’s staggered truss structural system, stakes out an uncovered patio area with a view west onto LaSalle Street. Elsewhere, water elements and a video wall break up the space. Inside, the lounge vibe takes its cues from the rest of the hotel, adding a splash of red to the printed pearlescent wallpaper and alligator-skin motifs that also appear in guest rooms.

Chris Bentley