Originally from London, Soho House is famous for its hyperchic members-only clubs in cities that now include New York, Toronto, and Mumbai. Its first Chicago location opened in August, turning a West Loop warehouse once home to the Chicago Belting Company into a boutique hotel with its own bar, lounge, spa, and vintage boxing ring. At 120,000 square feet it is the company’s largest location to date. Red face brick and cast concrete detailing are among the five-story building’s historic assets, which were catalogued by MacRostie Historic Advisors.
In keeping with Soho House’s taste for polishing diamonds in the rough, the Chicago location retains plenty of its raw industrial character. “That’s kind of our thing, the grit and the glamour,” said Soho’s design director, Vicky Charles. “It’s a lot easier when you have an existing building with great bones.”
Hand-picked vintage furniture fills out that sense of dusted-off glitz, which helps Soho House cultivate its desired vibe of a “home away from home” for creative professionals. The pièce de résistance is an old-school boxing ring at the center of the hotel’s gym, which was inspired by a tour of local amateur boxing rings on the city’s South Side.
Pieces of reclaimed oak add color and warmth to the concrete finishes. Charles said the design team even salvaged an old water tower on top of the building, repurposing it as a wall piece for the lobby.