Arts Club of Chicago Drawing Room

Chicago, Illinois

Two decades after Vinci Hamp Architects completed the Arts Club of Chicago building, the client hired VHA to alter and combine several ground floor rooms into a space which would serve as a new library, meeting room, and, in the evenings, transform into a bar for club members and their guests. The resulting 780 square foot space was named The Drawing Room.

In collaboration with Nada Andric, Associate Director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, VHA created a spacious room which opens out onto the Club's garden with two sets of French doors. Significant structural alterations were carried out to make the creation of an open, uninterrupted space possible. A 14 foot high monumental pivot door indicates the entrance to the new space. The interior is dominated by two large bookcases on the South and North elevations. Large mirror-clad cabinets on the East elevation provide a reflected view into the West Garden.

For the daytime setting, the custom designed tables can be ganged together to form a conference table. Leather chairs and a custom mohair sofa complement the Rosso Levanto marble clad bar element.

Cooler lighting, a hidden projection screen and projector, as well as video conferencing capabilities add to the room's functionality as a library and meeting room.

Stainless steel framed mirrors above the bar, each weighing 350 pounds, swing open in the evening to reveal illuminated bottle shelves and monitors for the display of commissioned video art. Black terrazzo floors and white walls continue the club's architectural language, while oak millwork and honed marble create an elegant yet warm atmosphere.

IMG_8810 edited 3

The lighting design fulfills the different lighting conditions required during the day and evening hours. The luminosity of the cove lighting and table lights is augmented by the etched mirror glass¬†table surfaces, while eye-level mirrors between the credenzas and bookcases allow patrons to oversee the entire room even when facing the walls. The Drawing Room will feature art work by contemporary artists on a rotating basis.


Co-Designer: Nada Andric, Associate Director, SOM

General Contractor: Norcon, Inc.

Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti

M/E/P Engineer: McGuire Engineers

Lighting: Lux Populi

Photographer: Tom Harris (Last image by VHA)