Freehand Hotel & Hostel Chicago

The newly-opened Freehand Hotel (formerly the Tokyo Hotel) in downtown Chicago is a work of Mid-Century Bohemian beauty. This is the second location after the flagship Freehand Hotel in Miami and was designed by the same team that gave us the Ace Hotel in NYC. The lounge area lighting is perpetually set to moody seduction, complimenting the kilim rugs, woven tapestries, terrazzo flooring, and teak wood tones used throughout the space. Whereas, most hotel lobbies feel false and sterile, the Freehand intentionally created a space that felt accessible, welcoming, and familiar. The private and shared rooms are given the same custom design treatment, making visitors to Chicago feel more like native residents rather then temporary tourists. One of my favorite aspects of this design is that the developing team specifically maintained the existing architectural elements in the building, rather than totally gutting and scrubbing it. The time-worn outline of the former hotel signage is still seen on the exterior of the building, and the original millwork and terrazzo flooring add warmth and sophistication to the interior.

This story originally ran on Curbed Chicago.
Interior Architecture: Roman and Williams
Development Team: Sydell Group
Photography: Adrian Gaut