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Chicago’s Sleek Soho House Has Echoes Of An Industrial Past

Housed in a former belt factory in Chicago’s West Loop, the Soho House pays homage to the neighborhood’s industrial past.

The London-born hospitality chain Soho House, a members’ only club hot with the techie crowd, has pushed into Chicago as part of its strategic plans for a global takeover. If its Windy City digs are any indication, this is a modern hotel chain that’s not afraid to make itself at home in a new city. The Soho House Chicago, opened this summer, is a modern, chic hotel that elegantly honors the industrial roots of its building (and neighborhood) with a few light touches, like retaining wooden panels and fire-safety glass from the original early 20th-century belt factory that once occupied the site.

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The Chicago location is just one piece of Soho House’s expansion plans, announced in 2012, which will bring the private members’ club and its hotels to Toronto, Mumbai, Istanbul, and Barcelona in addition to its existing hotels in the U.K. and in New York and Miami. The company shies away from a unified corporate aesthetic in favor of embracing designs more suited to each particular city. Designed by Soho House founder Nick Jones and the group’s design director Vicky Charles, the six-story building in Chicago’s up-and-coming industrial West Loop neighborhood retains aesthetic vestiges of its past life as a warehouse for the Chicago Belting Factory.


Originally built in 1907, the interiors remain lined with concrete and worn, exposed brick and have the same high ceilings and expansive floor plan of the early 20th-century factory–albeit with the less humble additions of chandeliers, a boxing gym, and a rooftop pool. The designers have also managed to incorporate elements of the building’s original water tower, including fire-safety glass and wooden panels, into the new interiors. Two in-house curators will be on hand to work with local Chicago artists to decorate the space.

Rooms start around $220 a night. Check out the gorgeous space in the slide show above.

[h/t: We Heart]

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About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut

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