March 20, 2017
Since 2015, Crains Chicago Business has been publishing their list of the best event spaces in the Chicagoland region. These spaces range in size from, as Crains describes, small teambuilding retreats to cocktail-fueled product launches to formal galas. This year Crains handpicked 12 spaces and we are proud to say that one of the highlighted venues, Conrad by Hilton, featured the talents of Epsteins architects and engineers.
For the Conrad by Hilton, Epstein was the architect of record as well as civil, MEP/FP, and structural engineer working with a team of designers which included Pierre-Yves Rochon and the Puccini Group. In this role Epstein was responsible for leading the design team and helping the Gellar Investment Company convert the upper 13 floors of the commercial office building at 101 East Erie, formerly known as the Draft FCB building, into a Conrad by Hilton hotel.
Crains said that Conrad was best for high-tech corporate meetings and that the, 10 meeting rooms take inspiration straight from "Mad Men," courtesy of midcentury furniture and geometric-patterned carpets. But while the decor is retro, the event spaces offer state-of-the-art technology fit for our modern era. Each meeting room has its own Amazon Alexa, allowing guests to adjust temperature, volume or other elements. There's also video conferencing and messaging, including four 65-inch TVs in the Roosevelt Room that can video conference from four locations simultaneously.
Additionally, Crains also called Conrads meeting rooms as striking due to the fact that, Windows line the walls of every meeting room, providing sweeping views of downtown Chicago that allow for productive daydreaming.
Lastly, it should be noted that Crains master list of grand event spaces, 42 in all since 15, also includes the Epstein designed and engineered Ignite Glass Studios, a project in which Epsteins designers were tasked with taking an existing disjointed building located at 401 N. Armour and creating a coherent program and design to match the ambitious goals of Ignite Glass. To accomplish this charge much of the existing facility shell was reused and substantially renovated, with the event space component being the only piece of new construction. Ignite, which was the recipient of a 2015 AIA Chicago Chapter Distinguished Building Award, features a 15,000 sf studio with two furnaces, four glass warming glory holes that reach 2,200 degrees Fahrenheit and as well as in-house artists that demonstrate glass blowing techniques and/or teach workshops.
To see and read all about the spaces Crains selected visit goo.gl/zWYwZZ