Freehand Chicago, created by the Sydell Group, is the second property in the expanding Freehand Hotel | Hostel collection. Like the flagship in Miami, which opened in 2012, the new hotel incorporates innovative design and thoughtful food & beverage offerings in a comfortable community atmosphere at an affordable price. Freehand Chicago is housed in a classic 1920’s building in the vibrant River North neighborhood – home to some of the city’s best galleries, boutiques and restaurants.
Celebrated designers Roman and Williams, in collaboration with the Sydell Group, transformed the property in a way that embodies the same communal living and sharing spirit of the original Freehand, while taking new design cues from the surrounding city and artisanal qualities of Midwestern culture. The design is craftsman inspired, with both vintage and custom pieces used to curate a space that is at once familiar and exciting. Local artisans have been commissioned to create fabric-driven art pieces for the hotel inspired by regional traditions such as quilting circles and sewing bees. The idea of hobby and exploration are reflected in the lobby with fireplaces and books tucked into the corners of the “living room”.
Freehand Chicago offers both private and shared accommodations, with 336 beds divided among 217 rooms, including the shared bunkrooms for which the brand has become well known. The design of the rooms has a layered feel, much like Miami, although the palette and materials are different. Inspiration was drawn from Lake Michigan – evident in the deep blue tiles in the bathrooms and beds made of sapele, a warm, Mahogany wood.
A second outpost of Miami’s Broken Shaker mixology bar, which was nominated for two James Beard awards and named one of the “The World’s 50 Best Bars” in 2014, will offer a seasonal menu of specialty handcrafted cocktails, and street-food inspired small plates, that blend local Midwestern ingredients and globally inspired flavors. Located adjacent to the lobby on the ground floor, Broken Shaker Chicago exudes the same relaxed aesthetic of its sister bar, but is cozier and adapted to the region; here, pine tree wallpaper covers the walls, a play on the tropical wallpaper in Broken Shaker Miami.
Freehand Chicago will also feature a new food and beverage concept: Café Integral, which will serve Nicaraguan coffee, fresh juice, and small bites by day, and artisanal coffee cocktails by night, with a complimenting tea program sourced from local purveyors. The menu concept is Mesoamerican comfort food, guided by Midwestern influences, that will be simple, fresh and seasonal. Founded by César Vega in 2012, Café Integral was created to bring Nicaraguan blends to the forefront of American coffee culture with the same distinguished craft, consistent excellence, and sense of community that is at the foundation of Nicaraguan hospitality. Located in the lobby foyer, Café Integral Chicago will be the second location from the company, whose New York flagship is inside the popular Soho boutique, American Two Shot.
Freehand is owned by Sydell Group, founded by Andrew Zobler, who are the creators of acclaimed properties, including The NoMad in New York, The Line hotel in Los Angeles, and Freehand Miami; all celebrated for their site-specific uniqueness and attention to detail.
Freehand Chicago, created by the Sydell Group, is the second property in the expanding Freehand Hotel | Hostel collection. Like the flagship in Miami, which opened in 2012, the new hotel incorporates innovative design and thoughtful food & beverage offerings in a comfortable community atmosphere at an affordable price. Freehand Chicago is housed in a classic 1920’s building in the vibrant River North neighborhood – home to some of the city’s best...
- Year 2014
- Work finished in 2014
- Client Sydell Group
- Status Completed works
- Type Hotel/Resorts / Restaurants / Interior Design