Sofitel Hotel
20 E. Chestnut St.


2003 NB

The Sofitel Hotel introduces a touch of Paris to this stretch of Rush Street. In a bold but tender addition to its brick surroundings, the Sofitel swoops and slices into the sky with a shimmering glassy touch. Designed by Paris architect Jean-Paul Viguier, the white wedge distinguishes itself from its mostly nondescript neighbors without dominating them. The hotel is introduced perfectly by the tiny triangular park and fountain framed by Rush, Wabash, and Chestnut Streets--one of downtown Chicago's best places to sit. Viewed from the west on State Street, it snugly frames the Hancock Tower. The Sofitel is a rare triumph in innovative design amid the recent blanket of blandness across the Near North Side.  -NB

Blair Kamin:
The new Sofitel Chicago Water Tower, a 415-room, 33-story hotel that sits two blocks west of the John Hancock Center ... is a stunning geometric exercise, a perfect marriage of Chicago boldness and French elan. Not only does the building's knifelike southern end slice through space like the prow of a ship. It also tilts outward -- and narrows -- as it rises, so its acutely angled top extends an eye-grabbing 33 feet over the sidewalk. Call it "the Leaning Tower from Paris," and credit Parisian architect Jean-Paul Viguier for one of the finest commercial buildings done here since the curving green office building at 333 W. Wacker Drive rewrote the rules of skyscraper design nearly 20 years ago.
-from "Eyeful Tower," Chicago Tribune, May 29, 2002

-More about the Sofitel from ChicagoHotelsandGuide.com


© Copyright 2001-2003
Nathan L.K. Bierma