Science Meets Art at Luxury Chicago Hotel




Hotel EMC2



Design Team:

KOO Assocs.

Product Specs:

0.08-in. post-painted aluminum wall panels

Colors: Anchor Gray, Black Ink and Gravel Gray

Originally Published:

As the name implies, Hotel EMC2—as in Albert Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence or E=mc2—is a science-themed hotel. Located in the Streeterville neighborhood of Chicago, it was designed to be inspired by science, art and cuisine.


KOO Associates was asked to develop a tower façade that fit a hotel-room module, introduce a diagonal geometry to the façade and use a subtle but identifiable color range to make a pattern, explains Kevin Parzych, architectural designer for KOO and Assocs. The architects did consider brick veneer, but the metal wall panels were a lighter, more dynamic option. The Dri-Design metal panels also offer rainscreen capabilities, meet NFPA 285 and have a wide variety of color and finish options with customization available.


The hotel sits on a narrow 60-ft. × 110-ft. site, so the architectural team had to work with some constraints. They formed a geometrical pattern with the metal panels to overcome the limitations and still meet the design theme. Specifically, the metal panels form a tesseract—a four-dimensional analog of a cube.


The exterior of the 21-story hotel has a sleek aesthetic, utilizing Dri-Design Metal Wall Panels to achieve its modern look.

Tuschall Engineering installed 17,985 sq. ft. of 0.08-in. post-painted aluminum wall panels in Anchor Gray, Black Ink and Gravel Gray. The panels were installed over insulation with thermally insulated subgirts and Z furrings. “The building is on a zero lot line, so all the wall panels had to be staged within the building every third floor,” says Jim Tuschall, president of Tuschall Engineering. “Dri-Design provides ease of installation, quality of panel design and simplicity of the overall system. There are no sealants or gaskets to maintain,” Tuschall notes.

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