ARCHITECTURE MEETS STORYTELLING IN UPCOMING HYDE PARK HOTEL
With its grand opening months away, an upcoming South Side boutique hotel known as Sophy Hyde Parkhas released a new batch of renderings previewing the project’s unique, narrative-driven approach to design.Located at the corner of 53rd Street and Dorchester Avenue, the development hopes to deliver site-specific boutique lodging to an underserved market while simultaneously embracing the area’s diverse mix of architecture and its rich intellectual legacy. No easy task.“We didn’t want to mimic historic Hyde Park buildings by copying a specific style like Prairie School or Collegiate Gothic,” Greg Randall, principal at Chicago-based GREC Architects, told Curbed Chicago. “But we also didn’t want to land a spaceship on the corner. We tried to find a blend.”Sophy’s exterior treatment is subtle when it comes to contextualism. The masonry facade uses Norman brick, reminiscent of the elongated blocks used by Frank Lloyd Wright on the nearby Frederick C. Robie House. The design also embraces more contemporary elements such as metal beams and casement windows, mirroring the “industrial chic” aesthetic common in Chicago’s West Loop.The Sophy project derives its name from sophia—the Greek word for wisdom and knowledge which forms the root of philosophy. The choice is not only a reference to the South Side neighborhood’s major institutions such as the University of Chicago and the Museum of Science and Industry, but also a nod to some of the area’s most influential minds.