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, the hotel was designed to be a one-of-a-kind space inspired by science, art and cuisine. The exterior of the 21-story hotel has a sleek aesthetic, utilizing Dri-Design Metal Wall Panels to achieve it’s modern look.

“We were asked to develop a tower facade that fit a hotel-room module, introduce a diagonal geometry to the facade and use a subtle but identifiable color range to make a pattern,” explains Kevin Parzych, architectural designer for KOO and Associates, Chicago. 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 by 110-foot 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.

Tuschall Engineering Co. Inc., Burr Ridge, Ill., installed 17,985 square feet of 0.080-inch 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. “The general contractor left out windows so we could feed the panels out to the crew on a swing stage.”

Tuschall recommended using Dri-Design to Koo and Associates early in the design phase because the panel system fit the design requirements. Tuschall Engineering has been partnering with Dri-Design for years, installing Dri-Design metal wall panels on everything from a small retail space to a 50-story residential tower and everything in between.

“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.

The 195-room Hotel EMC2 is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection. The hotel’s restaurant “Albert” has seating for 120 people with space for 20 invited guests in the kitchen. There are two large meeting areas, as well. Art and science are tucked in every corner and displayed on every wall and surface of the space.

“Hotel EMC2 is the perfect addition to Autograph Collection Hotels with its complex, yet enriching concept and complementary design elements,” says Brian Povinelli, senior vice president and global brand leader of the Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our hotels and resorts are known for providing standout guest experiences that are exactly like nothing else, and we believe that Hotel EMC2 will exceed this promise, attracting global travelers and Chicago notables alike.”

Brad Zeeff, president of Dri-Design, adds: “This hotel sits in a medical and technological center of Chicago, so the science theme fits the neighborhood well without being a cliché. Metal wall panels make a stunning and playful cladding that invite people inside to explore the influential art and science displays.”

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