Midtown Athletic Club

Chicago, IL
Construction Cost: $60 million
Area / Square Feet: 250,000 sf
Occupancy Date: September 2017

The 250,000-square-foot expansion of Midtown Athletic Club and Hotel transforms what was the largest indoor tennis club in the country to the largest lifestyle center in the country. The club had its glory days in the 1970s and ‘80s, frequented by revered professionals like Andre Agassi and John McEnroe, when the fitness component was a small amenity. Midtown recognized the need to update the facility into a premier health club. Now, the progressive hybrid club and hotel create a destination for the ultimate experience in fitness, entertainment, relaxation and more.

The club spans three levels, featuring multiple programs — from boutique studios, such as yoga, group fitness, multimedia spinning, boxing, and The Field, with indoor and outdoor training areas, to custom amenities such as a signature restaurant, pools, the Mind & Body suite, a full-service spa/salon and a retail shop. A large open “landing pit” at the top of the grand staircase serves as the hub of the Midtown community where people can meet, work and enjoy entertainment in comfortable seating and with access to the restaurant, outdoor pool and fitness areas. Midtown is composed of several typologies bundled into one large building. Because of the scale, close attention was given to human interaction and intuitive wayfinding.

The 55-room hotel towers over the club in a glass volume and provides active travelers an exclusive fitness experience, bringing a high-end lifestyle center to boutique hospitality. The aggressive schedule and budget had the design team rethinking materials and its uses. Sustainability was embraced by reusing wood formwork from concrete construction as finish material, salvaging granite end blocks as the reception desk and backdrop wall, and repurposing relics from the Club’s history as jewel pieces in a metal trellis floating above the grand staircase.

Midtown Athletic Club

Judge's Comments

“What an absolutely gorgeous project. All of the material selections and detail are impeccable. The spaces translate the desired mood.” — Andrew Kelly

“This transformative project lends a whole new language to fitness. The angular floor plan is executed in a very thoughtful way.” — Brent Tippets

“Clearly, high-end materials were used, but the detailing of the materials and care in addressing how the materials came together is what makes the project stand out.” — Arash Izadi