The Langham Hotel occupies the first 13 floors of Mies van der Rohe’s historic IBM building in downtown Chicago. Tucked away in the building’s southwestern corner is Travelle, a 24-hour restaurant designed by the Rockwell Group. David Zaccheo, lead project designer, focused on the structure’s original namesake tenant when designing the space. Entering the restaurant, diners are faced with a golden decorative wall whose pattern evokes a layered mass of computer chips. “This isn’t a preservation project,” said Zaccheo. A row of vertical glass tubes separates the dining area from the bar, where golden discs hover in a ceiling recess. As the bar seating sprawls to greet stunning riverfront views of downtown Chicago, wood and leather restore the mutable lounge vibe.
In aiming to shed the trappings of a typical hotel bar, a little luxury goes a long way. While purists could not call it a harmless intervention, the update is flashy but not without a tasteful restraint. Rockwell also collaborated with the Art Production Fund to curate a collection of original artwork for the interior, which evokes the building’s mid-century modernist past.