Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
221 North Columbus Drive
Designers: Graven Images, Lundwall Architects
Filling 18 floors of the Studio Gang-designed Aqua Tower, the new Radisson Blu hotel includes 334 rooms, ranging from smaller rooms to suites, designed by Lundwall Architects of Sweden. Rooms come in two styles, one with warmer more clubby finishes, the other neutral and modern. British designer Jim Hamilton of Graven Images designed the hotel’s public areas. His vivid design includes a faceted reception desk of backlit glass volumes against a dark brown wall slashed with diagonals of light. Extra high wing back chairs upholstered in deep velvet provide seating in the lobby space. A long brass screen divides the lobby from the restaurant, Fellini, which boasts a bar of metallic blocks that wrap up into a band on the ceiling. Booths and stools are upholstered in cool gray, contrasting with more eye-catching elements like patterned mosaic floors and lounge tables with up-lights integrated in the tabletops. The Ballroom’s 20-foot high windows overlook the Park at Lakeshore East.