in the heart of Chicago, the award-winning Fairmont Hotel
chose Rockwell Group to lead the $50 million renovation of
its grand property. Rockwell Group worked with Brad Oldham,
Inc on a key architectural feature and function for the lobby.
The 100 foot long, 12 foot tall sculptural wall provided a
beautiful, visual break between the lobby and the wine bar
to encourage a social atmosphere by using an open, circular
To create the sculpture, BOI first designed
a structural steel base that bolted to the ground for stability.
The -inch bronze tubing was designed to slip over the steel
base, thereby minimizing the structure’s visual element
while physically providing solid structure to the wall. In
all, nearly 9,000 feet of -inch bronze tubing was used in
the wall. The -inch bronze “sticks” were carefully
placed throughout the screen to simulate a tree-like pattern
that some say evokes the feeling of bamboo. Each stick held
a hand-blown glass pod on either end to bring a pop of light
to the warm, antique-finished bronze material. The wall was
lit using low-voltage MR16 lights from the bottom up. The
lighting angle combined with the placement of the bronze sticks
within the wall created an organic bird’s nest-like
image on the hotel lobby ceiling - a strong connectivity between
the outdoors ad the interior design that Rockwell Group wanted.
BOI team designed and engineered the bronze, steel, and hand-blown
glass wall in its Dallas studios, then took a 9-man team of
craftsmen to Chicago to assemble the artwork and install the
final piece. In order to provide minimal disruption to hotel’s
daily operations, an aggressive 3-day installation schedule
Hotel guests now use the space as a community
area and a place to spend time instead of a quick stop before
retreating to their rooms after check-in. Visitors to the
hotel also find the contemporary yet elegant space a place
to mingle and gather.