“There are not many truly beautiful rooms in the world,” Nada Andric declares. The Interior Design Hall of Fame member, associate director at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and member of the board of the Arts Club of Chicago, is taking a seat in its new “drawing room.” Unveiled to mark the club’s 100th birthday, the room was designed by a fellow board member, Vinci Hamp Architects associate Alex Krikhaar, with her pro bono participation. And what makes a truly beautiful room? “It’s all about proportion,” she replies.
She and Krikhaar certainly checked that box—with a 14-foot-high oak door and 9-foot-tall mirrors reflecting garden scenery. While morphing from stately library or meeting room, by day, to chic members-only bar during the evening, the 800-square-foot room also pays subtle homage to the club’s architectural patron saint, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who designed the interior of a building the club occupied previously. The current clubhouse, completed by Vinci Hamp in 1997, is “a very respectful continuation of Miesian doctrine,” Krikhaar says.
However, the room does give the club’s overall utilitarian elegance a few jolts of the unexpected. Flat-screens behind the bar play provocative video art rather than sports, for instance. And there are plenty of the quirky color choices the club is famous for, such as the mauve mohair on a sofa.