CHICAGO—Autograph Collection Hotels and SMASHotels recently opened Hotel EMC2 in downtown Chicago, launching a partnership with Chicago-based nonprofit, Project SYNCERE (Supporting Youth’s Needs with Core Engineering Research Experiments), an organization that combines art and science to create transformational experiences for youth within underserved Chicago communities. Driven by the vision and passion of local real estate developer Scott Greenberg, president & CEO of SMASHotels, Hotel EMC2 celebrates the convergence of art and science through its design, cuisine, and guest experience.
The new addition to Marriott’s portfolio of more than one hundred independent Autograph Collection Hotels around the world, Hotel EMC2 is expanding its mission beyond the hotel’s walls—direct bookings by guests will support the youth STEM programs of Project SYNCERE. Autograph Collection Hotels has also committed to matching $50,000 for the program this year, contributing to a combined minimum annual donation of $90,000.
“I have always been fascinated by art and science, and I’m truly ecstatic to bring a hotel experience like this–geared toward both left- and right-brained guests–to Chicago,” said Greenberg. “At the core of our hotel is the idea of inspiration; we want to ignite guests’ imaginations while educating and challenging them to channel their inner explorative spirit. Through our partnership with Project SYNCERE, we are able to extend that passion even further.”
“We are thrilled to introduce Hotel EMC2 and the unparalleled creative spirit that provides guests with a standout experience that is exactly like nothing else,” said Julius Robinson, Vice President and Global Brand Lead, Autograph Collection Hotels. “Our brand is committed to making its mark on each destination by celebrating the community and supporting organizations that make a powerful impact; Hotel EMC2’s partnership with Project SYNCERE represents exactly that.”
An example of the brand’s value of having a role in the community, Hotel EMC2and Autograph Collection Hotels’ commitment to Project SYNCERE will jump start the career exploration of 20 high school students by providing hands-on, real life engineering experience through its E-CADEMY program. The hotel will also collaborate with the organization on additional initiatives and will remain committed to the partnership beyond opening.
“We are honored to partner with Hotel EMC2 to expand our E-CADEMY program,” said Jason Coleman, Executive Director and Co-Founder of Project SYNCERE. “The hotel’s emphasis on art and science perfectly aligns with our organization’s mission, and we look forward coming together to make a difference in the lives of these students.”
With interiors designed by the Rockwell Group and architecture led by KOO, art and science are woven throughout the 21-story, 195-room hotel. A typographic design with the words of Leonardo da Vinci greets guests upon arrival: “Study the science of art. Study the art of science. Develop your senses–learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” Da Vinci’s vision sets the stage for the experience to follow, guiding the design of the hotel—from the captivating pieces of artwork by nearly a dozen artists that were directly commissioned by the developer, to the guestrooms subtly influenced by 1920s laboratories with freestanding bathrooms at the center resembling a “wet lab.” Each room is adorned with rose gold fixtures, luxurious furnishings, and gramophones that project music from any mobile device.
The hotel also offers a 120-seat contemporary American restaurant, the Albert (a nod to the extraordinary scientist), with seasonal, globally-inspired dishes from executive chef Brandon Brumback. The beverage menu demonstrates the true art of chemistry by combining ingredients and flavors that celebrate both original and classic cocktails. At the center of the Albert, a custom glass chandelier-like structure known as the “infusary” pours house-made infused liquors, sparking conversation among guests perched at the bar.
Honoring Emmy Noether, one of the greatest math minds of all time, and the principle of symmetry, which underlies the convergence of art and science, the two multi-functional meeting and event spaces boast blackboard-style artwork installations and the art of Dr. Eugenia Cheng—a British mathematician, musician, author, artist, and Scientist in Residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.