The Two-Faced Club | Option Studio

Option Studio: The Athletic Club
Fabrizio Barrozzi and Danniely Staback
Fall 2018


Nestled between the Gothic-style Randolph Tower, former home to a German-American social club and now a residential tower, and the Michael A. Bilandic Building, designed by the Burnham Brothers and now housing the Illinois Department of Labor, the project is carefully inserted into its context, reacting to its neighbors’ particular histories and formal language, and providing continuity along both front and back street fronts. Masked by a cast façade that both obscures and hints at the front section, the project leverages a system of vaults to create, on one side, a diverse set of spatial conditions responding to the needs of a public athletic club, and on the back side, a private hotel tower. The two faces are separated by a semi-permeable core. The dialectic of the two sides—one repetitive, the other uniquely fitting program blocks; one expressed in the façade, the other hidden by it; one private, the other public—is resolved by the continuity and rhythm of the vaults, changing in scale and organization from one façade to the other.