RH Chicago - The Gallery at the Three Arts Club

Chicago, Illinois / United States of America

The Three Arts Club opened in 1914 as a residence for women studying the "three arts" - music, painting, and drama. Designed by Holabird and Roche, the building is both a Chicago Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. A complex and precise renovation that respects the history of the Club, and the mindful addition of new spaces, gives the Three Arts Club new life as Restoration Hardware’s flagship Chicago Gallery.

Repurposing the existing building into a showroom gallery and restaurant involved rethinking the traditional commercial experience and designing spaces that blur the lines between retail, home, and hospitality. A new two-story atrium encloses the courtyard, housing a cafe with an immersive dining experience. Sights and sounds from the cafe permeate into the surrounding ‘complete room’ retail galleries, whose windows open into the courtyard. Hints of the original artist residences and corridor walls remain throughout the showrooms in the form of wood nailers embedded into the preserved concrete floors. A new rooftop level and exterior patio allows indoor-outdoor merchandise displays, requiring an extension and replication of the historic decorative main stair.

Extensive effort was put into restoring features of the original Club. Masonry and terra-cotta were restored at the exterior; three thousand square feet of painted murals in the historic dining room were tested for original color and revived; and all original wood doors and windows on the first floor were restored and include new thermal glass. The 1914 courtyard fountain was recreated and is a spirited focal point of the café.

The renovation pays tribute to the original artist-residents while repurposing the landmark as a public destination. As retail environments trend towards the experiential, the new Gallery ensures that the retailer’s vision and presence are rooted in Chicago.



Architect of Record

Booth Hansen

Associate Architect

Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects

Contractor

Restoration Hardware

General Contractor

Pepper Construction

Consultants

  • Forefront Structural Engineers
  • Advance Consulting Group International
  • SPACECO, Inc.