Geberit North America

New Luxury Hotel

In a Century-old Building

Hotel Julian

  • Front Facade of Hotel Julian, Chicago, IL

Chicago, Illinois

The 218-room, 17-story Hotel Julian is located on Chicago’s high-profile Michigan Avenue. Though only 50 feet wide, the hotel has a monumental street presence, bringing a new brand of chic boutique luxury to what was once a dilapidated bank building. Each compact and high-ceilinged room exudes contemporary luxury. Designers made maximum use of limited space, with high-design aesthetics throughout the building, including a new 5-story glass rooftop addition. A modern Geberit concealed tank and carrier system in each restroom helps the hotel’s owners achieve their objectives for space savings – and stunning design.

The Challenge

The Atlantic Bank Building, originally constructed in 1912, has had multiple periods of vacancy throughout its history. Prior to its renovation as the Hotel Julian , the building sat vacant for years and the interior was in poor condition. Water infiltration and exposure to the weather had done significant damage to the building’s structure: for example, water had penetrated from the roof and traveled down 12 floors to the basement slab. Sandwiched between two buildings on Michigan Avenue, the hotel had no place to go but up – in every sense.

“We needed to utilize maximum space in each room to accommodate the modern conveniences, like Nespresso bars, 55” Smart TVs, and mini fridges, demanded by hotel guests,” says Nawar Telche, Director of Engineering, Hotel Julian. “This included making the restrooms comfortable and as large as possible. We also needed a toilet for our guests that flushed quietly, in a way that a floormounted, exposed-tank toilet may not be able to.”

The Solution

For the building’s historic $75 million renovation, the high, lofty rooms were designed by a prominent Chicago design group. The design objective was to provide modern yet elegant accommodations and give visitors the “little creature comforts” for which the Hotel Julian is known.

  • Award-winning Bathroom Renovation in the Hotel Julian, Chicago, IL

“Our hotel won a 2019 Merit Award from the Chicago Building Congress for “Best Renovation/ Adaptive Reuse Over $10 million. The Geberit in-wall system helped us achieve the best use of functional spaces in a building only 50 feet wide.” – Daniel Grajdura, Director of Sales and Marketing, Hotel Julian.

The hotel was previously the 12-story Atlantic Bank Building on Michigan Avenue. For the building’s historic $75 million renovation, the high, lofty rooms were designed by a prominent Chicago design group. The design objective was to provide modern yet elegant accommodations and give visitors the “little creature comforts” for which the Hotel Julian is known. “Designers made the most of the challenge of limited space. Drawers pull out from the base of the bed for storage. A wall-hung and compact desk affords functional space for a computer and accoutrements. The bathroom is accessed through a space-saving barn door,” Grajdura says.

The Hotel Julian met the challenges of bathroom space, style, luxury, and water savings by installing over 218 Geberit in-wall toilet systems with Alpine white Sigma01 dual-flush actuators and matching white wall-hung Duravit toilets . The designers chose the Geberit system because of its water-saving quiet flush, easy installation, and concealment in the hotel’s new 2x6 walls.

“With the sanitary technology hidden, the bathroom looks spacious, with a modern high-end finish. Geberit in-wall systems help increase bathroom hygiene by greatly simplifying cleaning. Concealed tanks and wall-hung toilets have fewer edges, joints, and corners and an open floor space when the toilet is kept off the floor so dirt and bacteria can’t hide. The wall-hung toilet system is extremely reliable and has been tested to 400 kg of weight,” Telche says.

The narrow yet luxurious Hotel Julian, named for the patron saint of travelers, is now an architectural highlight, one of the gems of the Millennium Park area near Chicago’s world-famous Michigan Avenue.

Design Firm: Gettys Group

Photography: courtesy Hotel Julian

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