The Virgin Group signs the Rolling Stones into a multi-powerful, platinum record deal, brands a global British airline, builds wireless telecommunications globally, and starts up charitable forces with grassroots organizations. The co-founder, Sir Richard Branson, Aka the British, multi-national godfather of branding and venture capital, graced his presence with a well done project in the Windy City.
Walking into the 27 story, Chicago landmark of the old Dearborn Bank on Wabash and Lake, during a work day compared to walking into the same space as a hotel, with your mobile app checking you in, your room set up and all of your weekend dinner reservations already booked, is a surrealistic way to enter a time zone, if there were one.
This re-zoned bank-turned-hotel plans to be a 21st century model for environmental commitment and long term benefits, respecting its historical significance. After a delayed start in completing construction phases, due to lingering coordination with the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, the Virgin Hotel is now ready to be the next game changer for Chicago and cities globally.
Recently, the hotel was officially rewarded a LEED Gold certification, granted by the United States Green Building Council. The Illinois chapter of USGBC held a plaque ceremony and a panel discussion involving the Director of Architecture for Virgin hotels, the CEO of Kohler, the CEO of Paladino and Company, the CEO of Virgin Hotels, and the CEO of USGBC.
The team discussed how the interior details tell a story of how well sustainability fits with today’s society needs. The criteria for achieving Gold status fulfilled its credit requirements for net zero results. Results are achieved more if you change a small percentage of information, thus leading to tremendous, retrofitted efforts for the building.
As mentioned during the discussion, the team implied that this is all about making intelligent, smart choices with so much missed info.
The historic charm of the Virgin Hotel is modernized for the young, city-going, creative class, as spoken by one of the participants.
In closing, the energy and well-planned discussion ended with how the project is a strong baseline for the changing, competitive hotel industry, for business, environment, world travel, and for moving forward.
The audience excitedly transformed into paparazzi when the LEED Gold plaque was presented by Rick Fedrizzi, CEO of U.S. Green Building Council and Raul Leal, CEO of Virgin Hotels.
“Virgin Hotels has gotten very comfortable in Chicago, slipping into something “skimpy, red and sheer” for all of downtown to enjoy.“ — Sir Richard Branson