Photo Credit: Mark Ballogg
Sophy Hotel in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood, features 14-foot ceilings in a column-free lobby, lounge, and restaurant space. It’s the kind of expansive space that any boutique hotel owner would dream of having.
“The project driver during design and construction was using prefabricated, cold-formed steel (CFS) framed wall panels,” says Building Design & Construction.
Long Structural Spans of Steel
The 7-story Sophy Hotel was completed in 2018. It has 98 guest rooms and lots of guest amenities.
To achieve their intended aesthetic, the designers combined prefabricated CFS-framed wall panels with structural steel.
The integration of the two systems created a strength and stiffness. Together, the systems allowed for long structural spans and vast overhead spaces, giving the boutique hotel an open and welcoming feel to its guests.
- The framing generally consists of 40-inch deep, wide-flange steel framing.
- The spans between the perimeter steel columns and the interior concrete masonry unit core walls reach up to 35 feet.
- The podium steel framing aligns with the CFS wall systems above.
The CFS wall systems and structural steel framing create large openings that seem atypical for a building this size.
On the sixth and seventh floors, the designers combined some guest rooms by eliminating CFS walls to create several open-space suites.
Thus, Sophy Hotel’s use of structural steel and prefabricated CFS walls helped the designers achieve an economy of repetition. That, in turn, gave them plenty of architectural freedom.
Another Hybrid Steel Structure
A similar Chicagoland project, the Courthouse Square luxury condominiums in Wheaton, Illinois, also features a hybrid of structural steel and CFS framing.
The 8-story Courthouse Square structure was built with two types of steel, hot-rolled steel and CFS steel framing. The hybrid framing solution provides spacious rooms, large windows, intriguing floor plans and the freedom to move walls.