Our client’s terraces atop the Park Hyatt are modest relative to the spacious interior. Looking east across Chicago’s busy Michigan Avenue shopping district to the lake, they serve as an extension of the spare, Asian-influenced interior décor reflective of our client’s extensive business travels to the Far East. In our design, we strove to avoid visual clutter and to maintain the open sightlines to the lake and downtown while extending the interior outwards.

The four terraces differ slightly in size. For each of the larger two, CSG fabricated a lightbox of ipê (ee-pay) wood framing and resin panels with patterned grass inlay, backlit by neon lights. The lightbox, mounted to the wall, glows when activated. Nearby, zinc containers by Domani of Belgium contain threadleaf Japanese Maples. Set to one edge of the ipê decking is a Japanese garden in miniature, featuring “mountains, meadows and fieldstones” created from small aqua blue boulders, moss, shale chips and forest grasses. A low bamboo design element surrounds the setting.

On the smaller terraces, a dark obelisk-shaped planter casts a stark counterpoint to the blue Chicago skyline. It rests on a base of white patterned marble surrounded by deep blue La Paz pebbles.

The effect of these simple garden spaces is to carry the interior outside and extend the serenity of one space through another.