The highly popular Gibson’s Restaurant Group were looking for a bold and eye-catching enclosure for their latest restaurant property: Gibsons Italia. This unique tri-level restaurant is described as “a modern steakhouse with authentic Italian influences,” located in the new, ultra-modern 52-storey River Point in the heart of Chicago’s downtown West Loop. To make this new destination complete, Gibsons needed a design that would match the trendsetting, convex-shaped architecture of River Point and complement Gibsons Italia’s premium-quality dining experience, while also offering great views of the Chicago River and cityscape outside.
OpenAire worked closely with both Gibsons’ and River Point’s architectural teams to develop a cutting-edge, 1,600-square-foot retractable glass enclosure that would let visitors enjoy Gibsons Italia’s exceptional menu under open skies throughout much of the year. Completed in October 2017, this vibrant lean-to enclosure measures 69 feet long by 23 feet deep and includes three motorized bays along the length of the structure, each divided into three panels up the slope. The bottom two panels on each bay retract upward in fair sunny weather, telescoping to open almost two-thirds of the dining area to Chicago’s skyline.
OpenAire also designed a 12-foot-high front wall with three bi-folding doors that open the steakhouse completely to River Point’s fourth-floor tree-lined terrace, letting visitors step out into a rooftop haven seemingly away from the busy downtown after enjoying a great meal. The enclosure’s aluminum-framed panels can close at the first sign of rain or cold weather while still giving guests a naturally-lit outdoor view. With its reliably-built components and bold, vibrant atmosphere, Gibsons Italia’s dynamic rooftop enclosure fits seamlessly with the rest of River Point’s striking architecture and will offer Chicago visitors and residents an unforgettable destination for years to come.