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Trend in Retractable Enclosures Highlighted by Chicago’s New Godfrey Hotel

February 26, 2014 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

The new Godfrey Hotel opening this month in downtown Chicago features the latest example of rooftop entertaining and dining venues, complete with a retractable glass roof enclosure provided by Libart North America.

The 19-story hotel, located at 127 W. Huron at LaSalle, offers its exquisite I|O Urban Roofscaperestaurant, lounge and event space as a major draw. With a commanding view of the Chicago skyline, the outdoor space is part of a growing trend of indoor-outdoor venues that Libart has been intimately involved with as a major manufacturer of moveable enclosure systems.Coles-Training_250X250px

“In terms of the hospitality business, we’ve seen a huge trend over the last three years in retractable structures for rooftop dining, bars and nightclubs,” said Chris Stover, owner and operations manager for Libart North America. “A retractable enclosure system allows these places to provide an attractive outdoor location without being limited by the weather. They can offer the special ambiance of outdoor entertaining and retain that with a moveable glass enclosure when the weather turns bad.”

Libart has more than 24 years of experience with moveable enclosures in the international residential and commercial markets, and its North American operation has been a more visible presence in the United States over the past five years with its manufacturing plant in Ohio. For many years Libart worked with high-end outdoor pool enclosures, but in recent years its enclosures have been making their mark in conjunction with stunning examples of scenic outdoor locations for dining and entertaining.

“Our deep experience with these kinds of structures has given us a significant advantage in that we can quickly develop a “custom” enclosure for a client by simply reconfiguring a number of standard elements,” said Stover. “We have a very broad package of standard systems that allows us to offer a lot of different design elements to the client, which simplifies things in a non-custom way while still giving them a distinctive enclosure.”

The Godfrey Hotel enclosure is a lean-to 24’ X 79’ split retraction unit, where half goes in one direction and half goes in the other. The lean-to portion is composed of one-inch thick insulated glass with extruded aluminum framing. It also features a 20’-6” X 79’ fire-rated polycarbonate standing seam translucent roof. Forty-four feet of folding doors on both sides allow for a fully opened space.

“The size and complexity of the Godfrey Hotel project is actually pretty standard for us,” said Stover. Libart also provided the retractable enclosure for another Chicago rooftop entertainment space, the American Junkie at 15 West Illinois St.

“It has been inspiring to see how this trend has developed over the last few years just with our clients,” said Stover. “This kind of year-round indoor-outdoor experience with retractable structures has definitely become a ‘Wow factor’ that the hospitality industry has seized upon to bring a fresh experience to its clientele.

“We see that attraction catching on in a lot of ways in a lot of places. It’s a new wrinkle businesses can add that can really brings the outdoors indoors, as we say. You’re still surrounded by a great outdoor panoramic view, but with all the indoor comforts.”

For more examples of retractable enclosures by Libart North America, visit

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