Editorial Board   Guest Author

Mr. Lohan

Dirk Lohan

Principal, Wight & Company

Dirk Lohan left his native Germany to begin his architectural studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology under the tutelage of his grandfather, Mies van der Rohe. He returned to Germany and finished his studies in architecture and planning at the Technische Universität (Diplom Ingenieur), in Munich in 1962. When Mr. Lohan subsequently returned to Chicago, he worked closely with Mies van der Rohe on such projects as the New National Gallery in Berlin, the IBM office building in Chicago, and the Toronto Dominion Center.

Over his lifetime, Mr. Lohan has produced an impressive portfolio of national and international hotel designs of note, including the Grand Hyatt, Mumbai; Hyatt Regency, Pune India; Grand Hyatt, Sao Paulo Brazil;and Four Seasons, Mumbai India. Recently he helped transform the Mies designed former IMB Building into the Chicago Langham Hotel and designed the Hotel Arista in Naperville, IL.

Mr. Lohan believes that successful architecture must respond not only to economic constraints but also to the larger social and physical conditions. He is passionate about design and, for each new opportunity, looks to understand the local culture and their aspirations in order to develop an innovative, modern, and timeless design aesthetic. He seeks to humanize modernism by infusing local traditions, colors, and textures to enrich the overall design and enhance the guest experience.

Mr. Lohan's achievements in architecture have been recognized with many awards, including his appointment as a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1983.

In January 2016, his internationally recognized firm, Lohan Anderson (formerly Lohan Associates) combined with the Chicago based integrated services (architecture, engineering, and construction) firm, Wight& Company.  As the Principal of Wight & Company, Mr. Lohan brings to the firm not only a distinguished career of excellence, but also a rich family legacy of architectural innovation.


Please visit http://www.wightco.com for more information.

Mr. Lohan can be contacted at 312-261-5721 or dlohan@wightco.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.