Hilton Cleveland Downtown

Downtown Cleveland was designed in 1903 by Daniel Burnham as a rectangular green Mall flanked by the city’s major government buildings. The location for the Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel occupies the last available site on that civic green and is surrounded by neoclassical styled public buildings with traditional facades of stone, with a base, middle and top, with a distinct cornice line 90’ above the slopping grade. The design team took clues from this context for the building’s base but used a combination of steel and glass – creating an iconic image for Cleveland’s skyline.

Design Challenge

The state of Ohio procurement laws for buildings with public funding mandate a design architect and design-build with Architect of Record structure. As the design architect we were challenged with a very aggressive schedule – 34 months from start to finish. We were also required to reconcile the design and budget very early on. Balancing design priorities and budget while moving very quickly, in a public process presented unique challenges that we faced head on.

Physical Context

Located on Lakeside Avenue in downtown Cleveland, the hotel overlooks Lake Erie and the FirstEnergy Stadium. The convention-style property, intended to serve as the new front door to Cleveland, connects to the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland and is adjacent to the Global Center for Health Innovation. As the city continues to transform and the downtown Cleveland is intended to function as the “front-door” to the area. In addition, commissioned artwork of Cleveland landmarks and monuments appear in-room and throughout the hotel, including a collage comprised of 2,800 selfies submitted by Cleveland residents to create a mosaic depiction of the Cleveland skyline.