Hilton Cleveland Downtown
Downtown Cleveland as we know it today was designed in 1903 by Daniel Burnham as a vast green mall flanked by the city’s major government buildings. The Cleveland Mall is considered one of the major urban spaces in the United States (Burnham also completed designs for Washington DC and the Chicago Lakefront). The site for the Hilton Cleveland Downtown Hotel occupies the last available site on that civic green. Cleveland’s newly opened Convention Center is located under two thirds of the Mall. The county’s and city’s challenge to the architects’ team was to design a building respectful of the Burnham Plan that was unique to Cleveland, creating an iconic image for Cleveland’s skyline. The building can be viewed as having two parts: the building base and the building tower. The design for the building base was directly influenced by existing neoclassical buildings flanking the Mall. The shared characteristics of those buildings, base, middle and top, expressed with solid corners, were applied to the hotel base but in a modern architectural language.
All of the older buildings flanking the Mall have a distinctive cornice line 90 feet above grade. The Hilton Hotel design has a cornice at 90 feet that becomes a tall porch and continues the strong horizontal line of the surrounding buildings. The porch connects the hotel to the Mall. The result is a modern building that connects to the historic context and that is unique to Cleveland. The glass tower of the hotel is articulated as three slender towers. Each of the three towers has a unique expression in the glass metal curtain wall. Near the top of the tower, the glass façade tilts out over the Mall. On the upper most floor a terrace for the rooftop bar is cut out of the glass providing an outdoor area overlooking the lakefront. The tower’s unique sculptural form will create an iconic image for Cleveland’s skyline. The hotel entry is on Lakeside Drive directly adjacent to the entry to the Convention Center to encourage a strong connection both visually and physically. The hotel’s restaurant and public spaces are positioned on the Mall. The project will seek to achieve a LEED-Silver certification.