The new Hilton 2.0 Columbus Downtown Hotel includes 474 keys adjacent to the 532 key existing hotel, bringing the combined asset to 1000 keys, the ideal regional convention center hotel size. The program includes doubling the meeting & front and back of house spaces, adding a street level restaurant and a rooftop bar and restaurant. Project challenges and opportunities include how to organize the combined entity on two physical building sites operationally and functionally, as one single hotel.

The Todd Halamka + Partners / Moody Nolan / Looney Associates / WSP team combines global, regional and local leadership to deliver the project. The team was awarded second place as one of four finalists from an initial 25 national team field.

Our hotel design envisions a guest embrace that begins with a new entrance plaza restaurant, front door & drop-off area as part of an expansion to the existing main convention center arrival loop, adjacent to the existing Hilton hotel lobby across High Street. A single, new lobby and front desk for the existing and new hotel orients and connects all guests with direct lateral and vertical connection to the combined 1000 guestrooms, meeting & retail spaces, and convention center. New front of house guest connectivity reinforces the existing level 2 pedestrian bridge hotel-to-convention-center-link with a second lower level gallery connection below High Street. Back of house functions including food and beverage, laundry and refuse, will be accommodated from both the existing west side dock and loading facilities and from a new east side berth.

Because the project site is located immediately adjacent and partially atop the existing convention center, our new hotel building design language speaks directly to the original Eisenman-designed convention center of undulating crescent forms and massing- while incorporating the masonry and curtain wall materials of the original Hilton hotel- for both an aesthetic & functional composition that recognizes the site context in terms of scale, materials and the idea of ‘one hotel’ on two adjacent sites.

Glazed facades and trapezoidal brick apertures reference the spatial twist of the building design, presenting the public space program to the city while establishing a welcome pedestrian streetscape complete with a terraced sidewalk restaurant that bookends the new front door and lobby.  Guestroom levels envelope a ‘external facing’ atrium that purposefully continues the original hotel’s atrium design theme. The new atrium offers expansive guestroom views through a glazed, street facing facade and planted garden- spatially reinforcing the idea of ‘one hotel’ at an ‘urban-room’ scale. An indoor / outdoor atrium garden ‘rooftop’ restaurant is planned above the meeting floors and below the guestroom levels.

Like the original Hilton hotel, the exterior facade provides a memorial visual aesthetic that includes a progression of scaled masonry and glass massing responding to the traditional neighborhood structures and high-rise, glass, stone, and steel-clad buildings nearby.  A stacked bond masonry pattern reinterprets the ashlar tradition, speaking as an artistic canvas to both the program within and the hotel's artistic neighborhood.

Design Team
Todd Halamka - Todd Halamka + Partners

Curt Moody - Moody Nolan

Gina Tomzak - Looney Associates

Robert Halvorson - WSP Engineers