Every year during Denver Design Week, we look forward to connecting with Denver’s thriving design community and finding inspiration in the way architecture and design can have a positive and meaningful impact in our world. This year, we were thrilled to host our own DDW session and share our expertise through a tour and panel at the new Hilton Garden Inn Denver Union Station.
During the tour, we provided attendees with design insights for key areas of the project, including the lobby area and Woodie Fisher restaurant, the second and third floor amenity spaces and a guest room. If you missed it, here are a few takeaways from each stop:
Stop #1: Lobby + Woodie Fisher
One of the ways we created a local, boutique feel for this international brand was through the art program, curated by Denver-based art advisory firm NINE dot ARTS. The art was carefully selected to celebrate the hotel’s place within Denver. For example, the lobby triptych was designed specifically for the hotel by local artist Jason Thielke and features a mash-up of images reflecting familiar Denver landmarks and neighborhoods. If you look up in the lobby, the dropped ceiling reflects the downtown Denver skyline.
Designing and building the HGI Denver Union Station included the historical restoration of Denver’s first fire station, Hose House No. 1, which was constructed in 1881 and is the only surviving structure from Denver’s historic “Bottoms” neighborhood. It was transformed into an upscale restaurant called Woodie Fisher, named in honor of the station’s first Fire Chief.
Stop #2: Amenity Deck and the Union Conference Room
The second floor is comprised of public amenity and back-of-house spaces. The bright, naturally lit ballroom is one of the first of its kind in Downtown Denver, utilizing two-story, floor-to-ceiling glazing. The space includes two additional areas for gathering during events, along with an exterior pre-function patio that overlooks Woodie Fisher and the street below.
Stop #3: Fitness Center, Pool and Guest Room
Per HGI’s brand standards, the hotel required an indoor pool, which JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE introduced in a new, fresh way to take advantage of city views. Retractable floor-to-ceiling windows create a memorable, character-rich space, while offering a feel of the outdoors.
The 233 guestrooms in the HGI are not only intended to be a calming, comfortable respite from the urban environment, but also offer varying experiences from room to room. The textile inspiration of the guestrooms is local, hip, fresh, fun and playful.
The diversity of the building design is a truly unique aspect of this project. The south tower includes a stucco design with punched windows, while the north tower features a distinct jewel box exterior with curtainwall windows.
JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE blended historically inspired materials and a forward-looking design to create a modern space that feels true to the site’s roots. Inspirations include the rise of the textile industry that occurred concurrently with the development of Denver and the construction of the Hose House. The carpets are also inspired by the rich dyes and deep indigos used in textile production at that time.
During the panel, JOHNSON NATHAN STROHE’S Tobias Strohe and Heather Vasquez Johnson joined the project’s partners Brent Forget from BOSS.architecture and Jeremy Nothdurft from Alliance Construction Solutions to share insights and highlights from the seven-year process to build the timeless and contemporary Hilton Garden Inn Denver Union Station hotel.
And what better way to conclude our session than connecting with one another at Woodie Fisher, enjoying the historic restoration punctuated with a new skylight. Thanks to everyone who attended this fun event!
See a video recap of the event here.