The hotel’s transparent podium levels activate the urban street frontage and invite guests into its lobby and restaurant spaces. Our team made a point to use oversized glass openings that bathe the interior space in light, improving the overall feel of the space to enhance the guest experience. And while we focused in part on daylighting – working to ensure spaces were lit from the outside in – our design approach for the Des Moines Hilton Downtown, also flipped the script to create a kind of inside out lighting approach. Because people often gravitate towards the hotel lobby or bar to unwind after a long day’s work, and these hotel spaces tend to come to life at night, we used lighting to create a kind of lantern effect where guests can enjoy a “signature moment” as they mingle and socialize.
Our design for the Hilton Des Moines Downtown is just one example of how we can use light to enhance our designs. Whether subtle or obvious, light allows designers to showcase the beauty of their work, enhancing the way people experience the spaces we create.
This article was originally printed in the Spring 2019 issue of iaarchitect, the official magazine of AIA Iowa.