Brookline’s Hilton Garden Inn hotel, which introduces a new, iconic design direction for the brand, sits between the bustling Longwood Medical Area and quaint Brookline Village. Formerly the site of a gas station, the project had several goals and opportunities: transform a heavily trafficked, drive-by corner into a prominent gateway that knits two distinct commercial areas; create a neighborhood asset with pedestrian and bike-friendly appeal; and design a gorgeous new hotel where guests are welcomed within this buzz of activity.
This unique urban intersection’s parameters necessitated a hotel with an unimposing mass, but one that could also accommodate substantial visitor flows. This non-traditional approach signals the transition between zones at this gateway building. A glass façade would create the appropriate urban edge and the team collaborated with the town to update zoning regulations allowing its first all-glass, mid-rise. The sculpted volume creates more pedestrian-friendly, neighborhood-appropriate massing and is stepped to engage Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace and lessen shadows. The resulting graceful curves create a soft street corner. Fritted glass permits privacy in guest rooms and dampens exterior sunlight reflection.
Transformed from a derelict parcel into a destination that visitors, neighbors and area workers didn’t realize they were missing, the new hotel is a community catalyst creating a sense of place where Brookline meets Boston. The open and inviting streetscape, convivial restaurant and bar areas, and a long overdue re-connection to the abutting Olmsted-designed park, has turned this particular corner into a place to stop, convene and relax in elegant style.