Designing with Community in Mind


September 2004

Size and scale of new structures as well as the materials used to create them matter greatly in Portsmouth, where historical architecture is cherished. All were carefully considered during the design process of the Hilton Garden Inn. DeStefano Architects, however, also took into account and carefully planned for how the building would impact its neighbors.


The architects didn't work in a vacuum. They met with abutters, residents and local merchants to the proposed Hilton Garden Inn even before conceiving its design in order to hear people's thoughts and concerns, the majority of which are addressed in the hotel's final design. In the end, creative design was incorporated with the community in mind.


When built, the shape of the building will be a 'U' so as not to cast shadows on the buildings of one of Portsmouth's most historic districts, The Hill. A greenery-screened courtyard located in the inner part of the 'U' will provide off-street parking, while concealing dumpsters and utilities. Deliveries will take place here as well to avoid traffic congestion on the bustling main streets.

Pedestrian interaction with the Hilton Garden Inn structure will be encouraged via its design. The building will be brought right to the edge of the property line and built-in flower boxes brimming with vibrant color, oversized windows and awnings will invite passersby to look in.


Many subtle details were incorporated into the hotel's design in order to make it fit comfortably into its surroundings. The brick pattern and the way the scale of the building is broken down by making the first floor exterior granite and the remaining three floors brick, are reminiscent of neighboring downtown properties. Dormers on the top floor echo those of surrounding properties, while helping to reduce the scale of the building.

If you are interested in discussing how to best work with neighborhood associations and city boards when constructing a commercial or residential building, please contact DeStefano Architects.

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