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Hotel is in the details. Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel

23 Fr. R. Kreutzwaldi St, Tallinn
Interior architecture: dSign Vertti Kivi & Co with Allianss Arhitektid (team: Indrek Tiigi, Erik Olle, Ahti Peetersoo, Matthias Klitzsch, Helen Oja, Riia Oja, Tuuli Trei, Margit Teikari). Photos: Pelle Kalmo

Tallinn Entrepreneurship Award 2016 in the categories of Best Development Project and Best Tourism Deed
Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel is the first Hilton Hotel opened in the Baltic states. Thus the task was not just to design another luxury hotel, but to attentively and befittingly represent the most valuable hotel brand in the world with over 570 hotels across the globe. Key concepts like cosiness and friendliness, distinctive character and inviting atmosphere were the starting point for the interior architecture of the hotel. One crucial element was also the longevity of all design solutions because the expected life-span of such a sizable investment is quite prolonged and should repay itself without excessive maintenance or repair. Hence the result is really durable from technical point of view with every minor detail from restaurant chairs to computer controlled lighting system tested and re-tested. At the same time the ambience has a restrained and crisp Nordic look using natural materials, the overall light and moderate colour scheme – black, hues of white, grey and beige – is occasionally accentuated with a touch of purple and gold, and particular spaces are emphasised with extravagant elements like the purposefully flamboyant chandelier in the lobby bar to give prominence to the staircase connection between the lobby and the 1st floor conference centre.

 The architecture of the 13-storey hotel (26,500 square metres in total floor area) was created by Meelis Press Architects, which also designed the interiors for the Olympic Park Casino in the hotel, a flagship casino of Olympic Entertainment Group – the company ultimately behind the construction of the complex. The interiors of the hotel were designed by Finnish interior architect Vertti Kivi and his office dSign in partnership with Allianss Arhitektid. Vertti Kivi is a prominent interior architect, whose portfolio includes hotels and restaurants, banks, cinemas for the Finnkino chain, showrooms for the kitchen manufacturer Puustelli, etc., but also technologically very demanding interior solutions for cruiseferries (companies like Viking Line and Tallink) and the new generation airplane Airbus 350XWB for the Finnish national airline Finnair. The comfortable interior of the plane meant for long-haul flights is stylistically coherent with the Finnair lounges at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, also implemented by dSign.

 Besides the consistent colour scheme, the whole hotel is permeated with corresponding elements like the similarly-shaped light fittings or the triangle motif, which is to be found on the floor tiles, carpets, ceiling of the restaurant, and flower vases in different size, even in the head of beds in the hotel rooms. Together with design furniture, art has always played an important part in the Hilton Hotels, so nearly 460 paintings were commissioned for the new building – large-format, mostly abstract works by painters Katrin Karu ja Natalia Koreshkova are embellishing the general areas, smaller canvases in the hotel rooms are by painter Maria Simson. Some paintings depict famous Estonians like the composer Arvo Pärt, the national poetess Lydia Koidula, or Fr. Reinhold Kreutzwald, author of the national epic “Kalevipoeg”.
One integral whole is also the graphic design system for signage, devised by the creative agency Velvet. It took the company 14 months to produce the 2200+ graphic design solutions that comprise the intricate signage system, from the parking area to the little icons on the shoe polishing machines, from infographics in the lobby to room numbers and evacuation maps. High attention to detail is evident here as everywhere else in the hotel.

 Functionally the hotel is divided into two distinct parts – the lower part houses the lobby, casino, conference centre, restaurant and spa, while the higher, 9-storey slab block consists of hotel rooms and Executive Lounge on the top floor. With respect to furniture, the elements in all the areas are either carefully selected from well-known design brands, or unique designs by Estonian designers and one-off solutions manufactured by Estonian companies according to the architects’ drawings. Special consideration was given to the lighting solutions. Thus, in the lobby area the wireless lighting control system with dimmers enables to specify colour temperature and implement different pre-programmed light schemes, from bright and shiny to smooth and romantic, depending on the character of events held in the hotel at the time. A sculptural tour de force in its own right is the custom made chandelier hanging in the two-level atrium space between the lobby and the foyer of the conference centre, consisting of 150 Mirror Ball pendants by Tom Dixon. All the light fittings, either already available fixtures from companies like Tom Dixon, Foscarini, Delightfull, Axo Light, etc. (more than 15 companies in total),or specially manufactured solutions (ceiling fixtures in the conference centre and Executive Lounge, wall fixtures in the hallways, etc.), were provided by Hektor Light.
The conference centre for 800 attendees has altogether ten rooms – nine different size meeting rooms, and a ballroom for up to 530 guests, all of which are supplied with state-of-the-art AV conference technology. The large ballroom is also dividable into three smaller seminar rooms using a sliding wall system. The restaurant with open kitchen has different colour schemes from lighter to darker in the dining area sections, and a private dining room for VIP guests. About 13 m above the street level, the restaurant offers a nice view towards the adjacent park, especially from the rounded cantilever of the building. Next to the restaurant is the spa with various recreation facilities like different saunas, a large indoor pool and fitness studio. The restaurant and spa share a spacious terrace for relaxation from spa treatments or as a summer restaurant with a barbecue area.

 The hotel slab contains 202 rooms. The top three executive floors are for executive rooms and suites with French balconies (some with private sauna). The 180-square-metre Presidential Suite is one of the biggest in Tallinn complete with living room, dining room, master bedroom, office and kitchen. All the rooms have natural light flooding through the floor-to-ceiling windows, and from the fifth floor up offering splendid views towards the modern city centre, the Medieval church towers of the Old Town and the bay area with one of the busiest ferry traffic in Europe. Special accessible rooms for wheelchair users are available. Before the actual construction started, three one-to-one mock-up hotel rooms were built to test and play through all the possibilities, from placement of the furniture to the corners and baseboards.

 Distinctive character, extreme attention to details and construction quality, and accordance with the established high standards of the Hilton Hotel chain are the distinguishing features of the Hilton Tallinn Park Hotel. Just one random case in point could be the choice of restaurant chairs: 25 options were flown in from across the globe, and then tried out by the hotel owners, representatives of Hilton and the design team. Actually, similar testing process even applied to the tableware of the restaurant. Hotel with a capital H is in the details.

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