San Francisco-based BraytonHughes Design Studios was tasked with putting their creative stamp on the Canopy by Hilton Baltimore Harbor Point, located on the ground floor of the Wills Wharf building and the latest to join Hilton’s burgeoning lifestyle brand. “We had the opportunity to create a design that would reinforce the brand,” says principal Kiko Singh. The goal was to create “a place where guests and locals in the community can sense the city of Baltimore.” Therefore, the palette incorporates a variety of blue hues that reflect the waterfront, while teak, rope, copper, and steel reference the city’s shipbuilding and industrial past.
In the lobby, for example, concrete and black brick walls offset walnut floors, copper accents, and hanging light pendants inspired by nautical artifacts. The 156 guestrooms, meanwhile, feature contrasting metal accents, steel doors, wood floors, and whitewashed oak furniture. For the bed canopy—”one of the brand’s signature moments,” explains Singh—wood on the ceiling curves like the hull of a boat, paying further homage to Baltimore’s shipbuilding history.
At the same time, a diverse and layered art program—selected and curated by Nathalie Beatty of Beatty Design and Baltimore-based artist and educator Karl Connolly—ranges from murals to archival images of Harbor Point to “reinforce the hotel as a portal into the neighborhood,” Singh says. One standout comes from local artist Jonathan Maxwell, who employed paint, resin, and concrete set in large panels suspended from a steel and roller framework to create an industrial mixed-media landscape, which is installed in the lobby.
The art collection was consciously curated to capture the sophistication of the arts world in Baltimore as well as celebrate its rich diversity. For example, the restaurant, which showcases nautical-inspired bar seating, wood, and copper light fixtures, draws guests’ attention to artwork by artist Jeffrey Kent, who created an abstract, acrylic-based tribute to Henrietta Lacks, a Black woman who had her cancerous cells taken from her and used for scientific research without her consent. The cells found within her, now known as HeLa cells, provided inspiration for the painting, which features a glossy surface that purposefully reflects the onlooker. “Just as the interiors invite guests to sense the city’s multidimensional character,” explains Singh, “the artwork encourages a new way of seeing and even gestures toward social consciousness.”
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