An obnoxious design fad is rearing its head in Eugene: structures that look like boxy Nike gear. No new building epitomizes that more than the Hilton Home2 Suites going up at 11th and Olive downtown. The hotel looms ominously close over The Kiva grocery like a “Just Do It” storm cloud (sidenote: Do Eugene city planners understand what a decent setback from the street looks like? The sidewalk along 11th feels like a tightrope except instead of a net, there’s lots of traffic to break your fall).
Take the front exterior’s slate gray stonework (actually, the Hilton gets points for using a material other than stucco — Eugene’s go-to) dashed with a lemon-lime green strip of — you guessed it — stucco. Of course, in line with the cost-cutting ways of contemporary construction, the Hilton only used stone on the front façade, opting for army-green ridged tin and white stucco for the rest of the exterior. We imagine it this way: The front is a slick but quickly out of fashion Nike shoe, while the back is an old gym sock, waiting to yellow. And we dare you to go knock on that green tin siding — it’s hollow as fuck. There is, however, a silver lining here: The Home2 Suites have been plunked down next to Crapstone’s sickly cardboard excuse for student housing, which means: We’re developing an eyesore hub! Let’s put all the crummy, cheap, soulless buildings in one spot and soon we can charge for tours of the mecca where design went to die.