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About skycity

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  1. skycity

    BridgePark Project

    Style Weekly has a great update on the BridgePark project. It seems to be influenced by New York's High Line and Chicago's Millennium Park. I think kind of spectacular development would do a lot for the image of Richmond and would create a new destination for residents. It would be interesting to see if this would inspire residential development in an area that is currently all office buildings:
  2. skycity

    Richmond in Pictures III

    Beautiful recent drone footage:
  3. These kinds of open, lattice-work crowns are a trademark of Pickard Chilton buildings. Their office buildings seem to find beauty and refinement in their rational curtain walls and these crowns seem to be their way of disguising mechanical equipment. One of the earliest and most extreme examples is 1180 Peachtree in Atlanta in which the building "falsely" continues in a giant swoop for a considerable distance after the top floor. Look through images of their work, and you'll see similar crowns: I'm wondering if they intend to glass-in some more of the back of the crown on our building?
  4. If you move around this building it looks completely different from every angle.
  5. skycity

    VCU Developments

    It is possible to make beautiful and well designed university dorms. Steven Holl's contribution at MIT is one example: I think it is definitely possible for new and old buildings to compliment one another, creating a greater composition- like Boston's John Hancock tower next to Richardson's church. Tredegar is much more successful because the scale is the same. This is completely out of scale. It looks like they grudgingly built around an old building because they were told to.
  6. skycity

    VCU Developments

    Thank you for the great video above. One of the things that really bothers me about this building, beyond the cheap looking materials and "craftsmanship," is the way the new building relates to the old. It could not be a more disrespectful relationship. The new building towers over and overwhelms the "Public Baths" facade. The jarring contrast between the glassy facade and the old stone greatly detracts from the old facade. The building sprawls out over an entire block like an updated version of Soviet-era housing dressed in contemporary garb. How much better it would have been if they had cradled the old facade in something of a similar height with complimenting materials and then allowed a tower to rise behind or on one or the other side of the block.
  7. When you're in the Belle Isle, Brown's Island area the curve of the curtain wall does look beautiful. It picks up the light in different ways throughout the day and in changing conditions. I think it's a beautiful addition and with the second tower there should be a powerful dialogue between the two. I'm surprised they don't have any plans to add a skybridge between the two buildings.
  8. The problem with the view from I-95 is the tower's proximity to the Federal Reserve. It sits a considerable distance back making it appear shorter than it is from that angel.
  9. skycity

    VCU Health Outpatient Facility Tower (16-17 Stories)

    Is the depth of this pit due to underground parking?
  10. skycity

    The Locks at 321

    Very sad to see "throwaway" buildings occupying such a prominent place in the city. The development on Browns Island in the background of this photograph is another great example of missed opportunity. They "value engineered" the decorative roof off the residential "tower" (seen to the left just behind the smoke stack). Even at that, both of those buildings are worthless, architecturally. The fake, tacked-on columns are hideous- all in the name of being "contextual." While buildings of the past, built with good materials and craftsmanship endure, I can't imagine anyone will care to save these buildings if humans are still here 50 years from now. Even the Robert A.M Stern-designed US Courthouse on Broad St. seems to be compromised. Up close the fake-stone cladding looks cheap. There are strange gaps that don't line up in the facade which look sloppy and quickly betray the material's "fake-ness". One building that seems to be standing out as the exception is the Pickard Chilton-designed glass curtain wall of the new Dominion Tower. Based on their other buildings, I think the crown will be elegant. The whole point of a glass curtain wall may be efficiency and economy, but here it seems to be done right. It would be nice if the city had more stringent architectural standards for these developments rather than letting everything go to the lowest common denominator. When you look at what we're building, compared to 50-100 years ago, I think it speaks volumes about the decline of our culture. What does it say about a society when it worships short term profit at the expense of the future and no longer wants to invest in quality?
  11. skycity

    Richmond: Economy/Business/Real Estate

    Bold projections for Richmond's growth from this new article:
  12. At 417 feet, this tower is going to be roughly the height of Suntrust (400 ft). Judging by the perspective in the eastward-looking view, it's quite a bit closer than Suntrust and appears to be about the same height. So that might give you an idea of how much taller it's going to get. I would think it would appear about equal to the Federal Reserve in that view?
  13. skycity

    Richmond Region Transportation

    Thank you for posting the article. My question is: Why does it need to turn a profit? It's an investment. It's about quality of life. Filling up my gas tank and then sitting for hours on I-95 sure has an impact on my personal bottom line, but somehow that's OK. In addition, the article talks about how much tourism and other economic activity was generated. This is clearly something the government needs to invest in for the benefit of society because we would all end up making out better economically in the end because of it. The article seems to make it clear that overall it has worked out quite well for Spain. Why does some private interest always have to make a killing off of everything at the expense of the rest of us? (health care comes to mind). I bet the Erie Canal took a while to pay back its investment, but it sure led to profound and explosive development that never would have been possible without it. Think New York City, Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse with all of their industrial power. Plus, Amtrak is already losing money. We might just as well invest and replace it with something that will lead to real economic development.
  14. skycity

    Richmond Region Transportation

    If we really wanted it to happen it would be feasible. Why not lay a whole new set of tracts? There sure are enough people looking for jobs at the moment. I'm sure the amount of money that is wasted each year on taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil and other corporate interests would pay for real high speed rail that would profoundly benefit all citizens. Why do we allow corporate interests to constantly trump the public good in this country? It's time for the people to stand up and take the country back.
  15. skycity

    Richmond Region Transportation

    So even after we get the 135 mile per hour "high speed" rail it's still going to take 2 hours to get to Washington? Why do we settle for that when we could have 200 mph trains like they have in Japan, Germany and France?? At some point this county is going to wake up and realize that the rest of the world is passing us by...