designcritic

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About designcritic

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  1. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    The steel has started to go up on the Med School.
  2. New Embassy Suites - Monroe North

    Build it. Indoor/Outdoor Pool and all. I would much rather see it built than Moch's because it would be nice to infill Monroe before the secondary streets. This would be a great addition to the area.
  3. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    The building on the left is blocking it.
  4. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    Yes they will. The column bases will eventually be covered with dirt when they remove the access drive and regrade the hill down to the highway.
  5. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    The Star on an elevator is the International Symbol for emergency services (Star Of Life). It designates an elevator that is on emergency power and able to fit an ambulance cot.
  6. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    Move your circle left to where the piers are. The piers are what you are seeing in the picture. FYI they have also started the piers on the north side of the building.
  7. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    Yes, that is a water feature. The water ends in a reflecting pool on the first level.
  8. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    Even the "level" portions slope to drains so there would still be the issue of trying to make it flat. The floor to floor heights on most levels are also too short to work for other functions. The clear height is about 8' on most levels throughout the deck.
  9. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    The tunnel is three parking levels below the Cancer Pavilion (about the midpoint of the building in the east/west direction) and will connect to the Children's Hospital. It will not be for public use.
  10. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    I will PM you my address for the $50. The louvers have a 50% or more openess factor which means that those levels to not need to be mechanically exhausted. The airshaft are for the lower levels. As someone stated, if glass was to replace the louvers more cost would be added to the mechanical system and the structural system to add airshafts and exhaust fans. It's never as simple as it seems. There needs to be positive air movement at every point in the structure. The small entry/exit openings would not provide enough area to accomplish that. Nope, it was always planned to be louvers because they are necessary to avoid mechanically exhausing the structure. There was also an alternate to put louvers on the north elevation as well but that alternate was not taken because of the cost and the fact that all the other decks that front I-196 in that area have nothing to screen the structure.
  11. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    I don't have the code in front of me but doesn't it say that the parking needs to be screened? Look at the detaling on the Icon wall (or lack therof) and the RDV Michigan Street wall. Now you tell me who did the better job of breaking down the mass with relief and various materials. The Icon wall, except for the tiny planters, doesn't change plane an inch in its entire length. It even had the easier job because it had a flat site to work with. I don't think I am the only one that can see there is NO attention to detail on the Icon wall but the Michigan Street wall uses various materials to break down the mass and make it more interesting. There was also the concious effort to extend the materials onto the deck where a tower is present. This makes it look much more like a building than a parking deck. What did Icon do? Oh yeah, they changed the color on the first floor. How innovative. The final product will prove my point. As for the "it would cost more" defense. You do what you can with the money available and it may not be perfect but it is the best it can be. The ideal would be to have retail/active spaces the entire length but that isn't appopiate or necessary for every piece of property. In addition, it is easily done on a flat site but becomes extremely diffcult on a sloped one like michigan street especially when trying to make it comply with ADA. No project is perfect and everyone sees it differently. The problem with UP is that everyone is a critic and mostly a harsh one. There are positives to most projects despite the negatives but the only aspects that get repeated over and over again are the negative ones. The easiest way to get projects built in the most urban friendly way is to change the code. Until that is done the mighty dollar is still going to influence most decisions.
  12. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    I don't know where you're getting this 60% requirement for parking but you are way off. Please re-read the code to find out what it actually states for parking (it must be screened). There were no "passes" given. Geo would have no problem getting the 60% waived because it doesn't apply to parking. These projects as well as ICON didn't even need a vaiance to do what they did. It is allowed and almost required. So let me get this straight. You are advocating getting rid of the planters and detailing that help break down the scale of the building. The planters will greatly soften the transition from sidewalk to ramp and they would be missed if eliminated. The entire concrete parking structure has been given a more detailed look on the south elevation to help with scale and give it a more finished look. There is no visible concrete and instead they used planters, brick, decorative lighting, and louvers. Heck, they should have saved the money on all of that and the glass you request and just left it a concrete parking deck. That way you could see into it and it would be completely inviting. How do you think that would fly? You are advocating replacing a $5sf louver system with a $30sf curtainwall system. Please tell me how that is cheaper? If you need an address to send the check for the cost of the desired improvements let me know. "Afraid to hold the line with the client" Give me a break. "The client is not always right" They may not be right but for some reason the guy paying the bills seems to have a lot of pull. Unless you are Frank Gehry or a few others the Architect does not get to do whatever he wants. The Architect could "hold the line" and tell the client "he isn't right" and then he can guaranteee that it will be the last project with that client. I think you should go tell your boss (the guy paying the bills) how to run his business. Do you think he will do whatever you want or will he weigh your opinion against many other factors and decide what works best for HIM, HIS business, and HIS money? I think all of us want the best designed bulding that we can get. But, that is in the eye of the beholder and there are 50 variables other than aesthetics that need to be weighed. If you add one thing you usually need to eliminate something somewhere else. Finding the right balance is very difficult and it is never going to please everyone.
  13. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    That is the correct place for the school. There is one more level of parking to be built and then the plaza/first floor level on top of that.
  14. Health Hill/Medical Mile Developments

    Per code anyone can build a blank wall without a variance. Ground floor uses are "encouraged" but that's it. In fact, per the code, if you have parking you pretty much have to build a blank wall in order to screen it. The only way it's ever going to change is to change the code to "require" ground floor uses but then the developers will scream that they can't fill the spaces.
  15. River House Condominiums

    You can also increase your loading or increase your column spacing by using a post tensioning system. The parking ramps on Michigan Street have the tensioning running horizontally in the slabs and beams. Riverhouse has the tensioning running vertically from the sixth floor down to the lowest level. Once tensioned the system will allow for greater forces. They may have done this to make the columns smaller or for some other reason.