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About andrew.w

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  • Birthday 08/31/87

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    Architecture, Historic Preservation, Adaptive Reuse, Modular Construction, Urban Design, Suburban Revitalization
  1. What is up with the random red stripe on the hotel? The rest of the building is playing on the cheesy theme, and then there is that trendy bent stripe on the corner that would be more befitting of a Hyatt Place or Aloft. But I guess once you start adding miniature turrets on something, it would be asking too much for things to make sense.
  2. I think this building had a good thing going on, but lost it in the details. I really like the black brick floors, but there are a few too many random patterns going on at one time on the upper floors. I took JoeDowntown's picture and just removed the anodizoed silver panels above the HVAC louvers and right there the design became immediately better. A little editing and more thoughtful arrangement of modules and detailing I think would have made this a pretty decent building. However, the actual result isn't exactly pleasing
  3. They might be able to get a ceritificate of occupancy for a portion of the building as long as all parts of the building that the tanants from that portion can access are fully complete. But I'm guessing that what is happening just has to do with the way that the construction phasing and schedule is working out. It's highly unlikely that the workers installing the precast panels are the same that are framing out the interior partitions. It could be that all of the panels could not be manufactured at one time, and while they are waiting for the second batch, they are getting a head start on the interior framing. In high rise towers, it's not too uncommon to have the lower floors pretty much finished before they are even completed installing the facade on the upper floors. That allows the same construction teams to do the same work on each floor all the way up over several months, but the building still opens to renters at the same time (particularly since elevators are often one of the last components of a building to be installed, due to their over one year manufacturing lead time).
  4. Went back to page 2...It's been over 9.5 years since we first saw a rendering on this project.
  5. It's pretty far along in Google Earth Street View Link
  6. I would say that this new proposal is an improvement over the very first design, in that it removes the lower parking levels along Monroe as the iteration before this also did, and that it moves the mass of the hotel out to the street, giving it the best street presence. I never really thought that the first barrel vault design had very good massing. as it seemed like a bunch of different ideas stacked on top of each other, and many of the postmodern classical ornaments were sure to come out overdone and clumsy in the final product. That and the first four floors of that version looked to be precast, or even worse, just painted cast in place concrete. That said, I agree with the others that said this design should take more cues from it's neighborhood, and incorporate more of the industrial character. I would argue that a brick first floor, and overall majority brick exterior would be more appropriate than the granite and cement composite board proposed. But overall, I think the massing and proportion of the design have improved with each iteration.
  7. ^They should only paint in these temps if they are going to scaffold the wall, plastic off the area and apply heat. I believe there may be some recent advances in cold weather paint too, but I'm not very familiar with those. That said, the detailing on this side of the building looks to be straight out of early 90s suburbia.
  8. I think I would have preferred a less contrasting color for the solid panels, but I see what they are trying to do, and it is certainly very trendy in facade design across the world. The one thing I am wondering about right now are the partial height anodized panels. It appears that beneath these are the HVAC unit intake/exhaust louvers. In the elevations they are shown the same color as the silver/anodized facade panels, but right now they are black. I'm curious if there is an additional cladding panel going over these or if they will remain dark.
  9. Would be great if whatever happens on the south edge of the site could be coordinated or leave opportunities for a future building on the fifth third parking site to be integrated with, rather than walled off from the plaza.
  10. I would suspect that the atrium between the buildings is staying in some form, and it looks like a more regular grid of windows may have been cut into the sides during the recladding, so I'm guessing that it will look better than that, but still clearly look like the side of the building. Very excited to finally see this happening.
  11. Also, I finally went back and looked at my thesis notes. This is who I have for architects for all of the various buildings: Old Kent Building, 1966, Daverman Associates 200 Monroe / MichCon Building, 1967, Daverman Associates 200 Ottawa / Union Bank Building, 1967, Carson Lundin and Shaw, City and County Buildings, 1968, SOM Federal Building, 1972, Louis C. Kingscott 300 W Ottawa / Frey Building, date unkown, WBDC State of Michigan Building, 1975, WBDC Calder Plaza Building, 1981, architect unknown Also don't have specific dates for these (though ordered by approximate completion): Michigan Title Building, Daverman Associates (built pre-urban renewal) Post Office, Daverman Associates Grand Rapids Press, Daverman Associates Hall of Justice, SOM Grand Center, Harry Weese
  12. Well actually...the split ring was first part of an exhibition of large outdoor sculpture at the Vandenberg Center in the early 70s, and it was placed...right in front of 300 Ottawa. Maybe it was designed to ultimately be in the fountain, but you could argue that it has now returned to it's original home. Image is from a book that can be found in the public library: Sculpture Off the Pedestal
  13. ^The Chase Building got a whole new plaza and landscape design a few years back (2012 I believe). I appreciate that this design actually looks like it belongs with the building. A lot of these entrance modernization end up looking tacked on. I suspect that the Calder Plaza renovation will not look half as natural...
  14. I went back and looked at the renderings. The screening was always supposed to be shorter than the total height, but in the renders it floated free at the top and bottom. That may have made more visual sense, but the design is tacked on either way.
  15. I'll dig up my stuff too, because I definitely found other firms attached to those two building, but I can't remember the source. I think what might have been confusing is that they were the Master plan architects, so their name might appear on things that they themselves didn't create. I do remember for certain that 300 Ottowa was designed by WBDC (of Steelcase Pyramid fame) and 200 Ottawa was designed by a New York firm who also worked on the Empire State Plaza. The demolished Hall of Justice was by SOM, and the original Grand Center was Harry Weese, both out of Chicago. A little plug: anyone interested in reading some of my findings can read it here (you might even find images from some of the same brochures you referenced): I was going to insert and appendix with more information and history on the individual buildings, but never got around to it.