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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. 50 Monroe to get de-skinned?

    My guess is that the arched windows were too short for the rectangular windows they wanted to make on that floor. Thus it was easier to rebuild the entire top of the wall rather than try to re-support the window heads and parapet while they removed the arches. Alternatively, the top of the wall could have been in really poor shape and needed to be rebuilt. Building parapets are especially subject to deterioration from water and wind.
  2. Grandville Castle Apartments

    ^Chances are by this point what you see is what you are going to get. Although with this project they seem to be making decisions mod-construction so maybe we shouldn't discout that yet. Putting rectangular windows behind rounded openings has been done even historically. Even in the late 19th and 20th century a standard double hung or casement window would eb placed behind an arched opening. The difference there would be that the piece of glass in the top sash would also be arched and the rest of the space would be infilled with wood so that the arch could be seen as continuous from the outside. While I definitely see the benefits to sticking with a rectangular window, both from the cost of the unit, cost of finishing the interior drywall, and simple functionality of being able to put blinds in the window, this trick of having the arch cheated onto the window unit could have been done here as well.
  3. 50 Monroe to get de-skinned?

    I haven't seen the pictures yet, but honestly if they can get a good match on the brick, and it's not like they weren't going to have to do facade repairs anyway, there wasn't historically that much detail at the top SE building. Recreating those arched windows should not be that expensive or difficult to do tastefully all things considering, and certainly nowhere near the expense of replicating the top of the NE building.
  4. Redevelopment along 28th Street

    ^WMrapids, I think you are on point there. I went back and read the articles related to this project, and the first phases were the installation of the street and revamping of the zoning code to a form based code that would encourage future denser and walkable development to occur. As of last year, there were no developers on board, just the city laying the groundwork, and I don't believe that has changed yet. Either way, I don't think what is being witnessed here is in anyway a done project, but just the beginning of a larger vision.
  5. Grandville Castle Apartments

    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.
  6. 20 Fulton E, Mixed Use Development

    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
  7. Grandville Castle Apartments

    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).
  8. New Embassy Suites - Monroe North

    Went back to page 2...It's been over 9.5 years since we first saw a rendering on this project.
  9. It's pretty far along in Google Earth Street View Link
  10. New Embassy Suites - Monroe North

    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.
  11. ^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.
  12. 20 Fulton E, Mixed Use Development

    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.
  13. Calder PLAZA to get makeover

    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.
  14. 50 Monroe to get de-skinned?

    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.
  15. Calder Plaza Building to get makeover

    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