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      WARNING!   07/26/16

      By reading or participating in the Coffee House forum, you are acknowledging that some topics may be highly controversial in nature. While we make every attempt to ensure that no one and no groups are offended as a result of discussions contained within, we unfortunately can make no guarantees. Participate in threads contained within this forum at your own risk.

Learning from Other Places

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Downtown Winston-Salem is pretty good as well, although their lagging metro development means that I expect Greensboro to surpass them.

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I go to Minneapolis quite often. By far, it has much more bustling street life and activity than Charlotte, including during the winter.  People love cold in Minnesota, and unless it's well below zero, people are often still walking about downtown during winter.  Minneapolis has a very exciting and vibrant city center.

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I thought I'd write a post about what I like in residential architecture. Of course, this is an area of debate, but let's have that discussion!


The Interlace, Singapore


DUO Singapore


Living Levels, Berlin


New'R, Nantes


The One, Hangzhou

Now, there are a lot of things that you can say about these buildings. Some (all?) you might find ugly; but one thing they're not is boring. Right now, Charlotte is getting nothing but stick-built suburban-looking apartments wrapped around massive parking decks, and it's a disservice to our city. We're constantly rated as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country, and have thousands of units being built at any given moment: why, then, can't we get a single building as interesting as any of these? Even if half the people who see it hate it, it's born out of a dislike for the style rather than a dislike for an out-of-scale mess like Stonewall Station. Yes, I appreciate that we're densifying and getting these mixed use developments at all; but wouldn't it be great to see a square flanked by three buildings like The One there, or New'R rising in South End?

Edit: As a note, you'll find that most of these buildings have uninteresting bases. This is a weakness in contemporary architecture, to my mind, but in most of these places it works better than you might expect. Fundamentally, the places that build these types of building have functional mass transit, so you can walk out of your building and hop on a bus (or go downstairs and get on a train, in some cases) and expect to get where you need to go within a few minutes. That's why there's less focus on mixed use in these buildings than you might expect.

Edited by asthasr

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I think they look great.  They just look real expensive.   

IDK if the market in Charlotte could support an entire skyscraper / complex of high-end urban residential.   But then again, I'd have rather seen Living Levels proposed than that  boring luxury condo 1Brevard that got canceled.   Also would be pretty tight if you made that the new Carolina Theatre building. 

Edited by Higgs Boson

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3 hours ago, Higgs Boson said:

I think they look great.  They just look real expensive.   

I guess this is my point. Is there something specific about America--I don't think it's Charlotte in particular--that makes these types of buildings a no-go? I agree that you'd never see them built here outside of NYC/SF/Chicago. But why? Singapore and Berlin I can understand, they're a city-state and the capital of Germany; but Nantes and Hangzhou?

I actually think even the small, everyday apartment buildings that you see elsewhere are preferable to what we're getting, because even when they're ugly, they're still urban and not superblocks. The "stick-built, hulking skin around a parking garage" look is horrible.

Maybe this all stems from parking minimums?

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