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Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments


joeDowntown

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I guess I'm in the minority, but I think the whole hospital complex is going to look terrible. The Meijer Heart Center already looks half-done and out of place with the rest of the hospital, then you throw in the all-glass building? It's just going to look like a bunch of hodge-podge buildings thrown together.

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If this is the final design, it looks like it belongs with the other black boxes on calder plaza. Haven't we gotten past the international style?

Oh well, as long as the interior is top notch. With the work that is going to go on inside the building, if it makes their stay there more comfortable, it will be worth it. It is, after all, a hospital for children.

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I thought the skywalk was killed in favor of the tunnel under Michigan Street? I don't care so much about the skywalk though. I hate the blank walls facing the street. The only reason you see people up on the hill is because they're walking to or from a parking lot, not because there's any interesting street-level activity going on. Perhaps that's too much to hope for in a hospital, I can't really expect retail stores, but something would be nice.

-nb

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I thought the skywalk was killed in favor of the tunnel under Michigan Street? I don't care so much about the skywalk though. I hate the blank walls facing the street. The only reason you see people up on the hill is because they're walking to or from a parking lot, not because there's any interesting street-level activity going on. Perhaps that's too much to hope for in a hospital, I can't really expect retail stores, but something would be nice.

-nb

The tunnel is for private use the bridge is public.

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This appears to be yet another building which has completely forgotten about the public realm.

It appears to go as far as actually having a wall around it at the street. What does this say to the pedestrian? What does it say to anybody trying to walk down the street?

What does it say about our society when we can not build urban buildings that engage and define the street? And the skywalk only further detaches this building from the public realm. Are the city of Grand Rapids streets so bad and scary that we need to create bunkers instead of well designed urban buildings? This looks like it belongs someplace under seige, maybe in Bagdad or Beirut.

...but I think the architect is trying to create an inspiring entrance as people arrive. I'm sure they're assuming most people will park across the street at the new UG garage and take the skywalk over.
Where is the inspiration? How can this give anyone dignity or a sense of place? I am also sure that they are assuming that people will park across the street and use the habitrail. That is exactly the point, they are basing everything on the automobile dominated culture of America, there is absolutely no attempt made to deal with pedestrians.

This kind of building should be built in some sterile office park in the suburban astroid belts, and not be defacing the city.

Talk about a paper architect. His website features 20-some projects and only a couple of them have been built. Or maybe its because they don't show the final built projects because they don't look anything like the renderings.

It could also be that the final product looks just like the renderings and they are so inhumane that they are embarrassing even to this ego-maniac.

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they are basing everything on the automobile dominated culture of America, there is absolutely no attempt made to deal with pedestrians.

Gotta be honest, I really don't see many pedestrians on Michigan Hill ever. It's a steep, pedestrian unfriendly grade, so I don't see why they should make a building pedestrian friendly when there aren't any to appease.

If they really wanted to be wise, they could make a dedicated area for city busses to pick up and drop off Spectrum employees.

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One of the differences between urbanism and suburbia is the creation of a public realm. This building represents a suburban approach within what should be urban. It does not engage the street or the sidewalk, so even if a pedestrian would be using this portion of the urban public realm, it would be a relative hostile, lifeless place.

The grades are no excuse, particularly when one of the most urban places in America, San Francisco, actually has real grades that people actually navigate daily.

I would contend that whatever people think about the architecture of this building, that it is not urban, even though it is being forced into an urban condition. It makes me wonder if the architect ever visited the site.

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Gotta be honest, I really don't see many pedestrians on Michigan Hill ever. It's a steep, pedestrian unfriendly grade, so I don't see why they should make a building pedestrian friendly when there aren't any to appease.

If they really wanted to be wise, they could make a dedicated area for city busses to pick up and drop off Spectrum employees.

also, WHY would people be walking around on the hill, for their daily check-up??? There is nothing on the hill but hospitals and their offices. It would be pointless to force that building to be walkable considering it may be on the steepest part of that hill.

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One of the differences between urbanism and suburbia is the creation of a public realm. This building represents a suburban approach within what should be urban. It does not engage the street or the sidewalk, so even if a pedestrian would be using this portion of the urban public realm, it would be a relative hostile, lifeless place.

The grades are no excuse, particularly when one of the most urban places in America, San Francisco, actually has real grades that people actually navigate daily.

I would contend that whatever people think about the architecture of this building, that it is not urban, even though it is being forced into an urban condition. It makes me wonder if the architect ever visited the site.

Why does this "have" to be a vibrant pedistrian area? It is a hospital. Unless you work there, what would be the reason for going there? To see a sick/disabled family member or friend or maybe to get help for yourself. The times I have been there, I will tell you the last thing I thought about doing was shopping at the vibrant plaza on the street level.

Everyone has their opinions, some people like it while others won't. I for one am happy that the DeVos family is supporting a large amount of the cost and feel thankful that something like this will be built in Grand Rapids. If you feel that it is such a dis-justice to the City of Grand Rapids, than maybe you should see if you can join a committee to state your concerns.

My $.02

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There are probably many pedestrians who travel "through" that area on the way from Belknap or Michigan/College area to downtown, and especially if more residential is added further up Michigan. There are also the thousands of students, researchers, medical workers and Doctors that are going to be walking along Michigan. I don't think we should totally discount the merits of GRTP's thinking. However, I don't think a street full of retail would be very successful in that area.

Ever heard of snow? . . . .

Only from a Sunlover. :lol: Last time I checked, you can walk on snow....

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hee hee . . .you can but why would you if you could choose otherwise??? :-)

What if there were no other choice. Skywalks are a conscious decision by the designer and developer to be added. They don't just happen by accident. If they weren't there (outlawed), you'd have no choice.

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Why does this "have" to be a vibrant pedistrian area? It is a hospital. Unless you work there, what would be the reason for going there? To see a sick/disabled family member or friend or maybe to get help for yourself. The times I have been there, I will tell you the last thing I thought about doing was shopping at the vibrant plaza on the street level.

Everyone has their opinions, some people like it while others won't. I for one am happy that the DeVos family is supporting a large amount of the cost and feel thankful that something like this will be built in Grand Rapids. If you feel that it is such a dis-justice to the City of Grand Rapids, than maybe you should see if you can join a committee to state your concerns.

My $.02

Just because it is a hospital, does not mean it should be relegated to a mono-culture, where single uses and a single means of access is accepted as a norm. The suburbs have been built as mono-cultures, with obligatory sidewalks, and large concentrations of segregated uses all leading to often times sterile human habitats. We are dealing with the city here and as a result it has to be urban, otherwise it will become as banal as the suburban fringe.

The richness of the urbanism of the city needs to be protected from these cancers.

For the record, I am on a committee and I do state my concerns. I also choose to live in the city and raise my children here. As abberations such as this continue to water down the urbanism, it becomes an increasingly difficult place for humane habitat.

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One of the differences between urbanism and suburbia is the creation of a public realm. This building represents a suburban approach within what should be urban. It does not engage the street or the sidewalk, so even if a pedestrian would be using this portion of the urban public realm, it would be a relative hostile, lifeless place.

The grades are no excuse, particularly when one of the most urban places in America, San Francisco, actually has real grades that people actually navigate daily.

I would contend that whatever people think about the architecture of this building, that it is not urban, even though it is being forced into an urban condition. It makes me wonder if the architect ever visited the site.

With the advent of digital cameras and high speed data connections the architect probably paid someone to do it for him. Either that the, architect looked at Urban Planet - GR for reference pics; we have some pretty good ones. :lol:

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As abberations such as this continue to water down the urbanism, it becomes an increasingly difficult place for humane habitat.
Monstrous unwalkable hills make the urbanism of Grand Rapids difficult for humane habitat. Let's start flattening the hills. Bulldoze GR they way they did Manhattan.

The grades are no excuse, particularly when one of the most urban places in America, San Francisco, actually has real grades that people actually navigate daily.

San Francisco is awesome except for the hills, and the only people seen walking up them are the idiot tourists who want to see the "Worlds Crookedest Street" or don't know how to get a bus pass. And as one of those idiots, I speak from first hand experience. Otherwise, everyone who lives on those hills drives.

Oh yeah, and SF doesn't get freezing rain in sheets like we do. Michigan Ave in January is a deathtrap.

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I think with Michigan Hill and other areas in the downtown GR area there is a chicken and egg problem. I have ridden my bike up the hill and yes, it is a real challenge, kind of glad there was a hospital on top, just in case :thumbsup: . But seriously, the biggest problem was not the steepness of the hill, but the lack of anything but dangerous biking and walking conditions. I don't know if I want to go that way again, (but I probably will, with all the construction, theres no better way to see it close up) the curb cuts, traffic, and outright pedestrian hostility are terrible! If there was an attempt made by the city and developers to make it a more pleasant experience, then the hill would not be as big a problem. I know it is a hospital and there are sick people that can't walk, but it is also (I believe) the city's biggest employer and some of those people live or will soon live close enough to walk, and as a hospital, they should be encouraging a healthier lifestyle than sitting in your car and driving right up to the door of your work. Rant over.

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Buldozing hills would seem like a big nono to me. The hill gives GR character. San Fransisco would not be San Fransisco without its steep hills. GR would not be GR without that hill overlooking downtown and the river.

Perhaps at various points along the hill, steps and parking-garage-like walkway ramps could be added to help people get up and down the hill.

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Just because it is a hospital, does not mean it should be relegated to a mono-culture, where single uses and a single means of access is accepted as a norm. The suburbs have been built as mono-cultures, with obligatory sidewalks, and large concentrations of segregated uses all leading to often times sterile human habitats. We are dealing with the city here and as a result it has to be urban, otherwise it will become as banal as the suburban fringe.

The richness of the urbanism of the city needs to be protected from these cancers.

For the record, I am on a committee and I do state my concerns. I also choose to live in the city and raise my children here. As abberations such as this continue to water down the urbanism, it becomes an increasingly difficult place for humane habitat.

Well said GRTP...

It's in the city, therefore we can't be shortsighted in the design, because someday when more pedestrian traffic goes past this building, we'll be kicking ourselves for putting a blank wall and parking garage in there.

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  • GRDadof3 changed the title to Medical Mile/Michigan Street Developments

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