Jump to content

uptownliving

Jonas Federal Courthouse Renovation

Recommended Posts

An extreme example I realize, but to drive home my point is an example taught in every 1st year Architectural History class to architecture students.  St. Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan .  The question is asked, "would this building be as special and precious if it were surrounded by imitations built every few decades versus the buildings that do surround it; those that were designed within their zeitgeist and represent their time?"

ny2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


29 minutes ago, UrbanGossip said:

From the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties...  Item #10 on the list of 10, and in my opinion one of the most important : "Designs that were never executed historically will not be constructed."

This concept is for the most minute detail all the way up to high rise additions. It is to try and combat false historicism and confusion of what is actually historical and what is not.  It also seeks to increase the importance of actually historical buildings and details by encouraging contemporary design to complement the historical rather than imitate.  Think costume jewelry versus actual gold and opals.  One is a cheap imitation and the other is priceless.  One is worn by an impostor and the other is worn by a queen.

Not saying you have to agree with the concept, but I think that is where a lot of the objection is coming from.

Clean simple modern reinterpretations of classical architecture is not new.  In fact there were several periods in history where those attempts were made and lumped into architectural styles:  Postmodernist, and Facist.  

I embrace the concept of authenticity.  We are not in an age where Postmodern or Facist architecture is in style.  Even if we were this design would probably not be considered a good or notable example of either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/15/2017 at 9:29 AM, UrbanGossip said:

An extreme example I realize, but to drive home my point is an example taught in every 1st year Architectural History class to architecture students.  St. Patricks Cathedral in Manhattan .  The question is asked, "would this building be as special and precious if it were surrounded by imitations built every few decades versus the buildings that do surround it; those that were designed within their zeitgeist and represent their time?"

ny2.jpg

It's an interesting question, but it doesn't justify modernism in architecture (which, IMO, ignores whatever the current zeitgeist is). I mean, is Notre Dame de Paris any less special because all of its surroundings are also old? The problem with modern architecture isn't that it's new or different, it's that it's not designed for people. It ignores context and creates inhumane, stale spaces. While it can theoretically be aesthetically pleasing in an artistic sense they often do a poor job in terms of how they function within the built environment. Even contemporary architecture that is not "modern" in style has merits, but again, it generally ignores local context in favor of national trends unless the local context is particularly strong. To that end, I would point to places with a stronger architectural heritage like Charleston or San Francisco. Most of the (non-highrise) contemporary architecture has a way of blending in and adding to the city's aesthetic in a way that looks and feels good while not being 'imitations' or fake.

 

On 8/15/2017 at 9:20 AM, UrbanGossip said:

From the Secretary of Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties...  Item #10 on the list of 10, and in my opinion one of the most important : "Designs that were never executed historically will not be constructed."

This concept is for the most minute detail all the way up to high rise additions. It is to try and combat false historicism and confusion of what is actually historical and what is not.  It also seeks to increase the importance of actually historical buildings and details by encouraging contemporary design to complement the historical rather than imitate.  Think costume jewelry versus actual gold and opals.  One is a cheap imitation and the other is priceless.  One is worn by an impostor and the other is worn by a queen.

Not saying you have to agree with the concept, but I think that is where a lot of the objection is coming from.

Can you explain your thought a little more? What's the objection to that statement?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Spartan said:

It's an interesting question, but it doesn't justify modernism in architecture (which, IMO, ignores whatever the current zeitgeist is). I mean, is Notre Dame de Paris any less special because all of its surroundings are also old? The problem with modern architecture isn't that it's new or different, it's that it's not designed for people. It ignores context and creates inhumane, stale spaces. While it can theoretically be aesthetically pleasing in an artistic sense they often do a poor job in terms of how they function within the built environment. Even contemporary architecture that is not "modern" in style has merits, but again, it generally ignores local context in favor of national trends unless the local context is particularly strong. To that end, I would point to places with a stronger architectural heritage like Charleston or San Francisco. Most of the (non-highrise) contemporary architecture has a way of blending in and adding to the city's aesthetic in a way that looks and feels good while not being 'imitations' or fake.

 

Can you explain your thought a little more? What's the objection to that statement?

I agree on failures of Modern (capital M) and contemporary design in some cases.  But it's a big stretch to say that across the board "modern architecture isn't designed for people".

Notre Dame is in fact surrounded by buildings that are also old, you are correct.  They are old and were designed within their time according to the aesthetic of their time.  They together tell the tale of the growth of Paris.  IF they were all designed in the Gothic style for the next 400 years rather than the subsequent Renaisance, Boroque, Rococo, Neoclassical, etc. then yes, I think it would be less special.

To explain my thought, perhaps some peoples objection to the tower addition is because it is designed in a way to look like it was always there, when it was not.  That is the concept that I referenced in the guidelines for historical properties.  What is historical should be preserved, what is new should be distinguishable as new.  If you subscribe to that concept (which I obviously do).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like the Jonas Courthouse grew a tumour. 

I'm not anti-classicism. I just appreciate when modernism compliments classicism (see: British Museum, Pyramide du Louvre, Music School Louviers, East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, Istanbul Public Library...).

It's all about context and this falls far from the mark. It's awful. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, Miesian Corners said:

It looks like the Jonas Courthouse grew a tumour. 

I'm not anti-classicism. I just appreciate when modernism compliments classicism (see: British Museum, Pyramide du Louvre, Music School Louviers, East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, Istanbul Public Library...).

It's all about context and this falls far from the mark. It's awful. 

Agree completely.  Really bad.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
46 minutes ago, Miesian Corners said:

It looks like the Jonas Courthouse grew a tumour. 

I'm not anti-classicism. I just appreciate when modernism compliments classicism (see: British Museum, Pyramide du Louvre, Music School Louviers, East Wing of the National Gallery of Art, Istanbul Public Library...).

It's all about context and this falls far from the mark. It's awful. 

Spot on. I really dislike it. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking forward to when this is up and the facade is complete, how the same ppl will be talking about how "different", "unique" and "refreshing" and how it adds to the "cultural fiber of the city" the courthouse annex looks compared to the "rest of the shiny skyline".

The courthouse gets preserved, the annex adds density and removes a surface lot inside 277. I think it will be a great addition to the mix.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Scribe said:

Looking forward to when this is up and the facade is complete, how the same ppl will be talking about how "different", "unique" and "refreshing" and how it adds to the "cultural fiber of the city" the courthouse annex looks compared to the "rest of the shiny skyline".

The courthouse gets preserved, the annex adds density and removes a surface lot inside 277. I think it will be a great addition to the mix.

I like it minus the street level. There needs to be murals or something. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, AirNostrumMAD said:

I like it minus the street level. There needs to be murals or something. 

It’s a government courthouse. I Don’t fault it for not having tons of retail and art

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree I think it is appropriate for a Federal courthouse. Something like another blue glass tower behind the courthouse would look awful. We have very few buildings even like this in Charlotte and none over a couple of stories.   Retail at ground level in Federal courthouse will NOT happen in the post 9-11 world.  When people see this new addition they will think hey there is a government building and that is fine.   

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Jayvee said:

It’s a government courthouse. I Don’t fault it for not having tons of retail and art

 

I don't see why it can't have a mural or some bit of art on the back side. I'm not talking Solstice NoDa type of mural. Something more conservative and corporate. Anything. A  bench. Flowers. Something. It's literally a harsh blank wall. 

Edited by AirNostrumMAD
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, Scribe said:

Looking forward to when this is up and the facade is complete, how the same ppl will be talking about how "different", "unique" and "refreshing" and how it adds to the "cultural fiber of the city" the courthouse annex looks compared to the "rest of the shiny skyline".

The courthouse gets preserved, the annex adds density and removes a surface lot inside 277. I think it will be a great addition to the mix.

A couple of threads over someone proposed we rank uptown's most attractive and most hideous buildings.  This, as rendered, instantly climbs to the top five ugliest.  It looks like something my son would have constructed out of grey Legos when he was 3.

Why not try a modern complement instead?  Something like this would be complementary to both the existing courthouse and surrounding modern highrises.   Duplicate the courthouse's front façade in the rear, and let us see it from the ballpark.

As a bonus, the annex IS art.

1448308663_12120510_1699166840302001_218298167_n.jpg

Edited by TheMightyBK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, TheMightyBK said:

Why not try a modern complement instead?

With the example given and the actual lot we have near the courthouse!!? LMAO!

I would love to see realistic modern annex for the actual lot that exists behind the courthouse! You have to work with the space and surrounding that you have. When I walked the grounds of the courthouse, it allowed me to see the rendering in a better light with the courthouse right in front of my eyes.

Again, I think most of UP readers will be pleasantly satisfied when the facade is up!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Scribe, you didn't seriously think I meant the same building or scale?  I simply meant it as an interesting idea that could highlight the old with something that better fits its surroundings.

I sincerely doubt that anyone will be wowed by what's proposed once it's up.  It's just...a box.  A grey box.  It doesn't fit in any way to what is on ANY side of it, including the courthouse.  It looks like a Hampton Inn, only less attractive.

I just think Charlotte should demand better architecture.  I do not subscribe to "well, it's one less surface lot".  Once built, a structure will be there for a lifetime or two, so why not shoot for something that will at least stir the imagination?

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Who said glass box? Give me Daniel Liebeskind.

The rest of American cities get glorious Federal buildings by Pei, Meier, Campbell, and SOM, yet we get something that resembles an afterthought, 

What's funny to me is that Robert AM Stern, the architect of record for the Jonas addition, once spoke in Charlotte and called our skyline "the ugliest collection of third-rate architecture in America". 

I'm guessing he's proud to join our collection with this edifice? 

Maybe it's better than the rendering? Who knows since this image is all the GSA can seem to provide us. 

Regardless, it just seems that, once again, Charlotte gets the shaft with thought-provoking buildings and instead gets meh  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the striking and modern federal courthouses we envy in other cities delivered between 1995 and 2012. The GSA has been operating very differently since 2016, especially with the Southeast courthouses all getting very conservative and traditional designs that were announced alongside Charlotte. None of them are striking in my opinion. 

Greenville, SC New Courthouse:

Image result for greenville sc new courthouse

Savannah, GA Annex:

Image result for savannah new courthouse annex

 

Nashville's brand new prison. I mean courthouse. 

Image result for nashville new courthouse

 

Charlotte fits right in with the design standard the GSA has been using in the region.

Edited by CLT2014

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, CLT2014 said:

Most of the striking and modern federal courthouses we envy in other cities delivered between 1995 and 2012. The GSA has been operating very differently since 2016, especially with the Southeast courthouses all getting very conservative and traditional designs that were announced alongside Charlotte. None of them are striking in my opinion. 

Greenville, SC New Courthouse:

Image result for greenville sc new courthouse

Savannah, GA Annex:

Image result for savannah new courthouse annex

 

Nashville's brand new prison. I mean courthouse. 

Image result for nashville new courthouse

 

Charlotte fits right in with the design standard the GSA has been using in the region.

1. Bad 2. Nice! 3. Awful

Ours is closest to Awful...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.