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Lmichigan

Hudson's Block

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Man, they've really updated their site from last time I visited. You guys MUST check out the design they drew up for the Woodward Block of Campus Martius a few years back. I don't really like it to be truthful, but it shows you what they could fit their. They designed 4 high-rises for the site. Apparently they were approached by and out-of-state developer that wanted them to draw up a concept.

I wish I could link it, but their site is layed out that way. Just click on "Our Work" once you reach there, and then "Consulting" and you'll see all of the projects they consulted on.

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That Hudson block rendering is absolutely amazing. I hope when it comes time to design and build that block that Kramer gets the nod. What a great vision. It almost looks like a mini Rockefeller Center. Just imagining that on Woodward across from Merchants row is bringing a huge smile to my face.

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The things I would definitely change are bringing the buildings all the way to the Woodward frontage, creating and unbroken wall. I'd also go postmodern with the design. The metallic looking concept would look so incredibly out of place at that particular site. It needs to be modern, but not the focal point of the entire district like this concept wants to be.

I never realized just how big the site was until I saw how many buildings decent sized high-rises they could fit into that one footprints.

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It's not bad. I just wish the residential tower would be twice as tall. I wonder how expensive it would be to retrofit the garage so they can built something in the 30 story range.

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I'd also go postmodern with the design. The metallic looking concept would look so incredibly out of place at that particular site. It needs to be modern, but not the focal point of the entire district like this concept wants to be.

I respectfully disagree. Detroit needs more modern architecture and not just postmodern. And while this building would be a huge attraction the real attraction is up a block in Campus Martius. The description of the common area was for a restaurant and small gathering place. Campus Martius has already cemented itself as the gathering place for Detroit, this area would be secondary. I do agree however with bringing the buildings all the way out to the street for that wall effect. I think its a fantastic design and it shows what the whole Campus Martius development is capable of. IMHO it would blow Compuware and One Kennedy out of the water.

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It would be nice if they could keep some kind of constant theme. I'd hate to see every block of Campus Martius stick out like a sore thumb, and look like a disjointed mashing of styles. It's just my opinion, but I think they should really try to respect what was there before, if it means just by massing it like Hudson's was, or using stone like they did on Compuware (colored granite). I just want them to reflect to the past in some way instead of landing a spaceship at the site, like the Kraemer concept did.

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The last thing we need is a new building that tries to look old. At some we have to get over the past trying to blend everything with the historic architecture. We get far too caught up in trying relive our past, the Penobscot and Guardian when first built didn't respect what was there before. Disjointed mashing of styles is what makes cities great look at Chicago.

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I'm going to lay out some definitions of terms so people don't get confused.

LMich is right that postmodern building would work there better. Technically, postmodernism type has nearly reached the end of its decline, although it is still used frequently depending on the geographic location and its appropriate use around surrounding buildings. Some argue this type of architecture is still going up today because we have yet to define the type of architecture of buildings that are going up right now. Take Compuware for example. I would argue that it's postmodern, but some would just call it contemporary.

Modernism is dead, it is rarely used. It's overaged concept that died about 30 years ago becausae it never quite worked, or met its expectations of what it was suppposed to achieve. You may be confused and say "But wait, is it appropriate to say that building is modern looking and that one is old looking?" If the term "modern" is used loosely as to state a buildings time in the present, then yes it is fine. But when you start mentioing words like postmodern, please keep things into context. There was the Beaux Arts Movement, the modernist movement, and the postmodern movement, and no one knows what era we are in right now. We are probably either still in postmodern or we'll find out in a couple decades that we are somewhere else with architecture. The correct word would be " a very contemporary building", if you want something really different and futuristic to go up on the site.

A few of Detroit's modernist buildings include

The RenCen

Bank 1 Building

1001 Woodward

1 Woodward

A few postmodern buildings include

150 W. Jefferson (Madden Building)

Comerica Tower (Detroit 1 Center)

Millender Center

Maybe Compuware

I would prefer something really interesting, but restrained to go up on the site. I wouldn't dabble with shapeless and abstract architecture though.

I think a lot of you need to understand the concept of architectural type and its appropriateness within the enviroment. Therefore, a postmodern building would work best if we must swing in a contemporary direction, or perhaps something on par with this era. Maybe something like this It's a contemporary building, but very restrained and sympathetic to its surroundings:

pomo2.jpg

What you saw drawn up for the Woodward Block that Kraemer Design showed was another excellent example, and I'm really hoping something like that will go up.

A more abstract and form based structure as to what I'm guessing you want Zissou would work better along the Riverfront, and maybe just possibly the Monroe block. I'm trying to find a pictoral example, but I can't right now. Just keep in mind that these types of building always worked best when they stood alone and were not imbedded within an urban enviroment.

One of the fundamental principles of modern architecture was actually producing what we'd call "suburban" cities today. A superb example of modernism at its best is Big Beaver Road in Troy. Lafayette Park is also one of the best examples. The Corbusien side of modernism actually called for demolishing a lot around the buildings :shok: Not sure I'd want that, lol.

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So Wolverine, you would consider the Kraemer design to be postmodern? And a good plan for Hudsons? I guess I used the term modern for that building or drawing because I didnt feel it could be lumped in with the Madden Building or Comerica Tower. The way i see "postmodern" is architecture linked or borrowing from the past in a new form. Architecturally I didnt see that in the Kraemer Design, of course i could be wrong, so i called it modern. I guess contemporary would be a better word to use.

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I would love to see such a development on the Hudsons site. I would do anything to see Detroit make an aggressive move with a large development like this.

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Wolverine, is that the Heritage at Millenium Park in Chicago? I agree with you, that building is contemporary but fits in well with the historic skyscrapers that sourround it.

I always thought that Kohn Pederson Fox was one of the best at designing buildings that were modern and unique but also fit into their surroundings, often paying homage to contextual historic landmarks. They designed both 225 W. Wacker Dr. and 333 W. Wacker Dr. in Chicago along with a plethora of other projects on an international level.

2b75b13f-56de-4f58-9bd7-45d5ae0c2aa2.jpg

225 W. Wacker Dr. with the edge of 333 W. Wacker Dr. to the right.

The spires on 225 pay homage to the Merchandise Mart across the river. You can't see it in this picture, but the first floor of 225 has round windows which mimic the round ventilation shafts on the first floor of 333.

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So Wolverine, you would consider the Kraemer design to be postmodern? And a good plan for Hudsons? I guess I used the term modern for that building or drawing because I didnt feel it could be lumped in with the Madden Building or Comerica Tower. The way i see "postmodern" is architecture linked or borrowing from the past in a new form. Architecturally I didnt see that in the Kraemer Design, of course i could be wrong, so i called it modern. I guess contemporary would be a better word to use.

I consider it a mix between present contemporary and pomo, yes. Like I said, it's really hard to define architecture today. You are right when you say it's borrowing from the past, but in some ways it can also reject the past. It's so gray at times. I just wanted to clarify it's not modern, but that's okay LOL.

All I have to say is I like Kraemer's design. I don't think it's going to be a metallic structure, but probably something along the lines of what I posted above. As said previously, the last thing we need is a fake look alike of other other buildings. It's definitely okay to do something really contemporary, but it really must be something that relates to surroundings...in this case by form. We don't need a Disney Concert Center or a Seattle Public Library going up on this site haha.

LMich, you mentioned continuing the canyon down Woodward, which I totally agree with. Due to programatic issues, I'm guessing this is why Kraemer has three towers. I think some sort of enclosed glass Wintergarden along the street that lets you enter the public space would be cool, or just have that area inside an entire Wintergarden, and be a shopping mall or something.

I really wish I was a junior last year in architecture school, because their projects focuseed on this site. Some students had some really cool stuff. Alot of the forms related well with the buildings around them. If there is one thing U of M hates, is when students build stuff that is totally out of context with the site. This is not by facade or style, rather by form. I think it would be okay to have this building try different facades and materials as long as they are not something ridiculous like round windows or checkerboard patterns. But the building's shape is really important to this site, and reflecting and refining the city skyline.

WALDO, that is the Heritage and Millenium Park. It's one of my favorites.

Oh, and the one you have pictured above at 225 Wacker is postmodern

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I love the little enclave in the Kraemer design. In New York or Chicago they have these everywhere as parts of their downtowns and large buildings. They enhance the street level and provide a place for people to relax. Detroit doesnt have many of these areas. Campus Martius is our gathering place but its a large gathering place for all of the CBD. I see the one on Hudsons as more of a neighborhood thing for the people and businesses along that stretch of Woodward and I think thats great. Detroit needs to incorporate as much green space into their developments as possible.

Anyone know why Kraemer was contacted to do this rendering and if its seriously being considered as an option? I really like it but I have a feeling that what eventually does fill that block wont be as nice.

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Those renderings are REALLY impressive, how serious of a plan is this?

BTW, I see the design as being borderline ultra modern, mostly because of the roofs, I do think that this design would fit well in a historic setting though.

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If you look closely at the very bottom of the renderings, to me it looks like the first floor or two blend in well with Merchants Row

I agree that it should maintain the canyon effect. I don't like that open space though. I think they should either have a big public lobby (indoors so it would be comfortable all year long). And I think having a 4 or 5 sotry windergarden mall type thing would be good.

Also, the design looks really white. It's hard to tell from the renderings if something is a black outline, or a window frame, but I think the real thing should have white on black. I think it would make it blend in better with across the street. Or maybe using a dark brown color (like the base of Compuware) instead of black.

But I can tell you that any one of those buildings would look great on the Kennedy block. :)

And it looks like a building from Sim City 3000 was based off that Chicago building.

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Those renderings look great. I kind've like the split inbetween the buildings. Although it wouldn't really be a canyon effect as much, it would provide a little different look that might be just as good.

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I wouldn't mind the opening...if it were swung to the back of the proposal along, Farmer is it? Better yet, as has already been mentioned, I think, it would be great if they simply created and 4-way arcade crossing the building(s) and dropped the opening altogether. Openings are great when you want to show case a river, other geographical landscapes, or something monumental, but the Woodward streetscape at that particular place does not need to be broken.

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I dont think the Woodward streetscape would be broken there. If you really think about it Detroit doesnt have too many public gathering places. Campus Martius is huge but places like Harmonie Park, Capitol Park, and Hart Plaza are never really that active. I think it would be cool, regardless of what side its on to have an open public space like that. It would be used because of the amount of residential sprouting up in that area.

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It could be a little more like a courtyard where the building facade continues at 5-6 floors at that point with a large opening(s) or arch(es) into the space. That way the enclosure of Woodward would be maintained as well as the plaza while keeping the plaza open enough to Woodward that it still seems public and part of the street atmosphere.

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How would it not be broken? Regardless of whether or not the plaza would be use, that would definitely be a sizeable dent in the otherwise unbroken streetscape.

I just dont see how adding some sort of public space with trees, seating, and possibly a restaurant is breaking up the streetscape. I think it enhances it. Tree lined sidewalks are great but wheres the human interaction? You walk down Woodward and there arent really any benches to sit on or anything. You add a spot like this and suddenly people are drawn there and it enhances the streetscape. Suddenly a walk down Woodward doesnt have to be just a walk, there could be a place to stop and relax and enjoy the scenery. I dont think we necessarily need a wall all the way down Woodward. Public spaces are a necessity in a large city and frankly, Detroit needs more of them. And the way the rendering shows the structures, 2/3 of the block would be right on the sidewalk creating the effect that you want anyway. I just like the idea of variety and creating new spaces along Woodward. It makes for a more interesting street and I bet if you were to ask the people living across Woodward in Merchants Row what they would like better, they would probably choose the rendering Kraemer came up with.

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I think the opening is fine, though to appease both sides they could make the court more hidden by having a two or thre story "arm" that extends along Woodward from the southern tower.

rendering.jpg

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