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nashville_bound

Federal Courthouse Designs - Nashville v Austin

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**NOTE**

This is not a 'bash' thread only a discussion of contrasting styles

Ok it has been a while since we viewed the renderings for the propsed Nashville Federal Courtouse. Views were mixed but I do not think anyone fell in love. I came upon the rendering for the proposed Austin Federal Courthouse and the differences could not be more evident.

Nashville Design (New from the ground up)

Courthouse.jpg

Austin Design (Incorporating an Intel building (2001) never finished)

austincourthouse6xs.jpg

Discuss...

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Well, design wise I think it is safe to say that Nashville got completely shafted. Nashville's looks like it was designed in the eighties to be built in Riyadh. If there are any positives though I think it would be that it appears as though Nashville's courthouse contributes a little more to the neighborhood as far as layout is concerned.

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Yeah, I like the way Nashville's works with the street more, but I think that the design is very bland, to say the least. Austin's is very modern, and I would love to have a good modern design in Nashville. However, I don't know how well Austin's will help the street activity. But they might not have finished designing the plaza that's infront of it.

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I'm not a fan of either design but I prefer Nashville's boring one to the Austin's ugly modern one.

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At least one thing can be said about Nashville's design. It looks like a federal building. I don't want something built that people drive by and say "wtf is that?".

Personally, I think the Nashville design is good. I would change a few things, maybe spice it up a bit, but not too much.

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I'm not a fan of either design but I prefer Nashville's boring one to the Austin's ugly modern one.

At least one thing can be said about Nashville's design. It looks like a federal building. I don't want something built that people drive by and say "wtf is that?".

Ha ha!! Yes, yes! You guys are both right on, as far as my pages turn. Michael Graves' studio needs to draw their swords fully out of their hilts and "de-cartoonify" the Nashville design into a proper Beaux Arts classical building, rather than bounce around with bananas halfway shoved in their otherwise lovely ears--but the Austin one looks like a bloody parody of itself! It's almost deliciously perverse!!

Say, is that a Hall of Justice and Truth? Or is it the radiation-proof housing casement for a Modular Navy SEALs battle-comm switchboard?

I know that Justice herself should theoretically be blind, but how about the architects of her temple? What does this say about our culture, that the principles of objective truth and beauty which have guided global civilization throughout some of its finest moments are so visibly mocked in the House of one of our highest institutions? Is all of Austin populated by evil Go-Bots?

The Nashville plan is so much more desirable than that ridiculous "cutting edge" ego-crate in the Lone Star State, it makes me feel relieved to have the Michael Graves Hotel, regardless of its half-measures and, yes, Riyadh sterility.

In Austin, night court will forever be held in a hicky night club.

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The problem with the Nashville one is that some meddling judge didn't let Graves' team "cut loose" and do a really stunning job. I believe his name is Eggleston. He made some idiotic comment like "the courthouse needs to look like the classical architecture in Nashville." So Graves apparently went back and added frivolous things like the cupola and the geo-dome. I think the whole think is just uninspired.

But let's be realistic folks. Why should we really expect the government to do this right?

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I like the Nashville one myself. The Austin design looks like one of those rural lofts they build in the mountains. I believe once its built people will come to love the traditional style of the new courthouse. Some things never go out of style and some things go out of style in 10 years. I believe its a somewhat simple design but I also believe it will look good for years to come. Yeah it could use a little sprucin up but I believe I like the overall idea of the building.

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I'll have to agree that the Austin courthouse is awful. Ours might not be perfect, but it at least says "Institution". I think I hear the Austin one saying "...Guilty as charged. Now lets go play with a bouncy-ball!"

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It looks great to me! I happen to like the Classical/Greek architecture. As mentioned by Bryan today, the Courthouse may be finished by fall 2008!

Hopefully they will move on this thing soon.

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[Nashville Design (New from the ground up)

Courthouse.jpg

Well, that'll be two Hampton Inn Suites downtown, won't it ? Maybe we can get that Fat Nekkid Elvis in repose sculpture to go inside the atrium/dome thingy. (Yes, I just had to beat the FNE joke like a dead horse). :lol:

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Am I the only one here who likes Austin's courthouse?

That building is weird, dude. Of course, so is Austin. :thumbsup:

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I'm just up for anything different. You don't know how something will turn out until it's done, and I glad that Austin is experimenting with something new. Of course, I'm also glad that it's not Nashville that's doing the experimenting.

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I'm just up for anything different. You don't know how something will turn out until it's done, and I glad that Austin is experimenting with something new. Of course, I'm also glad that it's not Nashville that's doing the experimenting.

Poor Louisville and its "experiments..."

*cough*Museum Plaza*cough*

:blink::sick:

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I, too like the Nashville one much more than Austin. I wouldn't be nearly as harsh on Austin's design as NewTowner, but it just doesn't work for me. Heck, I even like Louisvillle's Museum Plaza better. One thing I like about Nashville's is all the trees and landscaping in front. With all the highrises going pretty much straight up from Church, the Courthouse will offer more parklike space and a refreshing contrast to other structures on the street.

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Friends,

I prefer the Nashville version to that of Austin. But neither is particularly inspiring. The Austin version is very over the top contemporary. I like the contemporary approach with housing, but am not a big fan of such with civic/cultural/sports buildings (arenas being an exception).

WW

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The problem with the Nashville one is that some meddling judge didn't let Graves' team "cut loose" and do a really stunning job. I believe his name is Eggleston. He made some idiotic comment like "the courthouse needs to look like the classical architecture in Nashville."

How is "the courthouse needs to look like the classical architecture in Nashville" an "idiot comment"? And what sort of replacement comment would be less idiotic?

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I like the contemporary approach with housing, but am not a big fan of such with civic/cultural/sports buildings (arenas being an exception).

I disagree. I think that courthouses should be grand buildings, and that when you see one, you should think "Wow, that's a big and/or cool building." And there are several ways to do that. I think that both buildings accomplish that. If I were to see Austin's courthouse in person, I would think right away that something important must be going on in there, because it's such a grand building. Yes, it's a bit over the top, but most government buildings were probably considered over the top at the time they were built.

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Perhaps I should have said "ignorant". In my drive-by post, I used idiotic in reference to the process by which this building has been designed... not necessarily to classical architecture per se. I stated my disappointment in this design on this board back when it was unveiled, and I forget that we've added a lot of forumers since then. If you're interested in an accurate depiction of context, I'd encourage yot to go back through the threads to find it.

I still think it's idiotic for the following reasons.

First of all, the CH doesn't "need" to look like it (classical buildings). Sure, it can, but I think it's idiotic to apply arbitrary design constraints on a world renowned architect when there are so many examples of his firm's work to see. Please note that I respect a client's right to express his/her/their preferences for style. However, you should know what you're getting when you hire somebody like Graves. If not, then go and hire the architect who designs all the hotels for the Embassy Suites chain.

In the context of the statements made by the judge, he said in effect that b/c everybody in Nashville loves classical architecture like the Parthenon, that the courthouse should look like it. This comment as a wide generalization is idiotic on enough levels that I won't elaborate. Let's just rebuild acient Athens.

As I understand the design process that occurred with this building, Graves originally delivered a design reflective of his trademark style. However, when the design committee headed by this judge received it, they sent it back and recommended that he add the classical elements. That is when the cupola and the geodome thingy were added. Graves has made a public statement to support this account.

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Just wondering, but will those trees lining the streets line all of Church Street, or just the areas in front of the courthouse? If it's only infront of the courthouse, will it only be on Church Street, or all around the building?

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This reminded me of the Architecture Talk Podcast I heard this week. Sometimes there is a downside to being a "starchitect". They discussed that when there is a style attributed to you, it can be difficult for the architect to respond to the site or to come up with something new because everyone who hires you is expecting the same thing as what made you famous in the first place. The example they gave was Frank Gehry and his design for Millenium Park in Chicago. His first design was very conservative and responded to the neoclassical design of the rest of the park, but the City and donor said it was not a Gehry and to redesign it.

I would imagine the Feds were expecting a post-modern take on a classical building, similar to what Graves has done in the past. I do not remember the first design, was it different than his typical style?

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It would be interesting to see what Graves sketched for the Municipal Auditorium site during the the design charette/competition. Wonder if that could be available?

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The Austin version looks like some cool county jail.

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