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uptownliving

Ritz-Carlton Hotel & 1 Bank of America Center

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8-15-09

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What exactly are they doing on the very backside of this building, there is nothing like this in the renderings? It could be that the cantilevered part on the backside is being built after the main structure itself. In fact I think that is whats going on.

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If you watch the video, you can see that it overhangs the parking deck by a full structural bay.

It looks like in the video they even show 210 Trade finished, even though its at a standstill right now.....looks great though!

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It looks like in the video they even show 210 Trade finished, even though its at a standstill right now.....looks great though!

Yeah, the opening of the video has 210 Trade and the Wachovia condo tower

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^i think it will feel ok once there's plenty inside to look through the glass at.

i really am loving this project. the minimalist approach won't be appreciated by all but i think it will be one of our most elegant buildings. its unfortunate that the trade st. side is all about car access, but there's really no other place for it and thats a pretty important feature at a large upscale hotel. anybody know whats going in on the 5th st. side? its one of our livelier streets so i hope that can extend down there.

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I still think that the whole thing has way too much glass at street level.

I agree, however, when compared to the Omni and BOA Plaza on College, it is waaayyyy better.

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Charlotte Plaza is all glass, and it sucks.

The most elegant building in Charlotte, by far, is the Hearst Tower.

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There's really nothing to look at at the street level in Charlotte Plaza except an occasional model of a condo tower that may or may not get built. And a radio booth.

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All glass is the modernist way of making something "pedestrian friendly." Since modernism generally rejects "unnecessary" details, the only way to make something interesting at street level is to make it glass and put something interesting behind it.

More often than not, though, I find that the lack of variety and depth makes it feel unfriendly after all.

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That is precisely why I don't like modern architecture. Have y'all ever seen a "hard/soft" analysis? Its based on an urban design principle that says, basically, glass is a "hard" surface. The clean lines and reflection make it less desirable for people to be in front of it. The human eye needs detail and variety in an urban space. That's why when you visit good urban places you enjoy them. Noda and Plaza-Central both have more 'soft' characteristics, even if only for a block. Its in part why people love Charleston, and Main Street in Greenville. Glass does not create a space where people want to hang out. In Charlotte, IMO, people WANT to hang out on Tryon Street. It has the right "soft" infrastructure (so to speak), but it lacks the store fronts to actually give people a reason to be there.

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While I don't disagree that a lack of variety and depth can be unfriendly to the human scale, I take exception to your description of modernism. Rejecting unnecessary details (otherwise known as "decoration" or "window dressing") does not automatically result in dehumanizing streets or buildings.

Modernism - at least, my interpretation of modernism - seeks beauty in raw materials and structure. Take the old mill buildings that still remain in SouthEnd and up North Davidson: those are inherently modernist constructions. Modernist architecture grew out of industrial building. While you might find some flourishes in the craftsmanship on window frames or doors, what you see is what you get. Raw bricks construction with exposed structure inside, iron or steel window frames and doors (all big enough to let light in for workers - a functional necessity), etc. The Monadnock (1891) in Chicago and the Seagram (1958) in NYC are two completely different buildings that share the same general principals of design.

Anyway, my point is that modernist architecture does not result in crappy streets. Crappy architecture results in crappy streets.

Moving on... The issue at hand is the urban space. Regardless of the building style, we're talking about the quality of the space of the street. Will the scale of these projects at street level be comfortable for pedestrians? I'm reserving judgment, especially until the corner of College and 5th is done. I do anticipate that the 1BAC facade may be greatly activated (resulting in a visually reduced scale) by interior movement and exterior furnishings, but it's not possible to tell if that will be enough. I'm concerned that the darker-than-expected glass will obscure the interior too much and will make the street too dark.

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You're right I did paint modernist architecture with a broad brush. I still think that more often than not it creates bad spaces at the street level, but your examples to the contrary are quite good. I had forgotten about the Seagram building, who's plaza is probably one of the better examples of a good urban space. Anyway I have a bias against modern architecture anyway, so I won't derail the topic on that rant :)

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Starting to make an impression from Tryon St. I love the rounded corner. I also like how this building is "plugging a gap" in the skyline by being on 5th Street - both 101 Independence and BofA Corp are "center of the block" buildings.

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This is the new most visible buildings when coming from NoDa into Uptown - infact - its a straight view from Davidson/36th straight through the girders and beams right now...

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I think you're right, initialD, the core is either at or close to its final height.

I have been surprised at the level of visibility for this project from many angles. You can also see it well going down 5th Street.

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I think we kind of took the visual impact of this tower for granted since it's "only" a 30-story glass box, not realizing that it's still going to be pretty tall. In lots of other cities, this would easily be their tallest.

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I agree, if they had built the original design for the building at this site it would have been a mini-me for the Corp Center and would have looked too cheesy. Time will tell whether this will look like a sibling to the BofA Plaza building, but the Ritz, I felt turned out to be a nice design with almost a plaid looking facade..

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