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DetroitMan

Possible Monroe block development

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Hmm. Well, I suppose this concept falls under the argument. New contemporary architecture vs. urban cohesiveness. It's just as engaging at street level as 1 Kennedy. Seriously, a block of busy nineteenth century building stock once occupied this site. It had activity, interest, and human scale. Where is the excitement in this structure? If it literally didn't say "valet" on the side, I'd rather it say imposing. This building belongs where Ford Auditorium is. The siting would almost be too perfect, and would at least add interest to the skyline.

Time after time we prove again that over scaled architecture is not the key to downtown revitalization, rather the smaller scaled structures which foster an aura of exuberance and randomness that the majority of people who live in or visit a city come to appreciate. Why do you think Greektown is busy with people and Woodward is dead?

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I was hoping for something a bit more modern for either Monroe or Hudsons, just to provide a little diversity in our building stock, but im not sure this is what the Doctor calls for. Something like this would be more appropiate on a smaller lot, or where Ford Auditorium is like Wolverine suggested, although that likely isnt in the cards having seen the new Hart Plaza master plan.

This thing would look alright I think if it used one of the empty lots boarded by Broadway and the downtown library. I think something modern would complement the existing architecture well there.

In those renderings though its really hard to tell. Im not a huge fan of the massing, especially since all the frontage appears to be on Campus Martius, leaving the rest of that massive lot relatively empty. Its also hard to tell what the building materials are due to the darkness of the renderings. It is a positive though to see that these renderings are just sprouting up and are recent, showing there is still some interest out there.

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Put a Cheesecake Factory on the ground floor, then it would make sense.

For some reason that building just screams "Cheesecake Factory" wit its cheeeesiness. :)

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I was hoping for something a bit more modern for either Monroe or Hudsons, just to provide a little diversity in our building stock, but im not sure this is what the Doctor calls for. Something like this would be more appropiate on a smaller lot, or where Ford Auditorium is like Wolverine suggested, although that likely isnt in the cards having seen the new Hart Plaza master plan.

This thing would look alright I think if it used one of the empty lots boarded by Broadway and the downtown library. I think something modern would complement the existing architecture well there.

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I agree with you wolverine about the placement of this building however I would like to add something about monumentality. I'm not fond of it on the Monroe block because the design is in such contrast to everything else in that area, that it becomes monumental, in which case, an isolated placement on the river a la Ford Auditorium would be much more appropriate (I feel similarly toward Franky G's designs - I don't dislike most of them inherently, but occasionally they lack appropriate placement).

A perfect example of what I mean by monumentality is his designs for the Guggenheim in Bilbao. There, the museum is slightly disconnected from cohesive urban fabric and it's that isolation that allows for the psychological leap to the modern forms. Also, the curves of that structure connect beautifully to curves of the river appearing as almost a distorted reflection of the orthagonal buildings on the other side. Think of it like the Washington Monument. It wouldn't make much sense and would look pretty stupid to have it just sitting next to an office building on a random block, but through its placement, it makes aesthetic sense. In this way placement is key and placement fails with these designs for the Monroe block.

It has beautifully fluid forms that, through their stark contrast with its more angular surroundings creates intense and discomforting dissonance that ends up making the building seem ugly. The clean lines of the block itself need to be referenced in the design. That's not to say that the site can't hold something modern, it's just that this particular design looks as though it were drawn up in the architectural void. It completely lacks reference to its surroundings.

Try again Northern Group... try again.

I hope I made my point without sounding too much like a pompous architecture snob.

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I would agree that we need a breath of new architecture on that site, but the design seems so much like a building within a park. It really stands alone and does not engage the street. I feel through good design, we can actually increase pedestrian and business activity along Monroe, which that area desperately needs.

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I agree that first and foremost it needs to engage the street. If they were to rework the design to accomplish that im not sure I wouldnt mind it going up there. Ive always thought that Monroe Block should fit in with all the buildings surrounding Campus Martius, but after seeing the rendering I think im changing my thoughts on that a bit. I think given that CMP is one of the great public spaces in America, that a unique building on that block could be a great opportunity for the city to add to what already is an impressive collection of buildings spanning almost a century. Maybe not this design in particular, but im sort of picturing something like the design Gehry came up with for Brooklyn.

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Looks cool. It seems every city has its modern twisty building. Detroit could use one to make it look classic.

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It's hideous.

But it looks like it will be easy to demolish. :)

It's also tiny. There's supposed to be office, retail, and a hotel in there?

If I recall right (the article seems to be gone), the people who called for this are the people who bought Book Tower and some other buildings downtown. Hopefully they'll work on those first, and maybe another design will come along in the meantime.

I think everyone here has ideas about what they'd rather see, and I think just about anything is better than that building.

But really, in all of the master plan drawings of Campus Martius, it's a tall V shape, and I think that makes sense. It's normal, but I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I think a nicely proportioned, nicely articulated, tall V, with some nice retail on the street would be great. And I think something that's simply well made is more respectable than historic looking parking garages, or whatever you would call this.

And seriously, "Centre"!? But I guess it's fitting with the attitude of everything else we've seen so far.

But I do think that without the market to make something decent sized, it would be hard to make something awesome there.

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The more I look at it the more i realize how deceptive the renderings are. It looks to be around 12-15 stories and the massing is kinda weird but it seems to take up just about the entire block.

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What a very apocalyptic rendering. Very depressing, very bland. I love the choice of the weather they used to; a dreary, dead, cold, michigan winter. Also, why don't we make the rendering colder, with jungle gym type massing and cold gray steel. How very cold war. Edgar Allen Poe would just love to live there!

Well they did fit in some fake living trees.

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^ It's exactly what led me to call this building imposing. And I definitely agree Zissou, very deceptive renderings. I really can't tell the number of floors.

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I think this would add something modern to the city. Havent you noticed in every big city there is something like a musuem like this?

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Yes we need more modern architecture, but im not sure this is the answer.

This statement still doesnt make any sense though.

"Detroit could use one to make it look classic."

Which is why i asked.

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Yes we need more modern architecture, but im not sure this is the answer.

This statement still doesnt make any sense though.

"Detroit could use one to make it look classic."

Which is why i asked.

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Yeah not sure classic works but I see what your saying and yes, Detroit needs to embrace some modern architecture imo.

Im still not a fan of MGM but maybe im just not recalling, but when was it ever supposed to be an ugly orange building?

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