Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

mbergin

Town Center Architecture Project

13 posts in this topic

Hello All,

I'm new to the forum and also new to the area. I graduated with an architecture degree from a school in Massachusetts last May and took a job in the Virginia Beach area. I am planning on going back to graduate school in the next two years and I'm also trying to keep my skills sharp, so I've decided to put together a project focusing on the developing Pembroke/Town Center area. I have read into much of what has been posted on this forum relating to Town Center development and I think I have a feel for what the main problems are, I'd like this project to focus on building an Urban core, and also to attract tourists from the beach to visit the Town Center area.

I've had much input on a possible program for the project, including :

City Hall

Library

Art Gallery

College Extension

Museum

Church

Light Rail Station

Ground Floor Retail

Nightclub/Cocktail Bar

Basically, this project should be a cultural hub, and have a unique and intriguing look and feel in order to help define an identity for the Virginia Beach area.

I'm hoping to receive suggestions on program and ideal site locations, and as the project develops I will keep this thread updated, I thank you in advance for any contribution you may be able to make.

- M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


I guess you have not heard. We have alot going on right now at town center.. Sandler Center, Array of restraunts/bars, retail/clothing stores, speciality shops, coffee shops. Highend residential, hotels, They are working on extending lighrail already.. New Mayor Sessoms is planning to buy the norfolk suffolk right of away. They are working on Phase IV for Town Center. Gateway Bank Tower, 20 stories... ALoft hotel/Residential Apartments. 15 stories, Cityview is getting 4 buildings. all apartments.. but ranging from 8-15 stories. We have plenty churches around, dont need any museums. we have central library, cityhall needs to stay out princess anne. Dont need the extra traffic,. Its jammed as it is, we have a art galley already in town center, plenty ground floor retail, and we dont need any nightclubs to trash town center.. Your obviously not as sharp as you seem. We dont need the riftraft like that Ghetto club Encore with shootings and such. Keep those places at the oceanfront.. This is a upscale area. Dont need the trash.. Nor do we need anymore colleges at town center. We a couple colleges already there.. Art institute is moving into Columbus 2 tower..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HarryVB, First of all, thank you for your comments,

Not to seem rude, but have you ever visited an upscale urban area? Your comments seem ignorant of what makes a successful urban community. One aspect of good dense development is that traffic is reduced as people are able to work, live and sustain their existence without the use of an automobile. To me (a visitor really), Town Center is more like a large dispersed mall with residences than it is a city. There is an alarming lack of small business and most of the retail space slated for ground floor is empty with no sign of future occupancy. To cite examples of upscale urban American developments you should look at Georgetown in DC, the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Newbury Street in Boston and the like. To create a draw to Town Center, especially for the tourists, there must be some sort of reason for them to come other than to eat at mediocre chain restaurants.

The goal of my project would be to create a framework for an urban center that would lessen traffic, and create a sense of community and identity for those who live in the 'urban center' of Virginia Beach that makes (young, optimistic) people say "I want to live here" instead of, "Wow, in 30 years, I might want to live here."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...dont need any museums... cityhall needs to stay out princess anne. ... plenty ground floor retail, and we dont need any nightclubs to trash town center.. ... Nor do we need anymore colleges at town center. We a couple colleges already there.. Art institute is moving into Columbus 2 tower..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess you have not heard. We have alot going on right now at town center.. Sandler Center, Array of restraunts/bars, retail/clothing stores, speciality shops, coffee shops. Highend residential, hotels, They are working on extending lighrail already.. New Mayor Sessoms is planning to buy the norfolk suffolk right of away. They are working on Phase IV for Town Center. Gateway Bank Tower, 20 stories... ALoft hotel/Residential Apartments. 15 stories, Cityview is getting 4 buildings. all apartments.. but ranging from 8-15 stories. We have plenty churches around, dont need any museums. we have central library, cityhall needs to stay out princess anne. Dont need the extra traffic,. Its jammed as it is, we have a art galley already in town center, plenty ground floor retail, and we dont need any nightclubs to trash town center.. Your obviously not as sharp as you seem. We dont need the riftraft like that Ghetto club Encore with shootings and such. Keep those places at the oceanfront.. This is a upscale area. Dont need the trash.. Nor do we need anymore colleges at town center. We a couple colleges already there.. Art institute is moving into Columbus 2 tower..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
By the PA annex I believe city hall is required to stay in PA, however that does not mean it cannot be reversed, and it makes perfect sense to have the city hall in the "downtown" of the area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as an architecture student who will always have a soft spot for my hometown, I will let you know of a few things I have thought for the area.

The great thing with thinking hypothetical is that rules such as the city hall has to stay in PA dont apply. With that said, four things would need to happen for the town center to fully become a downtown. (though I should state, those 4 things are building related, not transportation related.) One, the city hall would need an urban campus moved within the area; two, the central library would need to be relocated and urbanized for the area (much like Sandler Hall is); three, a museum needs to be constructed there (my suggestion would be moving the Contemporary Art Museum and making that a staple for some form of arts movement in Pembroke), and four, a large accessible park is needed.

For these key points, they would need to be laid out on a new street grid that would define the boundaries to the downtown, which would be the TC, the Planet Music shopping center, The KMart shopping center, the high school, Pembroke Mall and all its land (that alone would make TC become a downtown), the Pembroke Office Park, and the old HQ site.

For the location of the park, I have always thought that the relocation of the high school and replacing that area with a park would be a good idea, with either housing around it or the relocated city hall.

Now for transportation, the light rail would need to connect to the downtown, the current possible locations would be good enough. There would have to be an address about the intersection of Indy and VB, my guess would be sinking one and eliminating the intersection, then rerouting turning traffic in some fashion. Then to connect all parts of the downtown even better, a local streetcar loop through the downtown, which would also aid key points.

Oh and a side note, any redevelopment of Pembroke Mall would require a new construction of an urban mall.

Anyway, have fun wrapping your brain around all of that...by no means is that a project any one person could handle, but it is definitely something that I would be impressed to see one day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Hello All,

I'm new to the forum and also new to the area. I graduated with an architecture degree from a school in Massachusetts last May and took a job in the Virginia Beach area. I am planning on going back to graduate school in the next two years and I'm also trying to keep my skills sharp, so I've decided to put together a project focusing on the developing Pembroke/Town Center area. I have read into much of what has been posted on this forum relating to Town Center development and I think I have a feel for what the main problems are, I'd like this project to focus on building an Urban core, and also to attract tourists from the beach to visit the Town Center area.

I've had much input on a possible program for the project, including :

City Hall

Library

Art Gallery

College Extension

Museum

Church

Light Rail Station

Ground Floor Retail

Nightclub/Cocktail Bar

Basically, this project should be a cultural hub, and have a unique and intriguing look and feel in order to help define an identity for the Virginia Beach area.

I'm hoping to receive suggestions on program and ideal site locations, and as the project develops I will keep this thread updated, I thank you in advance for any contribution you may be able to make.

- M

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

vdogg, VB has what would be considered a modern downtown...the desire for having a church within it is no longer needed. The focus for this area is going to be on entertainment. Things like the performing arts center are what have been replacing churches.....though the town center needs to start bringing in locals for new restaurants, these chains.

Art galleries will always be an issue for the area because it will always lack some form of warehouse district that art galleries seem to pop up in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

as an arch student as well, i take a lot of pride in VB's urban efforts. Personally, i think that the focus should be on convincing people south of VB boulevard to redevelop urban. Thalia is pretty much gridded there, and there's no landmark homes. with midtown at city view, i expect Thalia to become an urban village that is mostly residential with some small businesses, and piggybacks off of town enter, which will certainly be aided by the extension of constitution. A night club would do wonders, although small local diners are also needed to expand the night life. with the current development at TC i don't really see it becoming a hip young spot, once again, i think midtown/thalia area is the best candidate for such. i think west of independence needs to focus on redeveloping as a business center first and foremost. With circut city on the brink, that little shopping enter needs to be torn down and replaced with simple apartments, maybe a grocery store. there also needs to be an urban fast food place. In every major city there is a mcdonalds downtown, and it rakes in money especially nights of concerts and lunchhour. although it's not glamourous, it keeps traffic flowing. a university would be great, but i don't forsee a university just popping up in VB, plus outside of mega-cities, urban universities are major headaches for the city (although they do bring in a lot of young blood). Columbus station needs to be redeveloped into a high-end community, much like freemason, so that it opens up the park and doesn't make it seem like towncenter just ends. Projects like cornerstone although not completely urban change the scale of the projects going up in the area which is good. the best buy, and the neighborhood behind it need to be redeveloped into affordable housing. not a ghetto per se, but definitely working class. PA highschool can stay, little things like that really break up the urban fabric which is good for retaining character, although it needs to be rebuilt (regardless of urban expansion, that place is a wreck) pembroke mall needs to just break itself apart into a multiblock development. that would really aid in the development of the urban core, and it would allow mall tenents to transition to their new urban spaces. churches usually hinder urban development (although they provide landmarks).

so for your project i would propose reestablishing thalia as a premier urban neighboorhood...it has boundaries, and it has location. close to TC, close to 264 and the rail line passes right through it. it has the thalia creek, and the convergence center just needs to be cut through and infilled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
so for your project i would propose reestablishing thalia as a premier urban neighboorhood...it has boundaries, and it has location. close to TC, close to 264 and the rail line passes right through it. it has the thalia creek, and the convergence center just needs to be cut through and infilled.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

also to add to this idea, I would love to see the Pembroke Office Park turned into an arts college, something like the Academy of Arts, which would require reworking of the grounds and possible new in between buildings that could easily turn the area into an arts district for VB...thinking about that, it would be the closest I think Pembroke could get to having a converted warehouse district that most cities have today.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.