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urbanlife

Norfolk, Architecture, and Design

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Figure I would bring up a new page for this seeing that it has bled through many of the forum topics and should have its own page for rants, ideas, and information found.

I figure I would start it off with an article that I found from a Norfolk Architecture firm, I think it gives a good description for the area back in 1986 that still sounds true today.

E. Bradford Tazewell

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Figure I would bring up a new page for this seeing that it has bled through many of the forum topics and should have its own page for rants, ideas, and information found.

I figure I would start it off with an article that I found from a Norfolk Architecture firm, I think it gives a good description for the area back in 1986 that still sounds true today.

E. Bradford Tazewell

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Figure I would bring up a new page for this seeing that it has bled through many of the forum topics and should have its own page for rants, ideas, and information found.

I figure I would start it off with an article that I found from a Norfolk Architecture firm, I think it gives a good description for the area back in 1986 that still sounds true today.

E. Bradford Tazewell

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Figure I would bring up a new page for this seeing that it has bled through many of the forum topics and should have its own page for rants, ideas, and information found.

I figure I would start it off with an article that I found from a Norfolk Architecture firm, I think it gives a good description for the area back in 1986 that still sounds true today.

E. Bradford Tazewell

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I figure I would start it off with an article that I found from a Norfolk Architecture firm, I think it gives a good description for the area back in 1986 that still sounds true today.

E. Bradford Tazewell

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Buildings like the World Trade Center, one of the most bland buildings downtown, is a forgettable complex. Its only saving grace is its curve. Had it been a typical rectangle, it would be blasted about its hideous facade.

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Funny you say this because the curved part of the building was built first. The rectangle part that makes up the east end of the building was built a few years later. I would have to say the second half is what really dropped the ball after the curved building set up for an amazing addition.

Good to know Tazewell is still practicing, I was wondering where he went after the whole TAF thing.

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Not exactly sure where to post this but I'll put it here since it relates to architecture and design. I know we've discussed various architecture programs around the commonwealth especially local programs here in Hampton Roads. Virginia Tech's architecture program was just ranked by Design Intelligence as #1 tied with Harvard, Yale, and Columbia. This follows up their #1 2008 ranking for their undergraduate architecture program. It was interesting to see how many other VT architecture programs ranked in the top 10 for 2008. Great exposure for VA schools!

2009 rankings: Virginia Tech architecture program ranked world-class with Harvard, Yale, and Columbia

Virginia Tech #1 in 2008 Rankings

My background is Industrial and Systems Engineering. I have a great appreciation for modern architecture, design, and urban planning.

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Good job VT, but ya'll are still too afraid to come to the Ted... :P

**OFF TOPIC**

How bout' that decapitation? :o

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Wish I knew something about it, but I take all my queues from you guys. I know nothing about architecture and honestly just like seeing you guys go at it to educate me on the subject. My responses to structures are: That's cool, that's fuggley, that's iconic, or that's a piece of ****.

What I will say though is, I like the rustic look. I hate painted brick and would rather have exposed brick instead. I also believe the old hotel on granby that's being turned into office space is a waist of old Norfolk architecture.

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okay, I am just beotching here, but I came across something when I was playing around on Google's street view. The Trader Tower really bothers me now. While the design is meh, honestly it looks like it was created from a CAD catalog, but that isnt the issue. The issue I have with it is how they chose to address the street. Walking around it, I noticed that there is the main entrance into the building, then the key corner locations are all window sealed off and did not allow room for retail on their first floor.

The one thing that I have to say the planning department in Portland is amazing for is the fact that they make it basically mandatory for all buildings to address the street with retail. Whether it be small retail for something like a coffee shop or a large space for a larger store is up to the developer typically, but either way it has to happen. Instead the building creates an entire pocket in downtown that is basically useless unless you are visiting the actual tower.

Okay, that is my beef, I just needed to point that out because their really should be someone in charge of planning in the city that should know better....seeing that it is the driving force in just about every urban planning school now.

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okay, I am just beotching here, but I came across something when I was playing around on Google's street view. The Trader Tower really bothers me now. While the design is meh, honestly it looks like it was created from a CAD catalog, but that isnt the issue. The issue I have with it is how they chose to address the street. Walking around it, I noticed that there is the main entrance into the building, then the key corner locations are all window sealed off and did not allow room for retail on their first floor.

The one thing that I have to say the planning department in Portland is amazing for is the fact that they make it basically mandatory for all buildings to address the street with retail. Whether it be small retail for something like a coffee shop or a large space for a larger store is up to the developer typically, but either way it has to happen. Instead the building creates an entire pocket in downtown that is basically useless unless you are visiting the actual tower.

Okay, that is my beef, I just needed to point that out because their really should be someone in charge of planning in the city that should know better....seeing that it is the driving force in just about every urban planning school now.

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Well the nature of a WTC usually isnt that much of an inviting presence. I know the one here isnt that much better. And I wouldnt call making retail a suicide move...just because there is a lack for it now doesnt mean there will be a lack for it later. Plus the current use of that space that face the side walk seems to be a bit of a waste as being office space. The key with making retail work is to eliminate as many dead zones as possible, which this one creates a very big one in the city.

I will agree that this tower is definitely an improvement over what was there...though I would argue as well that it would of been a great block to make as an open square, provided the government building to the north would be redesigned (ie rebuilt) to be more of an urban building...now that building is an ugly disappointing building. I will definitely agree though that I would much rather have the Royster stand out, thus having this be more of a filler building is nice. The Royster and the BB&T building on Main are my two favorite buildings downtown.

Speaking of retail suicide, hows the mall been doing?

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Well the nature of a WTC usually isnt that much of an inviting presence. I know the one here isnt that much better. And I wouldnt call making retail a suicide move...just because there is a lack for it now doesnt mean there will be a lack for it later. Plus the current use of that space that face the side walk seems to be a bit of a waste as being office space. The key with making retail work is to eliminate as many dead zones as possible, which this one creates a very big one in the city.

I will agree that this tower is definitely an improvement over what was there...though I would argue as well that it would of been a great block to make as an open square, provided the government building to the north would be redesigned (ie rebuilt) to be more of an urban building...now that building is an ugly disappointing building. I will definitely agree though that I would much rather have the Royster stand out, thus having this be more of a filler building is nice. The Royster and the BB&T building on Main are my two favorite buildings downtown.

Speaking of retail suicide, hows the mall been doing?

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the current location of the Trader, that lot was called Federal Square or Federation Square or something like that. I am foggy on the details of what was once there though...which might be cool to look into, I always love learning more about Norfolk's lost history. Now keep in mind, I dont think the Trader is bad, I actually am happy they owner, which I use to know years ago, decided to stay in downtown rather than moving to VB (which they got a great offer to do that).

Cause if we want to talk about dead zones, I would say the mall was poorly designed because it acts like a suburban mall rather than an urban mall. But even with that, I remember what that area use to look like before the mall, it was a huge risk for them to even build it in the first place.

So just wanted to make sure that was clear with my critics, I support most of the moves the city has made (excluding urban renewal of course), I am just pointing out minor things that could of made things a bit better.....also with retail (not always true, but in theory true), the more retail space there is, the lower the rent will be with competition. Basically right now, Granby rent is so high because the option is Granby or the Mall, but if the option would be Granby, the mall, Waterside Dr, Waterside itself, Plume, City Hall, Boush, Monticello, all throughout lower West Freemason...then it would be a much different market. They would be lowering rents to out do each other...so in theory would create a much stronger market for smaller stores to survive and thrive.

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the current location of the Trader, that lot was called Federal Square or Federation Square or something like that. I am foggy on the details of what was once there though...which might be cool to look into, I always love learning more about Norfolk's lost history. Now keep in mind, I dont think the Trader is bad, I actually am happy they owner, which I use to know years ago, decided to stay in downtown rather than moving to VB (which they got a great offer to do that).

Cause if we want to talk about dead zones, I would say the mall was poorly designed because it acts like a suburban mall rather than an urban mall. But even with that, I remember what that area use to look like before the mall, it was a huge risk for them to even build it in the first place.

So just wanted to make sure that was clear with my critics, I support most of the moves the city has made (excluding urban renewal of course), I am just pointing out minor things that could of made things a bit better.....also with retail (not always true, but in theory true), the more retail space there is, the lower the rent will be with competition. Basically right now, Granby rent is so high because the option is Granby or the Mall, but if the option would be Granby, the mall, Waterside Dr, Waterside itself, Plume, City Hall, Boush, Monticello, all throughout lower West Freemason...then it would be a much different market. They would be lowering rents to out do each other...so in theory would create a much stronger market for smaller stores to survive and thrive.

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okay, I am just beotching here, but I came across something when I was playing around on Google's street view. The Trader Tower really bothers me now. While the design is meh, honestly it looks like it was created from a CAD catalog, but that isnt the issue. The issue I have with it is how they chose to address the street. Walking around it, I noticed that there is the main entrance into the building, then the key corner locations are all window sealed off and did not allow room for retail on their first floor.

The one thing that I have to say the planning department in Portland is amazing for is the fact that they make it basically mandatory for all buildings to address the street with retail. Whether it be small retail for something like a coffee shop or a large space for a larger store is up to the developer typically, but either way it has to happen. Instead the building creates an entire pocket in downtown that is basically useless unless you are visiting the actual tower.

Okay, that is my beef, I just needed to point that out because their really should be someone in charge of planning in the city that should know better....seeing that it is the driving force in just about every urban planning school now.

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Want to see one of the WORST buildings in all of Norfolk?

DSC05520.JPG

If you don't know this atrocity at first look, don't be ashamed. This is the Midtown Tunnel building. Most people never actually see it, which is definitely a good thing, since the only way you could get more 60s is if the VDOT employees have to disco at work. :sick:

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Want to see one of the WORST buildings in all of Norfolk?

DSC05520.JPG

If you don't know this atrocity at first look, don't be ashamed. This is the Midtown Tunnel building. Most people never actually see it, which is definitely a good thing, since the only way you could get more 60s is if the VDOT employees have to disco at work. :sick:

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I realize this is very last minute but friends at 5forty design are holding the first of a series of discussion/fun nights where a group of local architects, designers, and possibly contractors come together to discuss various topics in design. These are meant to be fun, but thought provoking. This should also be a good chance to meet and network with others in the design fields. They

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