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Everything posted by arche_757

  1. I’m of the impression the compound is designed with security in mind. Period. It is architecturally significant, but it isn’t destined to be a “feel free to walk off the street and just mill about” sort of place.
  2. Amen to that @tangledwoods regarding clients who are organized versus those who aren’t... That said the Aga Kahn Foundation probably doesn’t build all too often, and may not be as experienced as a local hotel or gas station developer. Neither does the MFAH, but I would suspect these would be rewarding and quality clients despite the overall lack of experience.
  3. Hardly worthy of an announcement. Guess things are slow if this is news worthy for Ion.
  4. I’m just going to go out on a limb and suppose the architect is a tad zealous with regard to controlling the details here. That is reinforced by the developer/owner who likely wants to have as crisp and perfect of a job as possible. I suspect that money is not an issue for this project in the slightest. It is the centerpiece of this foundations American presence, and a prominent one at that.
  5. Project like this will have a near endless stream of RFI’s I’ll wager. It’s all figured into the price. Question for any Architect’s/Engineers and Contractors on here: have any of you ever worked on a high profile project with a crazy high budget - such as a museum or building like this?
  6. Was expecting a big non-Houston company to be a part of that announcement. Typical click-bait headline.
  7. To me - it’s kinda Austin in a nutshell recently with regard to their many tall buildings. Most are stretched residential towers that are tall for the sake of being tall and nothing else. I think Texas Commerce Tower isn’t ugly, it’s far more simplistic in what it is trying to be than Red Rocket over yonder. It also, if you recall, would have been the 3rd or 4th tallest building in town if the oil bust hadn’t occurred. Oh well. Good for Austin. They deserve some tall buildings filled with whatever it is they’re filled with. I understand they’ve got some flights to places like Paris and London nowadays too. To think the whole city wouldn’t exist but for Mirabeau B. Lamar’s utter disdain for Sam Houston!
  8. Seems odd that this big development would go in right next to a massive tank farm with (I assume) multiple pipeline terminus’ just across the fence line to the north/northeast. Oh well. I’m sure the tank farm has been in planning for a lot longer than this, so at least it wasn’t an unknown.
  9. @Ross good stuff. Thanks for the information. Personally I hope they do build this. I’m a big proponent of alternative energy as a supplement to our more “traditional” methods of energy production (natural gas, nuclear being the primary sources I favor), and hope it’s wildly successful. Goodness knows it won’t suffer from extreme winter weather out that far into the Gulf. It’s primarily August and September to worry over for anything offshore.
  10. That’s a great point @Ross. I completely forgot about the systems in place/being installed in the North Sea. Windmills are, by their very nature designed to “capture” the energy of the wind (which I know you’re quite aware of this fact-so bear with me), so in that respect I would think there is some concern about survivability during any big storm. I’ve no doubt that the design engineers will be sure to account for potential wind speeds in excess of 140mph+ While we seldom see those sort of sustained winds or gusts on land, take note of any number of hurricanes that have made landfall over the last decade+ and how they’ve rapidly intensified, then wind speed has downgraded closer to land. So the windmills will need to sustain a higher wind than just about anything on land, and in particular because access to them for major repairs would be quite difficult I’d expect.
  11. I would think the birds will less likely to strike a tower over the open water than on land since they are only flying across the Gulf and not stopping to roost for the night as they would while traversing land. What concerns me: Hurricanes. I realize they can engineer these structures to withstand specific conditions, but they (engineers) do the same for the Gulf oil rigs and those are still largely at the mercy of storms. Given our continued growth in this state, lack of other new power solutions being built at a fast enough pace to keep up with our growth we must build new energy sources. This will help to alleviate some of the strain on the ERCOT grid, but I’ll wager by the time it’s completely up and running those 2 million households will have been built statewide. Isn’t the Port Arthur site (which is much smaller) the alternative option?
  12. There is a fine line between a nice looking super tall and one that is not nice looking. I think this building is not overly attractive - based on the renderings. It’s striving for too much. There is too many things happening. Look at Gensler and Shanghai Tower for a quality super tall, or IM Pei and the Library Tower in LA. Those are both nice tall buildings. I shall not say anything about our local super tall besides it’s utilitarian design works well in the skyline, and is “also” an IM Pei building though designed by partner Henry Cobb.
  13. @Luminare what I’ve heard from clients is: they’re wanting to get started on projects so that when they are completed we will be emerging/have emerged from recession… seems many are thinking that it won’t be as deep or painful as others. Only time will tell?
  14. Some thoughts: 1) the Embassy Suites was absolutely V.E.’d. The original design wasn’t architectural magic, but it was better than what it became. 2) Don’t thank the developers for not buying the whole block because they foresaw a nice future development taking the other 2/3 of the block. They simply could not afford it or they would have. And, if they had, there would have been one of two outcomes: a) a more impressive hotel constructed - think Marriott Marquis or Hilton Americas-esque; or b) a surface parking lot for the current hotel in lieu of parking structure. 3) Don’t hate the rinky-dink hotels too much. Not every hotel can be a Ritz or Waldorf Astoria. As great as those brands are, they’re not affordable to most folks, and lacking some more business/family scale pricing helps to draw more people into Downtown. I will wager the big oak will get moved into the location (near) the southern most tower crane? Seems like a big corner and that makes sense. I could be mistaken, since the base for the crane is a hefty construct itself and removing that might be cost prohibitive?
  15. Looks like they added a black box. That’s great, we will know what the hell happened in the event it plummets back to earth.
  16. You never know. Everyone starts somewhere. Hines started with low rise office buildings. Maybe this will be a larger (their largest) development?
  17. @H-Town Man, @houstontexasjack, I can certainly see what both of you are saying. I don’t think this is such a big deal, but that’s my opinion, and you each are entitled to your own. I think what should be discussed is codifying development guidelines for the Museum District. That would be advantageous for all, but we know that’s not likely. At least not any real toothy codes that would force any future development to plan better for its locale. @H-Town Man I honestly do not consider the area literally past two blocks north of Binz to be the Museum District. To me the district is about 2 blocks each side of Binz, and the “L” at Montrose for a couple blocks. Hopefully this can be expanded through thoughtful development, and some gentle guidance from the City. That’s my opinion.
  18. This is such an odd hill to die on. What is Fannin? It isn’t a great street that is for certain, if anything it ought to be reduced from the lanes it has to something more pedestrian friendly. Putting in a skybridge or not putting one in will not make or break the street. Do I want the Med Center to extend further north and consume the quasi district we call “The Museum District”? I don’t know? Maybe; the MD is such a hodge-podge of buildings, I mean, isn’t The Menil considered a part of it? Several miles away. That’s ludicrous. I would have rather seen a greater push for museum district uniform development - like building the new HSPVA in the place of any of the newer apartments that have been constructed along the periphery. Since we are talking wishfully here. We have some great museums, but maybe we ought to focus on Binz and turning it into a great street before we get upset that a few blocks north just beyond what we would consider the actual district there is a sky bridge for a medical development. What then do you think of the tunnels under Fannin and Main? Those were made more interesting by an artist, but they’re still tunnels for the sake of being tunnels to allow people to transit between museum buildings without having to engage the street. I realize it is partially for security reasons, as it allows a central entry point and then you can have guests move freely through your properties, but they are still tunnels. In a city where tunnels killed off any semblance of normal urban development in the 1970s-1990s downtown. If anything, @H-Town Man you might want to hang your hat on the fact the architecture isn’t very good for such a large development. I get the issue with tunnels and sky bridges, I do, but again, not with regard to anything medical. The precedent for being upset with that passed over a decade ago when the TMC built a loop of skybridges all over the area.
  19. I can see everyone’s point, but I doubt most people will use the skybridge (if provided) in lieu of walking at a ground level that looks engaging. I type with my own experience as the basis for my decision. I’ve got 2 young children and while I do often pick the path of least resistance, that often times does not involve me seeking out a skybridge and then either 1-2 escalator and/or elevator trips. I really do suspect this is being done solely for medical patients. At the end of the day it looks like this project (as a whole) will move forward and create a better urban environment than what was there before. Skybridge or not.
  20. Understood. There have to be exceptions to any ordinance though, and medical facilities would be that exception. I am guessing the designers went through multiple approaches to best accommodating their clients goals on this project. I could be wrong? Again, I do understand where you are coming from and agree with much of your assessment/opinion.
  21. @H-Town Man I think the point you’re making is certainly valid, but I think you’re missing the fact this is an eye doctor building a campus complete with hotel for his patients first, everyone else second.
  22. The skybridge so they can move patients easily from one building to the hotel. Unless I am mistaken in where the skybridge is to be built. That would, in my opinion, be an acceptable reasoning for any skybridge. Hopefully the streetscape is still energetic with walkers and gawkers. **I just dealt with my father-in-law having eye surgery, folks who’ve had eye procedures typically cannot drive. The clinic where this took place was absolutely slam packed, and the traffic driving in/out to both drop off and pick up was crazy. I can see where if you’ve got the financing why not build a little more convenience into everything for patients. I don’t mind skybridges. It’s our terrible sidewalk culture here that’s the root of the problem, not the dozen or so skybridges around town.
  23. There I fixed it for you! But to your point, yes, architectural websites are often either overly artistic with difficult to figure out graphic interfaces, or they are oddly outdated with regard to projects they feature. Many firms even seemingly hide their actual work, which is odd, particularly since that IS what an architect does. First, second and third. HOK (for example) has oodles of info about some “place making,” or their take on “the future of workplaces” before you can get to what it is they have done. Some firms even have people listed ahead of projects. Of course, the target audience isn’t other Architect’s.
  24. Shame on you @Montrose1100 for not posting pics of this versus discussing it and the neighboring buildings architectural merit. Tisk-tisk! I think the issue could be addressed if the Fed sold the land to this developer and then they built another 1-2 high rises and additional walkable low/mid rises. I’ll keep looking for my rose colored glasses in the interim! I don’t see how the Fed could have drastically reduced its footprint given the nature of what it is.
  25. When the Federal Reserve Bank was constructed there was little in the way of new development along Allen Parkway. Now, this is the point where some make the argument that “…if Houston had proper city planning/zoning controls…” Of course then we would also be looking at the ridiculous obstacles often created by the well intentioned, but heavy hand of city planners with regard to zoning.
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