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Marriott Marquis - New GRB Convention Center Hotel + Retail


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The advantage of being at work early....

https://morrisarchitects.wordpress.com/2017/01/24/morris-huitt-zollars-contribution-to-downtown-houston-super-bowl-li/              

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In response to the questions about rooms and the convention center there is a report that the GRB commissioned in 2011 which clearly points out how we stack up in every category and was probably the catalyst for everything going on around this area now. I tried to download it but it is too large a file.

It pictures every major convention center their capacities, sizes, hotel rooms  and much more. Its called

the George R. Brown Convention Center 2025 Master Plan. I'm not sure where I ran across this but it's over 100 pages and full of interesting info. Its 9.5MB so it wont go on here.

It is a very thorough evaluation of what we have and what we need to compete with every major convention city. I hope you can find it if interested.

 

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Ummm, you mean the catenary lines along one side of the construction site? How would they be an issue?

seeing the crane that was installing the crane this past weekemd, it seemed to me that the clearance for it to pass under the catenary power lines would be fairly tight.

not to mention bringing in all the materials needed to construct the hotel.

I'm sure they will be able to do it, but I think it will be a bit of a challenge.

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seeing the crane that was installing the crane this past weekemd, it seemed to me that the clearance for it to pass under the catenary power lines would be fairly tight.

not to mention bringing in all the materials needed to construct the hotel.

I'm sure they will be able to do it, but I think it will be a bit of a challenge.

 

 

Assuming the contractor has previously constructed a building, I doubt they will find it particularly challenging to figure a way to delivery cranes and materials to this site. Thousands of buildings have been constructed on sites far more restricted than this one. 

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99% of the materials used to build any conventionally constructed building, including mobile cranes used to construct the cranes are of standard width and height. No height than any standard truck using downtown streets everyday. A few permit loads, for HVAC, etc...may be taken to site. But these would be done overnight on the weekends.

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All of those trees facing the Convention Center (in the pic from Sunday) are now gone.  Given their age (20+ years?), I guess I was hoping they could be saved.  Such is progress. 

 

Wow. Guess they just branched out to much. Would have been a great asset for Avenida, and softened the hard edges around there.

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With the Hess parking lot blocked off and the rendering that shows a pedestrian bridge from the hotel to the new residential building, I wonder if construction is being coordinated a bit?

Will the Hess resi tower use the same lay down yard, etc?

Coordinated construction or not?

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All of those trees facing the Convention Center (in the pic from Sunday) are now gone.  Given their age (20+ years?), I guess I was hoping they could be saved.  Such is progress. 

 Oh whoops. I missed your comment.

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I'm not sure when this was taken, and it was copied from a book thus the poor quality, but it shows how much progress has been made Downtown getting rid of those nasty surface lots. Union Station is in the lower right hand corner. 

 

 

post-194-0-09087600-1400690047_thumb.jpg

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This may be an unpopular opinion, but I like the latest design best. I think the earlier versions looked conceptual and clunky; and they have been refined into a more elegant tower. Flashy is not necessarily better.

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I agree with you fernz. The others still seemed to be a little over the top and very conceptual. The crown in the latest design looks a lot sleeker and more thought out. The first one looks like a missile silo lol. The latest one looks a lot more controled and majestic. I also like the massing a lot better on the bottom. That first image for the massing at the bottom looks like something that was a place holder for what is there now. Designs always go through Refinement and mature. The latest is a more thought out design.

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I'm not sure when this was taken, and it was copied from a book thus the poor quality, but it shows how much progress has been made Downtown getting rid of those nasty surface lots. Union Station is in the lower right hand corner. 

post-194-0-09087600-1400690047.jpg

 

Taken at the height of the Disco Era, judging by the presence of One Houston (1978) and the absence of the tower at South Texas College of Law (started in 1982)

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This may be an unpopular opinion, but I like the latest design best. I think the earlier versions looked conceptual and clunky; and they have been refined into a more elegant tower. Flashy is not necessarily better.

Sorry, but this hotel was designed to be "flashy" otherwise why build a huge rooftop pool in the shape of Texas and have over 1000 rooms? Besides it's not like a lot of Houston's buildings are flashy anyway, if anything most are designed pretty conservatively. Houston could use a bit more flashier buildings IMO. A lot of convention center hotels are being built with the wow factor these days. Look at lighting on the Omni in Dallas, whether one likes it or not, no one could argue that it isn't flashy. While the end result (if this truly is the end result) of the Marquis is not entirely horrible, it is a bit disappointing compared to its initial renderings.

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Sorry, but this hotel was designed to be "flashy" otherwise why build a huge rooftop pool in the shape of Texas and have over 1000 rooms? Besides it's not like a lot of Houston's buildings are flashy anyway, if anything most are designed pretty conservatively. Houston could use a bit more flashier buildings IMO. A lot of convention center hotels are being built with the wow factor these days. Look at lighting on the Omni in Dallas, whether one likes it or not, no one could argue that it isn't flashy. While the end result (if this truly is the end result) of the Marquis is not entirely horrible, it is a bit disappointing compared to its initial renderings.

 

They are called "initial" renderings or concepts for a reason....because they are the beginning of a design. Most of the time those designs get thrown out the window very quickly because its just to get ideas out there.

 

There is a difference between "flashy", "conservative", and simply a mature design. I'm sure to some, every glass building looks the same, but this one is pretty "flashy" if we were to use this kind of language. The lines and massing on this building are superb and crisp. The material chooses are spot on and enhances the buildings over form with long horizontal lines and materials for the base and nice lines that accentuate the verticality of the tower. They probably only put that crown so high and so over-exaggerated in the beginning because it "looked cool". Its not flashy or good at all its simply ridiculous how tall that crown was and it looked rather flimsy. The drum which pierced the orthogonal tower was awkward looking and didn't match the rest of the overall composition.

 

If you want "flashy" for the sake of being flashy then go look at stuff that are going up in Dubai or China. Don't get me wrong, there are some amazing buildings in those places, but many of those buildings would never exist in reality if it weren't for governments or kings trying to inflate their own ego's. Or maybe you want another kind of "flashy" then go and find some crazy 'Googie' architecture which was exactly that, flashy, and meant to catch the eye, but because they tried so hard they are now very dated (some can be quite charming and colorful, of course).

 

Cool architecture isn't something that is just flashy for the sake of being flashy. This building speaks to what is happening in houston which is the city is maturing and growing. Landmark buildings will come, but they have to be the result of the process and not just because they wanted to do something "cool". I mean I want stuff from people like Zaha, Foster, Grimshaw, BIG, or the cool stuff that are going up in Spain, Germany, or England, but its got to be natural.

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I'm not sure when this was taken, and it was copied from a book thus the poor quality, but it shows how much progress has been made Downtown getting rid of those nasty surface lots. Union Station is in the lower right hand corner.

It was prior to 1982 as the Four Seasons is not there. Assuming a 2 year construction period (pure guess), it would be prior to 1980 but after 1978 as a previous poster indicated. Since there is no First City tower (I think if it was there it should be seen from this angle), that means that since it opened in 1981, and construction likely started a couple years earlier, we are looking at 1978 or 1979....

Thanks for this! Wonderful!

No Discovery Green. No ballparks. No Park Shops, no Convention center. No Hilton. No First City Tower? Houston House is on an island! Wow.

Edited by UtterlyUrban
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The photo above is amazing (no need to replicate it again).  So many surface lots and they are virtually full!!

 

Another interesting item in it is the 30-story Holiday Inn, south of the Humble Bldg, looking all new and spiffy.  I wasn't a big fan of it even when it was new, but at least it wasn't a civic embarrassment.

 

In the lower right, we can see the Catholic church, the World Trade Center, and our beloved Greyhound Bus Station (before it moved south of Pierce Elevated).  I've never been in the "new" Trailways station, but the old Greyhound station was a bit on the gross side.  We were all happy when it moved.  Now ... I guess we want it to move again ...

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I'm not sure when this was taken, and it was copied from a book thus the poor quality, but it shows how much progress has been made Downtown getting rid of those nasty surface lots. Union Station is in the lower right hand corner.

post-194-0-09087600-1400690047.jpg

8F107010-0E19-4634-A8C9-EC833B69F155_zps

Edited by cloud713
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looks like we still have a long way to go.

 

If everything on the drawing board goes, a significant number of those surface lots that you see will be gone. 

 

The eastern side of downtown was pretty much worthless for years, this type of thing takes decades. 

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fwiw as I look out my window at the construction, I see the little lot next to the Hess garage is coned off with trailers on it.  Could be staging for the hotel, or maybe they're going to work on this piece as well.

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I love the new design - can't wait to relax by the rooftop Texas-shaped pool with a margarita when this thing finishes.

 

Also looking at the old photo  - I could not imagine walking across that sea of parking lots to get to work in the middle of a Texas summer - I would need a shower once I got to the office.

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