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Discovery West: Skanska Downtown Mixed-Use Development


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27 minutes ago, shasta said:

I agree..it's looking very 80's...... and in a bad way.

A glass curtain wall is ok but I'd like to see a little variety up the building..something.

Looks like they thought they did this by stepping it up and throwing trees up there.

The monolithic glass element reads as a solid .

 

I'm also still trying to understand what is going on with their renderings...are these different phases or different schemes?

Yeah, I think the trees are the main innovation these days, kind of like all our glass buildings are hitting puberty. Also the sculpture of the design is more "deconstructionist" than glass buildings of the 80's, where the architect was usually trying to either make a design evoking historical architecture (e.g. Transco Tower, Norwest Tower in Minneapolis) or else create an abstract sculpture that was still usually symmetrical and appealed to psychological feelings of order and aspiration (Pennzoil Place, Fountain Place, Wells Fargo). Kind of like atonality in music, the geometry of BIG or Rem Koolhaas seems to want to be unconventional and not quite pleasing.

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I think it's safe. Something is offputting. 

And yet, I must admit I like it. I'm a sucker for the international style. I like particularly black glass. Two Houston Center for me is still a relatively unsung building. Even with the construction. (I'll admit, I personally have my fingers crossed that this begin soon.)

I'm actually interested in the trees? I've heard there are problems with trees on buildings beyond their unsubtle voguishness and ubiquity. Not only that they need so and so much steel and concrete to keep hoisted up there, but that they begin to die immediately. How true is this? 




 

Edited by EllenOlenska
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22 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Is it safe now for me to admit I hate it? 😄

I would prefer a less disjointed curve with a horizontal pattern instead of this building's vertical. Not necessarily exactly like the buildings in these photos, but something along these lines. The Skanska design looks blocky to me...like, literally lining up blocks in a curved pattern. 

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Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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I'd be OK with something like those above.

They are still glass dominant curtain walls but the subtle details make them more interesting and less monolithic.

 

Let's hope the renderings are just initial studies and they challenge themselves to  work on the final orientation and detailing as the project moves through the design phases.

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On 2/28/2021 at 2:14 PM, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Looking at the façades on other BIG projects just makes me go "WHAAA???" with Discovery West.  https://bit.ly/3bNnIdJ

A lot of those honestly make me lose respect for them. Too much of the "looky-there!" school of architecture, where the goal is just to show off some gravity-defying feat made possible by the use of steel, or some other magic trick. Looky-there! - a building that leans outward! Looky-there! - that one twists! Looky-there! - it's like a stack of blocks, and the blocks are going to faaaaaalll - no wait, they didn't!!

Probably the most famous Texas building in the "looky-there!" school is the JPMorgan Chase tower in Dallas, the one with the hole in it. Texas Heritage Plaza in Houston might be a contender for this school (an old-looking building sticking out of a new-looking building). Kids like these buildings.

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2 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

Kids like these buildings.

Well, I guess that means my taste matches my advanced age then because Heritage Plaza (no ‘Texas’ in the name) is a hideous monstrosity and the building with the hole in it in Dallas is... thankfully in Dallas.

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13 hours ago, j_cuevas713 said:

Anyone know timeline?

Skanska plans to announce the construction timeline for 1550 on the Green after it receives all of the required permits. Records filed with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation show that construction of the building could begin as early as June 1, with an estimated completion date of May 1, 2023. 

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8 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Well, I guess that means my taste matches my advanced age then because Heritage Plaza (no ‘Texas’ in the name) is a hideous monstrosity and the building with the hole in it in Dallas is... thankfully in Dallas.

 

11 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

A lot of those honestly make me lose respect for them. Too much of the "looky-there!" school of architecture, where the goal is just to show off some gravity-defying feat made possible by the use of steel, or some other magic trick. Looky-there! - a building that leans outward! Looky-there! - that one twists! Looky-there! - it's like a stack of blocks, and the blocks are going to faaaaaalll - no wait, they didn't!!

Probably the most famous Texas building in the "looky-there!" school is the JPMorgan Chase tower in Dallas, the one with the hole in it. Texas Heritage Plaza in Houston might be a contender for this school (an old-looking building sticking out of a new-looking building). Kids like these buildings.

Does 2 Houston Center just absolutely do it for you two?

We have the most boring and safe architecture. The rest of the world gets something new and exciting and we here in Cowtown yell at it to get off our lawn. DARN KIDS.

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14 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

Does 2 Houston Center just absolutely do it for you two?

Not me. I'm the one who posted the link to BIG's more interesting work. I'm continuously disappointed (when not disgusted) by the timidity of Houston architecture. But Heritage Plaza is still awful.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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42 minutes ago, Montrose1100 said:

 

Does 2 Houston Center just absolutely do it for you two?

We have the most boring and safe architecture. The rest of the world gets something new and exciting and we here in Cowtown yell at it to get off our lawn. DARN KIDS.

Did anything in my post suggest I only like boring and safe architecture? One can have bold, innovative architecture without resorting to silly tricks and gimmickry. 

 

9 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Well, I guess that means my taste matches my advanced age then because Heritage Plaza (no ‘Texas’ in the name) is a hideous monstrosity and the building with the hole in it in Dallas is... thankfully in Dallas.

My post was obviously intended as a criticism of those buildings and I don't see how you could have possibly read it otherwise.

 

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25 minutes ago, H-Town Man said:

My post was obviously intended as a criticism of those buildings and I don't see how you could have possibly read it otherwise.

I didn't. I was merely relieved that my taste is not that of a kid. (I'm being somewhat facetious, here.) Though, I must admit, I personally think even BIG's most gimmicky projects beat Heritage Plaza hands down.

 

Added note: My post with the link to photos of other BIG projects was specifically referring to their façades and not necessarily to the designs of the structures themselves.

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16 minutes ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

I didn't. I was merely relieved that my taste is not that of a kid. (I'm being somewhat facetious, here.) Though, I must admit, I personally think even BIG's most gimmicky projects beat Heritage Plaza hands down.

 

Added note: My post with the link to photos of other BIG projects was specifically referring to their façades and not necessarily to the designs of the structures themselves.

Ok. I did like some of the buildings in the image results you linked to. But some of them were gimmicky.

 

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3 hours ago, Montrose1100 said:

 

Does 2 Houston Center just absolutely do it for you two?

We have the most boring and safe architecture. The rest of the world gets something new and exciting and we here in Cowtown yell at it to get off our lawn. DARN KIDS.

Cheer up. It's not all bad. On 2nd thought, do whatever you want. I'm just here for the photos and renderings too. Ya'll can keep the blah, blah. 

9529a982a0b917e4487ff26fae50e8c3.jpg

 

 

Edited by Response
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1 hour ago, Response said:

Cheer up. It's not all bad. On 2nd thought, do whatever you want. I'm just here for the photos and renderings too. Ya'll can keep the blah, blah. 

It's really all bad. The Palm trees are brown, the recycled designs are boring, and the security guards of Houston Center are arguing with me on IG.

I'm mostly playing around. I'm Houston's biggest fan and hater. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/2/2021 at 12:05 PM, Montrose1100 said:

We have the most boring and safe architecture. The rest of the world gets something new and exciting and we here in Cowtown yell at it to get off our lawn. DARN KIDS.

The folks in Tel Aviv complain about their architecture all the time. Last time I looked, they had 200 skyscrapers going up and all variations on a theme....

ROM_TLV_02.jpg
 

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I get it. People just like to b¡tch. I realize that this is the exclusive purpose for which the internet was created. But it's odd that there would be a forum dedicated to Houston Architecture if EVERY building in Houston was safe and boring. Even odder to want to be a moderator of that website.

It would be like a homophobe moderating a gay booty call site.
Fascinated and disgusted at the same time?

🏳️‍🌈

But i'm not judging. Everybody has bad days and over reacts every now and then. Except me. Just kidding. I over react all the fcking time. 🙃

I like this building just fine. No it isn't perfect. But the pluses far out weigh the negatives IMO. 

1. Adds some height to this part of DT

2. Completely covers up the worst side of the Embassy.

3. I happen to love glass buildings ever since I first saw the Towering Inferno burn up when I was a baby. 

4. Makes DiscoGreen just that much nicer. 

5. Roof (whichever building) has multi levels and/or slopes. Not all flat like most. This building has at least some drama to it. 

1550-on-the-green-01.jpg

 

Now look at who's posting blah blah. Don't read this.

Edited by Response
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1 hour ago, Response said:

I get it. People just like to b¡tch. I realize that this is the exclusive purpose for which the internet was created. But it's odd that there would be a forum dedicated to Houston Architecture if EVERY building in Houston was safe and boring. Even odder to want to be a moderator of that website.

Animated GIF

I'm just kidding around Response. I'd much rather Houston have a healthy stock of safe and boring than sad and ugly.

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5 hours ago, Response said:

I get it. People just like to b¡tch. I realize that this is the exclusive purpose for which the internet was created. But it's odd that there would be a forum dedicated to Houston Architecture if EVERY building in Houston was safe and boring. Even odder to want to be a moderator of that website.

It would be like a homophobe moderating a gay booty call site.
Fascinated and disgusted at the same time?

🏳️‍🌈

But i'm not judging. Everybody has bad days and over reacts every now and then. Except me. Just kidding. I over react all the fcking time. 🙃

I like this building just fine. No it isn't perfect. But the pluses far out weigh the negatives IMO. 

1. Adds some height to this part of DT

2. Completely covers up the worst side of the Embassy.

3. I happen to love glass buildings ever since I first saw the Towering Inferno burn up when I was a baby. 

4. Makes DiscoGreen just that much nicer. 

5. Roof (whichever building) has multi levels and/or slopes. Not all flat like most. This building has at least some drama to it. 

1550-on-the-green-01.jpg

 

Now look at who's posting blah blah. Don't read this.

If you squint, tilt your head to the right, spin around three times, hop on one leg, and say "Hines" four times into a mirror it sort of looks like there's a supertall peeking out from behind the building. One can dream.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sorry no pictures and I didn’t get a great look since I noticed at the last second but I saw a large bobcat loading stuff into a dump truck. I might be able to swing by later and get a shot. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
7 hours ago, tangledwoods said:

Skanska has a prebid meeting on May 3rd.  you might see some more renderings if you attend.  Just make sure you tell them you are a contractor interested in bidding not a nosy internet forum troll.

 

https://media-exp1.licdn.com/dms/image/C4E22AQHOmYBT7rHhfg/feedshare-shrink_2048_1536/0/1619122278382?e=1622073600&v=beta&t=ZvCqgdqJipRD60diV9pJUPT01X_NeS86-cw2DZ9jjfw

Austin Powers Doctor Evil GIF

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  • 3 weeks later...
12 hours ago, TheSirDingle said:

👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀 👀

Tie Backs (for reinforcing retaining walls) and Soldier Piers (For load spreading for the foundation I think)1984736778_opopopopopqwe.PNG.f8b6869b13ba85a38682b8721cfc0817.PNG

Air Rights:

25987318_opopopqwe.PNG.42ecd3f125902dd91b68f3c9003f326f.PNG

List after April 1st 

229770913_opiopiopiopiopqwe.PNG.4761d7d9423e326fc436dec3114db8c5.PNG

I don’t think I’ve ever seen air rights be referenced on a Houston permit. Why would that be a thing without zoning? 

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Oh that's what they've been building? It's been there as an open square since last week but my wife and I thought it was going to be an art installation or something.. Pretty cool this is a sign of this project moving ahead after all.

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9 hours ago, MarathonMan said:

Quick question:  Are these mock-ups required to be displayed?  If so, why?

I think it's something done to validate designs onsite. Essentially to make sure the designs work if there's any strange lighting or odd conditions at the site that weren't accounted for in the design process and could affect how the building looks.

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  1. this is going to be a tricky building to build
  2. that floor plan makes sense but hot digidty that is about 13lbs in a 10lb bag
  3. skanska stock is at pretty much an all time high, they got money so might as well pump it into houston
  4. I wonder if part of their underground work will be future connectivity to their other block to the north
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They have put together an all-star team of design, hopefully this bodes well for what they think of the Houston market and any other holdings they have *ahem* Montrose *ahem*.

The design, given the space its working with (can it be any tighter?), has been growing on me and I'm at the point now where if they choose the right glass it could be stunning. 

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1 minute ago, j_cuevas713 said:

I feel like Embassy Suites is going to remodel their facade soon. They’re going to be the ugly kid on the block if they don’t do something. 

"Going to be" as opposed to "is?"

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