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Aga Khan Foundation: Islamic Community Center, First In U.S


torvald

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On 4/10/2021 at 10:55 PM, Skyboxdweller said:

The building reminds me of the entrance to the Shah's palace overlooking the great square in Isfahan. one of the treasures of the Safavid era. I was last there in 1977 , but I remember an elevated open air terrace under a roof supported by tall thin columns facing the irrigated gardens in the center of the square ( more of a rectangle ). The fractal geometry of the tile work and  niches and other decorative elements were at least  impressive those one might find on a Gothic cathedral in Western Europe. It's nice to see the continuation and modernization of an architecture that has historical resonance with this religious sect. 

Palacio_Aali_Qapu,_Isfahán,_Irán,_2016-09-20,_DD_58.jpg

When the elevations were first accidentally published, Skyboxdweller pointed out the similarity to the Shah's Palace in Isfahan. 

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1 minute ago, talltexan83 said:

I really like it.  Hopefully worth the wait.

I noticed the esplanade along Montrose?  Do we know if that have plans to add an esplanade on this stretch of Montrose?  That would be a great addition.

More than likely no? Thats one of those, "Well it will make the render look really nice" kind of things. The only way that would happen is if the city asked the developers of this to spruce up that stretch of Montrose as part of this development.

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There are certainly some nice structures being built along Buffalo Bayou - and elsewhere in town these days.  @Luminare summed up nicely this building/campus.

Many of us have complained over the years about the lack of true quality design here in Houston, but I think we have really seen some remarkable projects the last 5-7 years -including the lofty art institutions who sorta jump started this whole era.  This is possibly the first time since the 70s oil boom where such high quality architecture is being built all over town.  It’s a maturation process I think.  Now, we just need more local firms jumping into the fray!  

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I thought it was fascinating how frequently Moussavi brought up Houston's weather as a reason to include engaging outdoor patio spaces in the designs.  And while I laughed in my head when I heard that, I think it does get at something that Houston lets sneak by unappreciated, which is that with proper shading we actually have broad swathes of the year where outdoor activity is actually quite doable, especially outside the hottest parts of the day in the hottest months. 

I think the pandemic prompted some rethinking of this in areas such as outdoor dining, but having spent the last several years in DC and now being up in Boston, it's amazing how cities with even fewer months of usable outdoor weather (especially DC, they basically have our summers with a halfway decent winter tacked on for good measure) do a much better job of engaging outdoor spaces.  And the answer is basically just provide more shade, a touch less asphalt, and some helpful air movement.  I'm so glad this project and Moussavi are embracing this ethos/bringing it to Houston, and hope it'll keep spreading!

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33 minutes ago, tangledwoods said:

Spoke with someone familiar with the plans on this job, the hole they are digging is going to be around 50' deep.  Not sure if its underground parking or part of the building interior.  My guess would be parking.

Parking/rainwater retention. Many midrises have retention tanks underneath their bottommost parking level.

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4 hours ago, tangledwoods said:

drove by this morning, there is a daily parade of dump trucks leaving the site.  it is now hard to see the tops of the excavators as they are working down in the pit.  I think i saw 4 McCarthy people leaning on the cable rail this morning watching the orchestra.

Working in a refinery we always had spotters to watch for "man down" situations, spotting for obstructions unseen by the excavator operator and ready with construction proves looking for unseen pipes. Since the refinery was over 100 years old they often times didn't have detailed blue prints of things laid underground in the past. Better safe than sorry. Can't hit an unknown gas line, sewer pipe or product line, bad things can happen if one is hit accidentally. You have probably seen it happen to contractors in doing civil projects around town. There was a recent one on the news during the S. Shepherd construction where they hit a gas line and that neighborhood was shut down for hours.

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  • 1 month later...

glad you got the drone up!!  I drive by every morning, but you cant really see anything from the street right now.  They are using the little rubber tire crane to feed rebar down into the hole and the tower crane base showed up late last week.  Looks like they got it ready for the NW corner which will likely mean we will see another crane go up on the S or SE corner.

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Dumb question, but I'm a noob. What is the process they are using for the foundation walls? Are they pouring it layer by layer as they dig down? I have not seen that before.

Long story short the process they are using is likely called "soil nails"  here is a nifty website explaining things:

Soil nailing | Keller North America (keller-na.com)

the surface of the walls is similar to shotcrete that you see on a pool, but there is also a retention component drilled into the earth.

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1 hour ago, thatguysly said:

That is one heck of a foundation for the entire site seeing that the building is only on a portion.

From the rendering you can see that the plaza behind the main structure leads down to a grassy area, which I'm guessing is designed to be a usable space instead of burying the required volume of stormwater detention.

https://imgur.com/kagjQGK

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11 minutes ago, phillip_white said:

From the rendering you can see that the plaza behind the main structure leads down to a grassy area, which I'm guessing is designed to be a usable space instead of burying the required volume of stormwater detention.

https://imgur.com/kagjQGK

Great point about detention requirements. Looks like a creative way to meet them and not just have a giant detention basin onsite. 

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2 hours ago, tangledwoods said:

Long story short the process they are using is likely called "soil nails"  here is a nifty website explaining things:

Soil nailing | Keller North America (keller-na.com)

the surface of the walls is similar to shotcrete that you see on a pool, but there is also a retention component drilled into the earth.

Thanks! Learned something new and it's not even lunch time yet

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24 minutes ago, tangledwoods said:

Project is coming along quite nicely.  I am a bit suprised that they were able to get a lane closure permit on montrose.  Their trucks are crazy backing up traffic in the mornings and evenings. 

Ah yes. You are learning the number one rule above all rules. If you are a big enough person, client, company... people will bend over backwards to serve your wants and needs. This is just how the world works. If you are a small development why would any city approve a lane closure for you, but if you the Aga Khan...now thats different.

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On 4/6/2022 at 3:07 PM, tangledwoods said:

Project is coming along quite nicely.  I am a bit suprised that they were able to get a lane closure permit on montrose.  Their trucks are crazy backing up traffic in the mornings and evenings. 

It's Houston. You pay the permit fee and get the lane closure. Looks like $134 per lane per block per week for a street like Montrose. Details here http://www.gims.houstontx.gov/traffic/PermitDetails/RoadwayObstructionPermitDetails.aspx

Realistically, the City has to allow this, or it would be difficult to build things.

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