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  #21  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 1:46 PM
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I actually like the parks at the bottom of these buildings. Much better than just concrete plazas everywhere. I think the rivers edge should try to have more greenery than hardscape everywhere. These parks are great assets to the people in the buildings also, especially Riverpoint. Whatever restaurant they put in there will overlook a great park and the river. I do believe Wolf point should have had a plaza though. That could have been a great focal point on the river, could have had summer festivals and other functions there.
     
     
  #22  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 4:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
Didn't 311 S Wacker already illustrate the absurdity of the tower-in-park design
No. . . 311 was designed as 3 identical towers for that site. . . The park you're referring to was a mere afterthought. . . [/nitpick]

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  #23  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 5:40 PM
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^The landscaping at 311 is still considered a mere interim use, AFAIK. Remember that strange hotel proposal?
     
     
  #24  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 6:09 PM
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This is a very unique site, and furthermore, the area could actually really use the green space. This gets a pass IMO. I think it will be great for the area.
     
     
  #25  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 8:21 PM
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The land on 311 S Wacker's block that isn't being taken up by the building was sold earlier this years so that plaza and the parking lot should be disappearing eventually.
     
     
  #26  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 9:01 PM
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I'm with Tom Servo on this. I understand the site constraints, but that's still no reason for it to be any less urban....
     
     
  #27  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 9:24 PM
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I am not sure how having 2 50 story plus buildings with green plazas go up is not urban enough for anyone. The transformation taking place at the split in the river is truly amazing. Save the concrete plazas for inside the Loop or the new Realtors building. These "parks" and the upcoming riverwalk improvements make the Chicago River something to behold in my opinion.
     
     
  #28  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 9:32 PM
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I agree. If anything we have enough concrete "plaza's" downtown and a lack of quality pocket parks. During the summer most would I think would rather sit on some soft grass or sit under a tree with a view then sit on a bench or stand in an empty plaza.
     
     
  #29  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 10:58 PM
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Originally Posted by nomarandlee View Post
I agree. If anything we have enough concrete "plaza's" downtown and a lack of quality pocket parks. During the summer most would I think would rather sit on some soft grass or sit under a tree with a view then sit on a bench or stand in an empty plaza.
All 3 of the "plazas" at the River have been continually described as "parks" by the developers. None will be anything more than green, sterile corporate plazas where the use will be for the tenants of the property. There will be very little lounging around by the public.

The only true park in the area where the public will feel comfortable will be the extended Riverwalk where the public will have unfettered access.

Last edited by Pilton; Dec 29, 2013 at 11:53 PM. Reason: no to very little lounging around
     
     
  #30  
Old Posted Dec 29, 2013, 11:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Pilton View Post
All 3 of the "plazas" at the River have been continually described as "parks" by the developers. None will be anything more than green, sterile corporate plazas where the use will be for the tenants of the property. There will be no lounging around by the public.

The only true park in the area where the public will feel comfortable will be the extended Riverwalk where the public will have unfettered access.
To whatever degree that is true I would rather have some grass and greenery that isn't accessible then an inaccessible blank cement patio if that is the two choices.
     
     
  #31  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 2:35 AM
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If the two parks connect then what's wrong with having parks???
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  #32  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 3:09 AM
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FYI guys, Tom is not claiming it should be a "more urban" design or complaining about it being a "concrete plaza". He is actually advocating exactly the opposite. He is calling for MORE concrete/hard surfaces a la Daley Center:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
I just wanna go on record saying I think the building itself kicks ass. I love the catilever design, pretty slick. Looks like a Robocop design or Bladerunner or something. I just feel like a Daley Center style plaza would have been a far more aesthetically pleasing and practical design. That is all.
Tom seems to absolutely love concrete/hardscape plazas and this is another case of it. I often disagree with this love affair, but in this case I agree. This building would be absolutely awesome with a Daley center style hardscape open plaza. We are already getting a nice grassy lawn at River Point so why do we need another here? A more useful site plan would be a "Daley Center West" style plaza that can be used as an assembly space for intense civic uses along the river. The city really can use another open assembly space in the West Loop for protests, farmers markets, celebrations, etc. instead of just relying solely on Daley Center.

Also having a wide open hardscape would further accent how freaking dope this design is and create a more sculptural base along the river. Having two huge new parks along the river will be awesome, but having a huge new park and a huge new plaza right next to each other along the river would be awesomer.
     
     
  #33  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 3:56 AM
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Originally Posted by ChiTownCity View Post
I'm with Tom Servo on this. I understand the site constraints, but that's still no reason for it to be any less urban....
I'm not at all. This site sucks and anything here is a huge improvement. The building itself is really cool.
     
     
  #34  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 5:36 AM
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Originally Posted by texcolo View Post
If the two parks connect then what's wrong with having parks???
Depends on whether the "parks" are readily available to the public. If they are green spaces fronting on walkways to get to the buildings and have amenities only available to tenants, commercial clients and renters, the "parks" are not really parks because they benefit only the development. It's called "gaming the system.". And, it's common.
     
     
  #35  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 6:53 AM
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@LouisVanDerWright

It's not so much that I'm in love with the open plaza in any and all applications. I'm in love with the open plaza when it works well with a building's design. And I feel that the generally austere and futuristic design of this building lends itself to a base designed in a similar fashion. It's use wouldn't differ in anyway, and I wasn't saying I think we need some kind of grand new civic space. I was merely venting my frustration with what is, in my opinion, a hideous design. I really just fundamentally hate the tower in a park design. I believe buildings and parks should remain separate in all cases. And specifically here, I think the design of the building is marred by the greenery and stupid curved pathways.

This is Chicago. Straight lines, right angles. Curves are only accepted in limited cases.

Inanyevent, I just wish we weren't so needlessly afraid of hard, blank surfaces. If greenery and summertime picnic spots is so vital to one's daily life, then perhaps The Village of Northbrook, Illinois is more suitable to their needs.

Edit: I just want to be clear. I'm not making some kind of absurd statement about how everything should be concrete and steel or whatever else along those lines. I'm not saying I don't like parks. I'm saying I think this building looks added atop a landscape architect's whimsical park design... just poor site integration from the start as I don't see why the greenery is necessary in the first place. But more to the point, the juxtaposition of curves against straight, veryical lines is too stark. Anyway, like I said, I think parks and buildings should always remain separate, however I do think there are many ways to incorporate greenery into the plaza of a building. Ways that make sense and that echo the design of the tower itself. Look at the CCTV tower in China. Its huge plaza is filled with greenery, though it is thoughtfully integrated and designed into the plaza itself, not simply a tower in a park. That's all. I'm done.

Last edited by Tom Servo; Dec 30, 2013 at 7:23 AM.
     
     
  #36  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 7:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom In Chicago View Post
No. . . 311 was designed as 3 identical towers for that site. . . The park you're referring to was a mere afterthought. . . [/nitpick]

. . .
Nitpicking aside, you understand my complaint. I reject this postmodern need for greenery; it's, to me, nothing more than a fear of urbanity.

Last edited by Tom Servo; Dec 30, 2013 at 7:29 AM.
     
     
  #37  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 9:39 AM
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Montgomery Ward had a fear of urbanity.
     
     
  #38  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 1:28 PM
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Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station View Post
Montgomery Ward had a fear of urbanity.
So did Olmsted - Central Park in NYC. Sometimes only one chance to get it right - be it park or corporate plaza.
     
     
  #39  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 4:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
A more useful site plan would be a "Daley Center West" style plaza that can be used as an assembly space for intense civic uses along the river. The city really can use another open assembly space in the West Loop for protests, farmers markets, celebrations, etc. instead of just relying solely on Daley Center.

Also having a wide open hardscape would further accent how freaking dope this design is and create a more sculptural base along the river. Having two huge new parks along the river will be awesome, but having a huge new park and a huge new plaza right next to each other along the river would be awesomer.
While I agree, I think it's important to mention that the park aspect of the design was necessary for selling the 150 N. Riverside project to the neighboring condo owners at Randolph Place.
     
     
  #40  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2013, 5:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaSalle.St.Station View Post
Montgomery Ward had a fear of urbanity.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pilton View Post
So did Olmsted - Central Park in NYC. Sometimes only one chance to get it right - be it park or corporate plaza.
Idiotic. Use your head when reading and maybe you won't misunderstand me next time.
     
     
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