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  1. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by bailey View Post
    I've seen more than what has been released, much of this is still conceptual, and I know that "everyone is a critic", but really...it's just kind of a mess. I think the best of intentions to make something significant are going way overboard into form and "important" architecture over function and neighborhood cohesion. (of course as noted, there is still no final design, no budget and not timeline...so nothing is set in stone)

    and no... it's not (at least the plan now) going to be tall. Which i don't think it needs to be there. Much more in line with surrounding buildings.
    Agreed, it doesn't need to be tall, as I can imagine something the height of Compuware fitting in there or a little taller.

    But as far as a glass mess, I'm just praying that this isn't some kind of Frank Gehry reject.

  2. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    Examples, please.

    You know that more people than just the owner use a building. In fact, it's more likely that the owner spends very little time in the building. So I question whether or not you're just taking creative license with reality.

    I could tell you that the Book-Cadillac, to cite one example, provided its users with an air of elegance and dignity, that its guests were in fact worthy of such a high-class space. And yes, so many decades later, it still looks elegant on the exterior too. If Dan Gilbert wants to hire an architect who lacks artistic talent, that's his prerogative. Just don't call it "groundbreaking" or "world-class".
    See, whatever you're talking about doesn't even make sense. It's your opinion that the building doesn't appeal to you, but even your description of the Book-Cadillac basically argues against what you said in the previous post. It is pretty much a hotel that is "gunning for the postcard shot, with worldwide acclaim and recognition" with an architecture style that is basically a copycat of older European styles. Book-Cadillac was purpose built to be pretentious and irrelevant to the context of the surrounding area. As most landmark buildings are, no matter the time period.

  3. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
    See, whatever you're talking about doesn't even make sense. It's your opinion that the building doesn't appeal to you, but even your description of the Book-Cadillac basically argues against what you said in the previous post. It is pretty much a hotel that is "gunning for the postcard shot, with worldwide acclaim and recognition" with an architecture style that is basically a copycat of older European styles. Book-Cadillac was purpose built to be pretentious and irrelevant to the context of the surrounding area. As most landmark buildings are, no matter the time period.
    But unlike modernist bullshit, the interior spaces of the Book-Cadillac are rational and well-defined. There is no confusion as to whether you're outdoors or in the lobby. There is a well-organized hierarchy of travel paths. There is no blurring between the roof and the exterior walls. The facade is well-defined and embellished, and not plotted from a mathematical software program.

    This is the way buildings were designed for over 5000 years. I don't know why we're suddenly expected to live and work in a series of out-of-context avant-garde sculptures. Just because we can?--well, that's not a very good reason now, is it?

    If you want to construct a model of a modernist building, just take a sheet of chicken wire, bend it into whatever shape you feel like, and cover it in Saran Wrap. Voila! A groundbreaking master work of architecture! No skill, talent or knowledge necessary!
    Last edited by ghettopalmetto; March-05-15 at 10:34 AM.

  4. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    This is the way buildings were designed for over 5000 years. I don't know why we're suddenly expected to live and work in a series of out-of-context avant-garde sculptures. Just because we can?--well, that's not a very good reason now, is it?
    worst. argument. ever.

  5. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    worst. argument. ever.
    Bullshit. People have built in traditional ways because THEY WORK. Appreciate your technical commentary, though.

    If this modernist stuff is so great and wonderful, let's hear your justification for it. Please do educate us, and inform us as to the incredible amount of skill it takes to crumple aluminum foil. I just think that you, like this architect, are simply looking for some kind of ego-boosting gratification from an exterior source. And if that's the case, I truly feel sorry for you.
    Last edited by ghettopalmetto; March-05-15 at 10:43 AM.

  6. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettopalmetto View Post
    Bullshit. People have built in traditional ways because THEY WORK.

    So if this modernist stuff is so great and wonderful, let's hear your justification for it. Please do educate us, and inform us as to the incredible amount of skill it takes to crumple aluminum foil.
    the traditional ways evolved over time with technology. until we mastered steel we couldnt build skyscrapers. would you have been sitting around saying the same crap 100 years ago when the first skyscrapers were going up? "well we have had lower structures for 5000 years and it has worked out pretty well." the profession of architecture has changed as technology has changed.

    why is everything so black and white with you? not all modern buildings are good, just like not all older structures are good. not all modern architects crumple saran wrap, which is a great cliche by the way, and does nothing but prove you simply hate modern architecture regardless of the process or intent of a structure. i provided you a video showing the process behind a building that you decried as being purely sculptural when in fact it isnt. just because you dont understand the thought process behind modern buildings doesnt mean they are without thought.

    you have a preference. fine. great. but painting everything modern with the same brush is foolish.
    Last edited by southen; March-05-15 at 10:58 AM.

  7. #32

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    What would the trio of museums be inside of this building? Auto, music, and coney dogs?

  8. #33

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    Look on the bright side. With a glass building we can see that colorful Quicken-style interior from outside.

  9. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock N Rye View Post
    What would the trio of museums be inside of this building? Auto, music, and coney dogs?
    I think at one point, Gilbert mentioned something about having a car museum. A rendering for this building I saw months ago showed each museum named for each of the Big 3 auto companies.

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    the traditional ways evolved over time with technology. until we mastered steel we couldnt build skyscrapers. would you have been sitting around saying the same crap 100 years ago when the first skyscrapers were going up? "well we have had lower structures for 5000 years and it has worked out pretty well." the profession of architecture has changed as technology has changed.

    why is everything so black and white with you? not all modern buildings are good, just like not all older structures are good. not all modern architects crumple saran wrap, which is a great cliche by the way, and does nothing but prove you simply hate modern architecture regardless of the process or intent of a structure. i provided you a video showing the process behind a building that you decried as being purely sculptural when in fact it isnt. just because you dont understand the thought process behind modern buildings doesnt mean they are without thought.

    you have a preference. fine. great. but painting everything modern with the same brush is foolish.
    Look, the issue is; fan of "modern" stuff or not, what is being considered and pitched is just kind of atrocious. I fully understand the desire to maximize the floor size and use huge amounts of glass to get as much natural light in as possible and have the whole "inside outside" feel. I fully understand architects at hip firms like SHoP have to "make a splash" with a "serious" buildings that "challenge conventions on what buildings should be"...blah blah, otherwise they'll be labeled as derivative, stagnant or boring. And, of course from Gilbert's view, there is a lot of logic in having a big square glass box with wide open interiors that can be constantly renovated and shuffled around at low cost. I get all of that. But seriously, that all makes for a fugly glass block of a building from the outside that doesn't gel with the surroundings no matter how many artsy gashes and twists one makes with the exterior skin.

    This is probably two years or more from final..so WAY too early to be getting this wrapped around the axle... but FWIW, there are a whole lot of decision makers on the customer side of this process that look to the Broad Art Museum at MSU as the inspirational jumping off point for this "landmark's" design.
    Last edited by bailey; March-05-15 at 11:37 AM.

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    the traditional ways evolved over time with technology. until we mastered steel we couldnt build skyscrapers. would you have been sitting around saying the same crap 100 years ago when the first skyscrapers were going up? "well we have had lower structures for 5000 years and it has worked out pretty well."
    Sure, materials--like the rediscovery of pozzolan concrete, the invention of the Bessemer process--have allowed architecture to push the envelope. But architectural principles remained the same...the Guardian Building is not unlike a Gothic cathedral, the key difference being structural steel framing instead of load-bearing masonry.

    On the other hand, recent architectural "innovation" (if you want to call it that), is not the result of materials, or a Renaissance of artistic skill, or technical achievement, but instead of computer software allowing us to draw complex mathematical shapes. I personally dislike modernism because they are destroying every sacred tenet of architecture, designing ego-fulfilling sculptural pieces at the cost of functionality. I refuse to live and work in a scattered series of amorphous blobs. If the purpose of a building is to provide shelter and comfort, there is nothing comforting to me about modernism.

    the profession of architecture has changed as technology has changed.
    I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. I've seen many an architect spend all day noodling around on Revit (often with little understanding of constructibility), yet have a difficult time drawing hand sketches of simple details. That, to me, speaks to deficiencies in architecture education and in professional world training.

  12. #37

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    I'm willing to take a wait and see approach. I would agree with most I'd prefer to have perhaps a couple separate structures pop up 25-30 stories each from a low-rise base, but I'm keeping my mind open.

    This is not the final design. Not only is it not the final design, we don't even clearly know the purpose of the structure yet. I'm very intrigued in this rendering how it almost looks like it opens up to the street with a GM Wintergarden type feel. That seems to open up all types of possibilities for space usage...

  13. #38

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    While they say this isn't the final design, while I'm not all that bothered by the architecture, I am bothered about the massing. This looks like the base of what's supposed to be there, not the whole project. On top of that, and MLive article is talking about the use of this thing as a ampitheater and conference center, which would be a gross underuse of the site. This is supposed to be far more mixed use than that.

    I think Gilbert is getting to cute with this crap. They can save the "icons" for the riverfront or somewhere. The Hudson block needs a use to dense usage of the site. Conference space and a theater aren't necessarily needed here, particularly with Cobo having been expanded and the rest of the conference space around downtown. This needs to be one of the major ventricles of the beating heart of downtown with heavy retail, commercial, and hotel or residential use.

  14. #39

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    I almost wonder if part of this will be an Apple Store? I don't know what SCI-ARC stands for? My wishful thinking had me wishing it was an abbreviation of "Apple Retail Center".... What would attract other retailers more than an Apple Store in the heart of Woodward. This all makes perfect sense in theory...

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexlin View Post
    While they say this isn't the final design, while I'm not all that bothered by the architecture, I am bothered about the massing. This looks like the base of what's supposed to be there, not the whole project. On top of that, and MLive article is talking about the use of this thing as a ampitheater and conference center, which would be a gross underuse of the site. This is supposed to be far more mixed use than that.

    I think Gilbert is getting to cute with this crap. They can save the "icons" for the riverfront or somewhere. The Hudson block needs a use to dense usage of the site. Conference space and a theater aren't necessarily needed here, particularly with Cobo having been expanded and the rest of the conference space around downtown. This needs to be one of the major ventricles of the beating heart of downtown with heavy retail, commercial, and hotel or residential use.
    That's an excellent point.

  16. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    I almost wonder if part of this will be an Apple Store? I don't know what SCI-ARC stands for? My wishful thinking had me wishing it was an abbreviation of "Apple Retail Center".... What would attract other retailers more than an Apple Store in the heart of Woodward. This all makes perfect sense in theory...
    SCI-ARC is the abbreviation for Southern California Institute of Architecture which is where one of the SHoP architects was having a lecture and showed this design as an example.

    http://sma.sciarc.edu/subclip/gregg-...ont-clip_9765/

  17. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by southen View Post
    the traditional ways evolved over time with technology. until we mastered steel we couldnt build skyscrapers. would you have been sitting around saying the same crap 100 years ago when the first skyscrapers were going up? "well we have had lower structures for 5000 years and it has worked out pretty well." the profession of architecture has changed as technology has changed.

    why is everything so black and white with you? not all modern buildings are good, just like not all older structures are good. not all modern architects crumple saran wrap, which is a great cliche by the way, and does nothing but prove you simply hate modern architecture regardless of the process or intent of a structure. i provided you a video showing the process behind a building that you decried as being purely sculptural when in fact it isnt. just because you dont understand the thought process behind modern buildings doesnt mean they are without thought.

    you have a preference. fine. great. but painting everything modern with the same brush is foolish.
    Empire State Building built in 1931 in a traditional style was hit by an airplane in 1945. Still stands. The World Trade Cdnters. Built in 1970 none traditional hit by an airplane each. Both towers fell killing thousand

  18. #43

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    ghettopalmetto i think you need to study your history a little better.

    The book-cadillac is a profit driven floorplan duplicated as high as necessary, with pattern book ornament slapped on the outside to try to bring some order to the facade and to bling it up. The architecture had no connection to anything more than a few generations before it, unfortunately also shallow "architecture". If you go earlier than that, Renaissance architects rediscovered ancient forms and reemployed them with distinct goals and ideas, but their architecture was completely different from the architecture that they thought they were basing theirs off and has absolutely no connection to buildings like the book cadillac. The book cadillac also has absolutely no connection to the classical forms that it uses. The only connection is that it sort of (but not really) copies the surface ornament. Architecture is more than surface ornament.

    Ego has always existed in architecture and always will, but I would argue that architecture today is much less ego based than in the past. For the overwhelming majority of human history the only people who had "designed" buildings (rather than vernacular) were rich aristocrats, governments, and religions who made their buildings as displays of their immense wealth, cultural status, and power.

    You're also missing out on the cultural context and what a lot of architecture really is. If you don't like amorphous blobs and architecture based on the architect's personal emotions and personality, then you have to eliminate all of beaux arts architecture. So no Frank Ghery for you, but no Palais Garnier for you either. Or if you agree with beaux arts architecture than you have no choice but to disagree with classical architecture, as they are opposites.

    If you think that architecture should be based on rules which have been honed into over time and are inherent to the fundamental nature of architecture, then you can't like any mannerist architecture, which is entirely based on personal whim and "style".

    If you think that over a long period of time rules are honed in on, then when is the tradition have to stop developing and when is it allowed to? Who's tradition are you talking about (asia has a few thousand years of tradition to say about your comment about separating outdoors and indoors)? If it's western tradition, then does it start with the greeks? But the romans threw everything the greeks did upside down, so the romans are no good. Byzantine architecture changed things all over again, and then gothic did as well.

    It's also funny to say that you're upset about how buildings today don't define and contain space the right way. But the entire conception of space that you have is the one that was invented by modernists. So you're thinking within the 1920s avant garde's definition and conception of space, while at the same time saying that we should understand and use space the way that "traditional" architecture does, despite you not sharing the various historic conceptions of architectural space.

    And who's to say that modern architecture is really that different from the architecture that preceeded it, or that it's not also part of the same continuum? If I tell you that a house is a white plaster orthogonal building with purposefully minimal detail, and that it was designed according to strict geometric principles that the architects thought expressed a fundamental universal nature of man and the universe, am I describing renaissance architecture or am I describing purism?? If I say that the most advanced technology and engineering was employed to create a massively scaled (many times taller and wider than the surrounding buildings) glass building, with glass being purposefully maximized, and with the aim of being the tallest in the world am I describing gothic or modern skyscraper architecture? Or if I say that architects thought that glass had spiritual qualities am I describing gothic or am I describing the glass chain?

    Somehow for you the culmination of "tradition" is prewar american commercial architecture, but even that you don't seem to really understand. The Guardian Building is explicitly and purposefully anti-traditional. It features abstract non traditional radical geometry and forms (are you saying those crazy setbacks are classical or gothic?). There's much less ornament and the ornament that is there tends to either be geometrical elaboration (geometry for art deco is thematic of the machine age) and the other ornament usually took the form of relief carvings that were in a modern style. The Guardian Building in particular is so radical that Albert Kahn publicly criticised the building, saying that it was an ego driven undisciplined odditiy that landed from outer space, and whose purpose was to shock and impress the easily swayed public rather than be a sound building based on established and proper architectural values. Does this sound familiar to you?

    So I'd be curious to hear about your own personal architectural beliefs and how you relate them to "tradition". Even though I already know that whatever they are they are incompatible with the overwhelming majority of architectural history/tradition.


    As far as this particular building goes, I'm confident that they're genuinely trying to put a good building on the site and I'm increasingly confident that they will, even though it's almost guaranteed that the building won't follow my own architectural beliefs.

  19. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dbest View Post
    I almost wonder if part of this will be an Apple Store? I don't know what SCI-ARC stands for? My wishful thinking had me wishing it was an abbreviation of "Apple Retail Center".... What would attract other retailers more than an Apple Store in the heart of Woodward. This all makes perfect sense in theory...
    I would hope that an Apple Store will open downtown much sooner than the time this building is completed and open for business. This could take years

  20. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by stasu1213 View Post
    Empire State Building built in 1931 in a traditional style was hit by an airplane in 1945. Still stands. The World Trade Cdnters. Built in 1970 none traditional hit by an airplane each. Both towers fell killing thousand
    are you being serious or is that some sort of joke? it was a B-25 that hit the Empire State... that wouldn't have brought down the WTC either.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    So I'd be curious to hear about your own personal architectural beliefs and how you relate them to "tradition". Even though I already know that whatever they are they are incompatible with the overwhelming majority of architectural history/tradition.

    As far as this particular building goes, I'm confident that they're genuinely trying to put a good building on the site and I'm increasingly confident that they will, even though it's almost guaranteed that the building won't follow my own architectural beliefs.
    I'm not going to respond point-by-point to your essay. Suffice it to say, I've seen enough buildings in enough cultures and from enough epochs to contend that postmodernism breaks every architectural precedent. It does so intentionally. This isn't a question of style. It's a question of conception. The sole raison d'etre of a building is to contain, house, and protect a particular function from the elements. Frank Gehry has even admitted that his professional goal is to create an interesting sculpture first, with the actual function of the building second. That's art, not architecture.

    My biggest beef, however, is that it is now apparently acceptable for an architect to draw an undulated surface based on little more than whimsy, foist this geometric disaster onto a structural engineer who labors hundreds--if not thousands--of hours in front of finite element software, and then claim credit for being "innovative". Bullshit.

    I have a colleague who took an architecture class in college. One of his assignments--and I'm not even making this up--was to design a window based on his favorite movie. WTF? Maybe they could teach architecture students how to detail jambs, sashes, headers, and flashing before they start self-congratulating each other with whimsical windows. For anyone who's ever seen, "This is Spinal Tap?", yes, there is a *very* fine line between clever and stupid.

    Frankly, I would be amazed if a postmodernist architect could design a Mannerist house or Japanese pogoda, let alone something on the scale of Ayasofya. In my not-so-humble opinion, if the building doesn't function, then it's not worth a damn. No amount of "innovation" can compensate for roofs that leak, windows that pop out, interiors that disorient, and facades that blind passers-by.

    But that's just me, being all old and fuddy-duddy, worrying about elementary problems that were solved centuries ago. Shit. Let's just get super-innovative and design a building that looks like a Bedouin tent blowing in the desert wind. Then the regression will have come full-circle, and we can move on with life.

    The folks at SHoP might be great sculptors. But they are not architects.
    Last edited by ghettopalmetto; March-05-15 at 02:39 PM.

  22. #47

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    Yes, but you can also design blobby buildings that don't leak and aren't difficult to engineer. And why is it ok for a gothic cathedral to take centuries to do engineering by trial and error and not ok for a building today to allocate more of its budget to engineering? Why is it ok for a beaux arts building to be subjectively sculptural and not one today? Why is it ok for renaissance architects to purposefully deny and destroy over a thousand years of architectural history and not ok for postmodernist architects to reject a few hundred (even though your claim is not true of most of the postmodernist camps). And if technical performance is how to judge architecture, then up until a century or two ago (and not always even then) buildings were prone to fire and structural failure, and were terribly insulated, despite the fact that simple vernacular solutions existed for all those problems. And if prewar american commercial architecture is the standard, then look more closely at all the facades and notice all the cracking. Or notice how the facades weren't properly detailed to avoid weathering.

    But we have no reason to believe that this building won't be properly detailed, and that the expenses of doing various parts various ways weren't properly considered.

    But this is all besides the point because your complaints aren't about performance or costs, they're about tradition. So what about tradition?


    Also the thing about the movie is a school exercise and it's purposefully extreme. Architecture is the physical manifestation of ideas and values. The student is supposed to try to deeply understand the subject, articulate their position on the subject, and then translate it into architectural space. Obviously it's difficult because the subject is a movie, so the student would have to do a lot of unconventional thinking. But whether the subject is a movie, or the site, of the cultural context, or the occupants, an architect needs to be able to deeply understand those things, and translate them into architecture.
    Last edited by Jason; March-05-15 at 03:15 PM.

  23. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason View Post
    But whether the subject is a movie, or the site, of the cultural context, or the occupants, an architect needs to be able to deeply understand those things, and translate them into architecture.
    So what, in particular, about "melty glass box" says "Detroit"?

  24. #49

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    I'm not defending or critiquing this particular building. Assuming that a group of people are all equally passionate and competent, they could all watch the same movie and turn it into different buildings for different reasons, based on their individual values and beliefs, and what they choose to respond to or emphasize over other aspects. I haven't tried learning about the design to know what their intentions are. If I had to guess, the plaza area is curved because they wanted to enclose that space while controlling for a desired openness to the sky and natural daylight. I don't think they consider straight lines or curved lines to be any more or less "Detroit" than the other. It's also possible that it's curved for the sake of being glossy magazine architecture, but there's also angular and also orthogonal glossy magazine architecture too.

    But this particular design inspired general comments from you about today's architecture and tradition, not criticisms specific to this building, and so my response to yours are also not about this particular building.

  25. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by animatedmartian View Post
    SCI-ARC is the abbreviation for Southern California Institute of Architecture which is where one of the SHoP architects was having a lecture and showed this design as an example.

    http://sma.sciarc.edu/subclip/gregg-...ont-clip_9765/

    There you go ruining it for me , thanks pal...

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