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  #621  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2015, 9:40 PM
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Originally Posted by SamInTheLoop View Post
^ Interesting observation. Yeah.....maybe........

You know what the single biggest problem I have with Park Tower is - from a detail standpoint (granted it's a pretty big detail!) - obviously apart from this overall type of architecture!? It's the curved form of the balconies. It's the most nonsensical thing to me. Just beyond my comprehension. I mean - WHY?


(And in reflection I quickly realize the silliness of my post - I mean, who overthinks LaGrange?!!? (head bowed in deep embarrassment)
It's Moderne/Streamline vocabulary (take my reference lightly). It also helps them defer to the main elevations. I think they're quite successfully integrated. The weakest aspect of the design is viewing the E elevation from afar--its sense of ascendancy and grace is lost from that perspective. From street-level at or near Michigan, I think it's quite nice.
     
     
  #622  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 2:34 AM
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Originally Posted by NYC2ATX View Post
It's quite interesting to me, and this comes from a purely objective standpoint, that New York and Chicago have such different ideas of what's considered good architecture and just generally a good building.

In New York, Robert A.M. Stern is considered a superhero lately for all the revival art-deco-style, limestone or high-quality precast towers that are now either approved or under construction, which likely speaks to the fact that New York's image was shaped by such towers as the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.

However in Chicago, a city who's heritage is built on modernists ahead of their time like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies, as well as planners like Daniel Burnham, who praised clean, straight lines and grids, many of you view a similar RAMS building to the ones rising in New York as frivolous and clunky. Whereas one could also consider how buildings like 12 East Roosevelt (which I think is fantastic for Chicago) might be viewed as plain, dated or unimaginative in New York.

Neither perspectives are necessarily right or wrong, but I think it speaks to the fact that the two cities are far more dissimilar than many of us even realize. I personally think this building will likely turn out great, if 15 Central Park West and 30 Park Place are any indication, so I would encourage you guys to not worry. I also think it'll inject a much-needed shaking up in the midst of the uninterrupted glassitecture that is Streeterville. However I understand where all the haters are coming from, and it's quite interesting to me the difference in perspectives. I mean, I may get burned at the stake for this, but from the perspective of a native New Yorker, I don't fully detest Lucien LaGrange's buildings...it's all a matter of perspectives.

Food for thought
Great assessment. Pretty spot on, IMHO. Worth a repost
     
     
  #623  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 3:41 AM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Skyguy_7 View Post
Great assessment. Pretty spot on, IMHO. Worth a repost
The main difference is that structural expressionism and modernism are the correct form of design in a world where we have miracle materials like steel, glass, aluminium, etc and the ability to use these materials to create extraordinary buildings like 150 N Riverside that are mainly a product necessity, not frivolous decoration. Chicago is something of a buttoned down town, but it's our heritage. We invented entire categories of design and we are partial to them just as a Parisian might be partial to second empire style. We are also partial to efficiency and making money, two things Modernism does very well. We don't have the land values to justify ornate design gestures, we mainly need to make the land pay.
     
     
  #624  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 4:05 AM
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  #625  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 3:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
The main difference is that structural expressionism and modernism are the correct form of design in a world where we have miracle materials like steel, glass, aluminium, etc and the ability to use these materials to create extraordinary buildings like 150 N Riverside that are mainly a product necessity, not frivolous decoration. Chicago is something of a buttoned down town, but it's our heritage. We invented entire categories of design and we are partial to them just as a Parisian might be partial to second empire style. We are also partial to efficiency and making money, two things Modernism does very well. We don't have the land values to justify ornate design gestures, we mainly need to make the land pay.
It's really true. I mean, even the Chicago School style eschewed Gothic Revival or Beaux-Arts detailing to give room for clean lines and large windows, which in a way were the very early predecessors of the International style that, fittingly, put Chicago firmly on the international stage. People tend to group all pre-war buildings together in their minds as "old," but even a century ago, the preferred styles of architecture were markedly different.

It could have something to do with the fact that New York was concerned with placing themselves in the same ranks as London and Paris, etc. and chose to do so by emulating many European styles or adapting them to skyscrapers, a decidedly American creation. On the other hand, turn-of-the-century Chicago was working overtime to accommodate the fastest-growing population and industrial engine in the Western hemisphere. No time to stop for heavily-sculpted facades and palatial effects when you just need to get it done fast and with the most bang for your buck, as you put it.
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  #626  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 3:36 PM
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Originally Posted by NYC2ATX View Post
It's quite interesting to me, and this comes from a purely objective standpoint, that New York and Chicago have such different ideas of what's considered good architecture and just generally a good building.

In New York, Robert A.M. Stern is considered a superhero lately for all the revival art-deco-style, limestone or high-quality precast towers that are now either approved or under construction, which likely speaks to the fact that New York's image was shaped by such towers as the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.

However in Chicago, a city who's heritage is built on modernists ahead of their time like Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies, as well as planners like Daniel Burnham, who praised clean, straight lines and grids, many of you view a similar RAMS building to the ones rising in New York as frivolous and clunky. Whereas one could also consider how buildings like 12 East Roosevelt (which I think is fantastic for Chicago) might be viewed as plain, dated or unimaginative in New York.

Neither perspectives are necessarily right or wrong, but I think it speaks to the fact that the two cities are far more dissimilar than many of us even realize. I personally think this building will likely turn out great, if 15 Central Park West and 30 Park Place are any indication, so I would encourage you guys to not worry. I also think it'll inject a much-needed shaking up in the midst of the uninterrupted glassitecture that is Streeterville. However I understand where all the haters are coming from, and it's quite interesting to me the difference in perspectives. I mean, I may get burned at the stake for this, but from the perspective of a native New Yorker, I don't fully detest Lucien LaGrange's buildings...it's all a matter of perspectives.

Food for thought
Very good take on this!
     
     
  #627  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 3:45 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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^^^ Without a doubt the origin's of Chicago's design preferences lie in the history of the city as the crucible of the modern industrialized era. Chicago was built entirely of the modern era and I don't say that as a reference to style, but as a reference to how people live their lives. Chicago was the great funnel that siphoned the vast resources of the American West and processed them into the consumer goods that now define modern life. It was the first place that ever happened and it demanded changes in thinking across the board from architecture to design to economics to sociology to politics to planning.

The most amazing aspect of that history is how strong it still rings true today. Chicago is still an incredibly young city and is still experimenting much more than truly stabilized, developed, cities like NYC or London. You have to remember that Chicago was not built one building at a time, it was built blocks at a time as the manufacturing techniques developed in her factories were applied to breaking the prairie for urban use. We have entire neighborhoods that were constructed in a decade. Rome wasn't built in a day, but Chicago more or less was. That means all the buildings in those areas have synced depreciation cycles and all got derelict simultaneously. That history of industrial design is woven into the basic fabric of our neighborhoods. That's a large part of why we have massive ghettos and extreme segregation, everything happened so fast here that there was no time to balance. So now we are in a new era of experimentation as the city center begins to revitalize. We have a new frontier of rebuilding the world's first industrial city and the world's first post-industrial city. The lessons we learn now will likely be applied in Chinese cities in 30 or 40 years or perhaps in Eastern European industrial cities in the next decade.

That legacy still informs the culture of Chicago and is really what causes the separation you have observed between NYC and Chicago.
     
     
  #628  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 4:29 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
^^^ Without a doubt the origin's of Chicago's design preferences lie in the history of the city as the crucible of the modern industrialized era. Chicago was built entirely of the modern era and I don't say that as a reference to style, but as a reference to how people live their lives. Chicago was the great funnel that siphoned the vast resources of the American West and processed them into the consumer goods that now define modern life. It was the first place that ever happened and it demanded changes in thinking across the board from architecture to design to economics to sociology to politics to planning.

The most amazing aspect of that history is how strong it still rings true today. Chicago is still an incredibly young city and is still experimenting much more than truly stabilized, developed, cities like NYC or London. You have to remember that Chicago was not built one building at a time, it was built blocks at a time as the manufacturing techniques developed in her factories were applied to breaking the prairie for urban use. We have entire neighborhoods that were constructed in a decade. Rome wasn't built in a day, but Chicago more or less was. That means all the buildings in those areas have synced depreciation cycles and all got derelict simultaneously. That history of industrial design is woven into the basic fabric of our neighborhoods. That's a large part of why we have massive ghettos and extreme segregation, everything happened so fast here that there was no time to balance. So now we are in a new era of experimentation as the city center begins to revitalize. We have a new frontier of rebuilding the world's first industrial city and the world's first post-industrial city. The lessons we learn now will likely be applied in Chinese cities in 30 or 40 years or perhaps in Eastern European industrial cities in the next decade.

That legacy still informs the culture of Chicago and is really what causes the separation you have observed between NYC and Chicago.
This certainly rings true, but it is somewhat ideological. Certainly we don't wish to live in an ascetic city devoid of the pursuits of aesthetics and pleasure, in architecture or otherwise, do we? Though, having a legacy of rationality and logic is certainly worth championing and preserving, to some extent.
     
     
  #629  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 4:51 PM
LouisVanDerWright LouisVanDerWright is offline
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Originally Posted by Jibba View Post
This certainly rings true, but it is somewhat ideological. Certainly we don't wish to live in an ascetic city devoid of the pursuits of aesthetics and pleasure, in architecture or otherwise, do we? Though, having a legacy of rationality and logic is certainly worth championing and preserving, to some extent.
No, but we can still arrive at aesthetics and pleasure through reason.

For example, despite it's statistical lack of greenspace, Chicago probably lives up to it's "urb in horto" motto more than almost any other city. Why is that? Because we long ago arrived at the conclusion that ample green spaces dispersed evenly across the entire urban fabric greatly improve the quality of life. So we have parkways on every street and yard set backs for almost every residential district. The greenspace was not built as some sort of victorian pleasure garden to be viewed for beauty and pleasure, but not interacted with. No, in Chicago the greenspace is on every block and serves as real beauty that in lived in, not viewed from afar. All you need to do is walk down a street in Lincoln Park and see how functional beauty can be.

The greatest ideological contribution of this city is the idea that almost any beneficial result can and should be arrived at through reason. It's not that all items should be purely functional, it's that beauty is not at odds with function and can, in fact, be the same thing. The idea that bleak factories built to employ tens of thousands of worker drones inspired the enshrinement of that aesthetic as something beautiful like a Mies tower. That idea echos again today as those same factories that were once considered monsters of a new era have become one of the most sought after styles not even to work in, but to live in.

To bring the conversation full circle, that's why everyone is so hot on the Vinoly tower and not on the RAMSA tower. They are programmatically almost the exact same building, but the Vinoly arrives at beauty not through parlor tricks like a faux stone precast skin (beauty that is quite literally skin deep), but by drawing inspiration from the same history of design I reference above. The building has many setbacks (just like the Grand tower) because there is a need to create marketable outdoor spaces, but rather than tart them up by making them all different sizes, it cranks them out in identical sized modular units. It draws not only on the Sears Tower, but heralds all the way back to the elevator penthouses seen on hundreds of Chicago factories. I posted this in the Vinoly thread, look familiar?


chicagoarchitecture.org

These old loft industrial structures have a striking resemblance to the Vinoly design. On the surface it looks like he is aping these old factories or the Sears Tower, but practically speaking what other form should a cast in place concrete structure with varying roof heights have but a series of rectangular boxes terminating at varying heights? So even Vinoly is not making the mistake of copying old styles as much as he is creating a design at the intersection of function and material.
     
     
  #630  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2015, 10:18 PM
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^^^^

Quote:
Art Gensler stated, "The inside is, in many ways, driving the building more than the outside." To which Robert A.M. Stern quipped, "I disagree. If you don't like the suit, you aren't going to like the underwear."


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  #631  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2015, 2:59 PM
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I would definitely push back on this notion that somehow AM Stern is somehow more appreciated elsewhere (outside of Chicago). If you consider folks that are highly knowledgeable and passionate about design (including a not insignificant number of folks in design - in addition to engineering and construction - professions themselves) - which is frankly what the Chicago threads on SSP tend to be comprised of (which is a major, major part of what makes these pages so great, of course!), I think what you would find is that this group does not consider Stern's work to be architecturally important - no matter what the city (despite differences in design history and evolution between said cities). Look at recognition within the industry - AIA, Pritzkers, within the heavy-hitting periodicals. Stern's no-shows within are not because of New York's (or xyz city's) lack of influence within the profession - that I can guarantee you.

Here's the deal: For whatever reason, I've always found the Chicago threads to have a higher level of discourse and sophistication - due I theorize to the background, deep knowledge base, profession and passion of its members - than just about all other cities'. I have to admit, I do feel a certain amount of civic - or call it 'community' - pride in this. Trust me though - If Chicago's threads were comprised more of the typical joe on the street (majority local residents as well), you would certainly find more misinformed and misguided praise for the likes of stern and for that matter LaGrange on these pages......
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  #632  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2015, 3:06 PM
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^^^ I dunno, there seems to be general appreciation for our modern heritage around Chicago though. Yes some people (mainly people from Naperville or some terrible place) think LaGrange is great, but the kind of people who have been flooding into the city over the past 10-20 years or people who were raised here have generally all seemed to have gotten at least a few lectures from their fellow Chicagoans on our Modern heritage or on the general concept of "form follows function". This is entirely my observation, so there's not scientific merit to it, but I don't get that attitude elsewhere, much more "oh that looks cool" rather than "that looks cool because".
     
     
  #633  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2015, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by LouisVanDerWright View Post
^^^ I dunno, there seems to be general appreciation for our modern heritage around Chicago though. Yes some people (mainly people from Naperville or some terrible place) think LaGrange is great, but the kind of people who have been flooding into the city over the past 10-20 years or people who were raised here have generally all seemed to have gotten at least a few lectures from their fellow Chicagoans on our Modern heritage or on the general concept of "form follows function". This is entirely my observation, so there's not scientific merit to it, but I don't get that attitude elsewhere, much more "oh that looks cool" rather than "that looks cool because".
Architecture is a sport in Chicago, more so than anywhere else I've ever lived or worked. Just walking down the riverwalk last weekend, I overheard 4 different groups of people walking and discussing the buildings, their styles and their merits. You just don't hear that sort of discussion nearly as often elsewhere.

Architecture is this city's art form and you can see the passion that people here have for it reflected in the lines for the architecture tours, on this site and even just walking down the street.
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  #634  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2015, 7:20 PM
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451 East Grand & Chicago Spire

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Last edited by The Lurker; Oct 1, 2015 at 7:34 PM.
     
     
  #635  
Old Posted Oct 2, 2015, 8:41 PM
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Looks like plastic water bottle stacked on top of each other.
     
     
  #636  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2015, 12:34 AM
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The problem with any aesthetic or architectural ideology that emphasizes novelty (even when such an ideology is already an old one), is that faddishness is mistaken for sophistication. Urban identity is also secondary to novelty, which is rootless. Many cities have learned from their mistakes in the 1960s, when this architectural ideology inflicted itself via urban renewal schemes. For example New York City spearheaded the landmarks preservation movement. Then came New Urbanism.

Ironically, as a result New York City, and even Brooklyn, has a certain cachet and heritage identity, which is being exported and copied throughout the world. This project is an example of this. It's understandable that die-hard Chicago and modernist dogmatists would react to this minor residential project with such an allergic reaction.
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  #637  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2015, 11:12 PM
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^ Oh.


Huh?
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  #638  
Old Posted Oct 3, 2015, 11:29 PM
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I think he's saying that New York is essentially the trend setter of urban living. The deco highrises, loft conversions, and brownstones are all idealized forms of urban housing for much of America, and are often imitated in other cities by builders looking to provide a certain ambiance.

Certainly New York had loft conversions long before they became a thing in Atlanta or Milwaukee.

Chicago has a strong architectural identity, so we don't see too much of this faux-NY development but occasionally when someone like Related comes along, they just copy their successful NY project wholesale in Chicago. I might hate it if Streeterville were full of well-designed glass and steel, but it's full of poorly proportioned crap so I'm all for an elegant tower that's NOT designed by one of the good ol' boys of Chicago architecture.
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  #639  
Old Posted Oct 4, 2015, 1:28 PM
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My only gripe about this is that i believe if Related builds this then I highly doubt anything gets off the ground at the Spire site for a long time. I just do not see it happening with this being built and Wanda most likely getting started 1st. Not to mention all the others just announced all before a mention of anything at the Spire site.
     
     
  #640  
Old Posted Oct 5, 2015, 12:25 AM
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http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...126765&page=72
Glad to see you're still playing with your Legos.
     
     
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