Thursday, June 11, 2009

Concept for 8th & K Hotel Design

There appears to be a proposal or two in the works for 8th & K Streets in downtown Sacramento for when the market starts to recover and developers have better access to financing. The architects of Fletcher Farr Ayotte of Portland has recently completed concept designs for a new 409-room Hilton hotel at 8th & K Street along with a seven-story parking garage for the corner of 8th & L Street in downtown Sacramento.

This current proposal really bugs me in that there’s a massive parking garage planned for the corner of 8th & L Street. The hotel tower portion of the proposals decent and it would be great to see Hilton on K Street, but the massive parking garage planned next to the tower would be a horrible mistake devastating another pedestrian friendly corner of the city. This is the same design flaw that was used when the Library Tower was built nearly twenty years at the corner of 8th & J Streets. The Library Tower included an eight story parking garage next to the office tower leaving much to be desired for what could have been an awesome block. This current parking garage proposal only two blocks away from the Library Tower garage and it would be a shame to see another corner in the central city wiped out and turned into another enormous parking structure. I would recommend that the developer somehow tuck the parking into the structure like what has been done with a majority of other high-rises in downtown Sacramento. Incorporating the parking into the structure or underground would make the street appearance of the project much more attractive and would also avoid making the same mistake that the Library Tower made which is now a daily reminder of what poor city planning can produce.

As of now, this is just a concept and has not been through any of the cities Planning or Design Committees where I would hope that they will also see this design error in wiping out another corner of the central city for a parking structure. If this current choice of design is acceptable and built as planned, downtown Sacramento will soon resemble downtown Phoenix where huge parking structures are prominent on every other block.


Scott said...

Hmmm. Is it just me, or is the building's orientation on the street going to be decidedly car-unfriendly? While I love the idea of this being on K, we gotta be honest about the clientele. Until the light rail to the airport is complete (probably in 2047), out-of-towners may arrive by taxi. I thought that hotel culture was about pulling right up to the door (and the cluster of bellhops in the illustrations suggests that this will be on K).

Zwahlen Images said...

Yes, I see what your saying Scott, but if the tower were turned so that the long side was on 8th Street instead of K Street it would be built right through the alley. I guess they could do that and have the parking’s hidden within the structure and next to the buildings east of 8th Street… it’s been done before and would make the block look complete.

Jose said...

I utterly agree with the negative urban aspect of designing (another) huge parking garage that abuts the street. There are various urban design methods to deal with the parking needs/requirements of such a tower. For example, having a mixed-use retail/office/residential front building with the parking structured wrapped behind. In doing so, you activate the street, add value to the developer and the community, and still meet the parking demands. Of course that such a solution will potentially increase the parking demand of the overall project, and thus, increase the necessary parking structure height, but I feel that such a result is MUCH better than the current proposed design.
Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Scott, although I heard some time ago that the city was considering reopening K street to traffic. The parking garage should definitely be hidden within the building itself. A good example of that would be the two completed bank towers on CM. I think the rendering of the new Hilton is good for a city like San Diego or Miami because of their closeness to the ocean.This rendering is to "glassy",and open.It's "beach friendly" not "CITY". Instead of glassy we need classy.Sacramento needs architecture with character, buildings that would later be iconic landmarks for Sacramento. Skyscrapers complementing the past(the citizen,elks), but incorporating the future. Not just another modern glassy skyblue building,don't get me wrong, those type of highrises are nice,but for condos. When I think of a hotel, I picture an elegant, Prestigious, jewel lighting up the downtown skyline. A huge lobby containing a huge christmas tree during the holidays,with huge wreaths allocated on the hotel's facade facing the street traffic. Downtown needs buildings that stand out,not blend in. Just my opinion. I'm still happy to know that future highrise development is coming to town. Heres a picture I found on the internet of what I would imagine in place of the current concepts for 8th and Kst. A skyscraper made of concrete with tons of big windows.With bright spot lights illuminating midsections of the side facades and one big spot light illuminating the front facade from the base to the lit up crown.(sorry my html was not accepted,darn it.)You can find the picture on my photobucket album. It's labeled "Hotel Concept" heres my URL:

Muhammad Amjad said...

There are various urban design methods to deal with the parking needs/requirements of such a tower..Hotel Design

..nice location there.