Tuesday, September 15, 2009

East End Gateway Redesign

On Wednesday the 16th, CADA will go before the Planning and Design Review Committee to request a review and comment in the form of advisory knowing they are exempt from having to do so. This 9 story, 110 unit project with approximately 5,000 square feet of ground floor retail has had some minor changes with the balconies being reduced and some variation in color, finish, and materials to break up the appearance of the cement composite panels.

It’s great more housing will soon be built but I think this final design looks blah lacking innovation with little to no character so as not to offend those on the street. It’s to bad the previous 15 story residential tower approved by the Design Commission was scraped by CADA last year.


Chris said...

So it looks like the balconies are now going to be tiny one-man jobs like other new buildings (eg. Socap lofts)? One of the joys of Sac is being able to sit outside in the evening and they're trying to restrict it? Disappointing.

wburg said...

"Planning and Design Review Committee"?

The two boards are still separate entities--the DOC effort to combine them failed. The plan is going before the Design Review Commission tonight, then I assume they will go to Planning Commission.

Chris: The balconies were one-man jobs in the earlier design too. This design includes a large rooftop communal area on the western side on top of the parking structure, in addition to the individual balconies.

Zwahlen Images said...

wburg: the earlier design had much bigger balconies, in the renderings you could see two people out there with room for a couple chairs too.

wburg said...

Here is the earlier rendering:


It looks like there are projecting levels/structures in between floors, but I don't think those are balconies. Both renderings show people on the balconies--I can't see any chairs on the old one but it's kind of small so I may be missing them.

I kind of like the new rendering more. One thing about losing the big horizontal bands is that the building itself looks taller: you know what they say about horizontal stripes making you look fat. I also like the fact that the surface of the building no longer appears to be beige. I simply don't understand why people think making a big ol' building a tan color helps it fade into the background.
I think the building looks kind of blah because it's cheaper to do blah, not because they want to avoid offending people on the street.

Jeff said...

Nice. Even with smaller balconies looks like it will be easy for residents to slide open those big glass doors to let the outside in. This is the first residential proposal in Sacramento, built or unbuilt, (including Aura in my opinion) that looks up to date, not stuck in the 90s. This will be a big step forward for Sacramento.

brian said...

This second version is better than the original as far as the rythm of solids to transparents.
This also looks like a project done by Stanley Saitowitz in San Francisco.
Design review will make the normal comments on ground floor human scale and activity issues. Then some commissioners will begin to get too involved in the detailing of the building skin.
As long as it provides activation at the site and stays within its current design, it will be a worthy project.

Zwahlen Images said...

Jeff: The L Street Lofts is by far the only real success story for any large residential building in the grid that looks good day or night. If they could add some light features like the L St. Lofts did, that would help a bunch.

Jeff said...

I agree that L street lofts is a great project for Sacramento. It adds (or will add) a lot to the life of Midtown, and from what I have seen the floor plans look really nice. As a piece of architecture though, to me the design has a lot of Palladian influence, especially the exaggerated 'piano alto' with the colorfully lit pilasters. So it's a strange mix of modern and postmodern themes which don't really acknowledge what is current in architectural design today.

I think the East End Gateway redesign, shown here, fits in with the urban fabric well in massing, but does not try too hard to fit in with materials or style. This is really refreshing and does not look dated.

Zwahlen Images said...

This project will now be heard by the Planning Commission on Sept. 24th.