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Brad Plaid

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The stack-o'-books as design origin may be hokey, but it's well-designed hokum. By contrast, the billowing sails inspiration for St. Regis is even hokier verging on cornball. It isn't bad but it can't escape the fact it is an Elkus building. In more skilled hands it could have been great.
 

stick n move

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I started out strongly disliking this building, but over time it has grown on me in the context of BU's campus and Comm Ave. Is a university a good place to test new architecture? Arguably the best location. However, its impact from afar (BU Bridge and Cambridge) is still jarring to me. It looks incomplete/off, like the designers were on a good path and then got 80% there and called it.

I also dislike the stack-of-books narrative. The inspiration may have been there, but the proportion (and balance) are somewhat off for that to ring true in the final product. It reads more as a drunkenly constructed, blocky, Jenga tower, which has become a running joke between BU students, which brings up my last point. We're all architecture enthusiasts on here to some degree, and our conversations and knowledge may run far deeper than the average Boston resident/visitor or BU student/faculty member. While a lot of us may appreciate it for its bold design and bold architecture in general in a rather drab period of design in Boston (not just this project), by saying 'you just don't understand good design,' to those that express doubts or criticisms (not saying anyone on here is doing this, but in general, I've observed this kind of rhetoric on this site, other architecture forums, social media, etc.), we are detracting the whole profession's relevance and credibility; people begin to take us less seriously and say we've lost touch with reality/gone crazy. Sure, architecture as an art form is supposed to get people talking, and you can argue that's what a lot of bold project's intents are, but is provocation alone enough merit a building's design? And are the design decisions made here warranted?
To further expand on that, I also dont see anyone saying “you just dont understand good architecture” here, but along that point... if only top architects understand or like a building (hurley), then its not good architecture. Buildings are meant to be seen and interacted with by ordinary people and functional, if you need an architecture degree to “get it” then it failed. If 99.99999999% of people hate a building and it doesnt serve them even basically (hurley) then it failed.

Here though this particular building at least will interact with the street. Its not my favorite tower ever, but again I think in small portions wacky architecture is good as long as it wont dominate the entire downtown skyline (1 bromfield).
 

stefal

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Here though this particular building at least will interact with the street. Its not my favorite tower ever, but again I think in small portions wacky architecture is good as long as it wont dominate the entire downtown skyline (1 bromfield).
I keep seeing that this isn't like City Hall Plaza, and that it will interact with the street well. Are we talking about pedestrian/street level activation? There's very little of that now, apart from a few college-student-facing cafes, restaurants, and salons, and I'm not sure how much more this stretch needs. It's a college campus, and this is a college building going up. I'm fairly certain not many people apart from BU students and faculty will pass by/through this stretch on foot, and as such the ground floor (lobby/study space, classrooms, and small cafe) responds to that and does its job, but I wouldn't call it much of a precedent for designing responsive and active ground floors.
 

bdurden

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I keep seeing that this isn't like City Hall Plaza, and that it will interact with the street well. Are we talking about pedestrian/street level activation? There's very little of that now, apart from a few college-student-facing cafes, restaurants, and salons, and I'm not sure how much more this stretch needs. It's a college campus, and this is a college building going up. I'm fairly certain not many people apart from BU students and faculty will pass by/through this stretch on foot, and as such the ground floor (lobby/study space, classrooms, and small cafe) responds to that and does its job, but I wouldn't call it much of a precedent for designing responsive and active ground floors.
All buildings should theoretically "interact" with the environs. This one in particular (on paper) seems to do a decent job at that. I really like the focus on extending the first floor uses to the exterior of the building.

BU has a few recent examples of improving the pedestrian activity in some of their other projects:
- Myles Standish hall
- CFA (still under restoration)
- Booth Theatre
- the Castle / Alumni Center, and the Admissions office

The Howard Thurrman Centre at 808 Comm Ave also seems to be enhancing what was a rather desolate stretch.
 

odurandina

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^^and that's exactly where i've been on this all along.
With so many good updates to their campus which serves as somewhat
consolation for the emaciated retail frontage over the last few decades,
this project could have been a home run and saved the whole Godforsaken smash!!
the grand center piece!
NOPE
Instead of that--this..
 
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stick n move

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I keep seeing that this isn't like City Hall Plaza, and that it will interact with the street well. Are we talking about pedestrian/street level activation? There's very little of that now, apart from a few college-student-facing cafes, restaurants, and salons, and I'm not sure how much more this stretch needs. It's a college campus, and this is a college building going up. I'm fairly certain not many people apart from BU students and faculty will pass by/through this stretch on foot, and as such the ground floor (lobby/study space, classrooms, and small cafe) responds to that and does its job, but I wouldn't call it much of a precedent for designing responsive and active ground floors.
Youre seeing it in response to this:

Everything good that has been said about this new BU building was also said about Boston City Hall when built in 1966. How's that working out for you today?

Not because multiple people are organically just feeling the need to randomly contrast this tower to city hall.
 

urbandozer79

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What neighborhood are we demolishing to build this building? Where is the giant windswept plaza that accompanies this building?
EXACTLY. This is NOT an equal comparison. You're trying to compare a building in the heart of the city with something far from. It is NOT the same, and definitely not replacing the same. I think the architecture is mierda honestly, but it's better than what's there, and maybe sometime in the future there will be preservationists defending it like there are City Hall Plaza today. So from my perspective, it's an improvement, whether I like it or not, and I accept that I may just be too behind the eight ball to understand the architecture at this time.
 

citydweller

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... Buildings are meant to be seen and interacted with by ordinary people and functional, if you need an architecture degree to “get it” then it failed. If 99.99999999% of people hate a building and it doesn't serve them even basically (hurley) then it failed.
Well said! I can understand and appreciate the notion of bold, visionary architecture but if most ordinary folks find it unsightly, or worse, offensive, then it has failed. The reaction in this forum for this building has been mixed, so what does that mean? I guess it translates to architecture being an art form, some like it, some don't. But unfortunately, you can't hang a 19 story building on a wall.

For what's it worth, I find this thread to be rather thought provoking and far more interesting than arguing over the height of buildings north of NYC.
 
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DZH22

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As long as this thread has been bumped does anybody know when construction starts and the general timeline to expect?
 

DZH22

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Mass exavacation to begin in March, concrete flooring by November, and vertical construction to commence by March 2021. Curtain wall completion anticipated by Nov 2022.
Thank you! Sounds like 13 more months and we'll see this one going vertical. 18 more months until I start bringing y'all the skyline views of it!
 

atlantaden

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Thank you! Sounds like 13 more months and we'll see this one going vertical. 18 more months until I start bringing y'all the skyline views of it!
Can't wait, I'm really looking forward to seeing this one completed. I'm a big fan of this building!
 

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