Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Urban Redesign Vol. 2

Apologies for the delay in getting Volume 2 up here. I did some preliminary renderings some time ago, but got whacked by the flu last week and fell off the map.

As I unveil some massing renderings that detail the three distinct components of my mixed use structure, I'd like to address the anonymous comments in my last installment. First, thank you for somewhat endorsing my original idea. As shown in the renderings, I did keep a residential component on Winton Road in the form of the apartment building.

A lot of the blanks still need to be filled in. All I have really denoted is a main entrance to the building. I am debating whether it would be flanked by first floor apartments (roughly 5 feet above street level) or street level retail spaces. If I were to go with retail spaces there, would they have secondary street entrances or doors immediately to the left and right in the 'lobby?' I believe most apartments would be 600 square foot one-bedroom apartments. One other note on this section: As drawn, there is a very slightly pitched roof. I may ultimately want to do something more traditional with a cornice to really drive home the 'dignity in urban architecture' in which case a more conventional apartment building roof would be instituted. Thoughts anyone?

Again to the commenter, I do realize that there are very few townhouses in the area and zero properly programmed ones (there are some tucked away suburban style between Main and Mayfield west of Winton). What am I trying to accomplsh there is a slightly larger residental property than an apartment (the 3 townhouses would be a nominal 1440 square feet each) that makes the most efficient use of the land available. I do plan on adding some detail on the front and back of these, but the outlines are shown in the renderings. I've allowed 20' of 'backyard' that also functions as a courtyard for the entire complex.

About the retail programming, basically I'm looking at the ideal situation. I'm also trying to make a connection moreso with the Mayer Hardware block than anything toward Browncroft or Main. On the topic of the corner retail 'building,' the store/restaurant can either be rather large with corner access or a 2nd more narrow storefront could occupy the first floor to the facing Winton Road. The 2nd floor of this classic corner building could either be 2 offices or small apartments.

I feel as though the project is taking on the character of 3 smaller projects, which in my mind gives it a better improvised urbanist feel as related by the blog Suburban Empire in the process of criticizing downtown Winooski, Vermont's 'downtown at once' redevelopment. I would likely use a different brick for each segment with differently designed windows for differentiation.

Next time: More rendering detail, apartment building floorplans, thoughts on parking.

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