Page 6 of 7

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 9:28 am
by amiller92
MNdible wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Yeah, not that they should repeat themselves, but I think the Spoonriver building that they show in the packet, designed by the same firm, has a more appropriate material palette for this location.
The Spoonriver building being right next to it really makes the point. Aside from palette (which I think could still work for me), the glass portions and varied roofline break up the boxiness in a way that this could really use.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 9:48 am
by Nathan
amiller92 wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 9:28 am
MNdible wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 3:15 pm
Yeah, not that they should repeat themselves, but I think the Spoonriver building that they show in the packet, designed by the same firm, has a more appropriate material palette for this location.
The Spoonriver building being right next to it really makes the point. Aside from palette (which I think could still work for me), the glass portions and varied roofline break up the boxiness in a way that this could really use.
North loop historic requirements for new buildings are listed in the packet

3.20 buildings shall have a singular rectangular shape and volume

3.21 building facades or portions of facades with setbacks are strictly prohibited.

3.30 fenestration must be grouped into vertical bays (no random glass and window placement)

3.31 buildings shall have flat roofs.

I understand what you're saying but the historic nature of the two neighborhoods are different and the buildings were designed as such.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 10:26 am
by amiller92
Hey, look, another example of historic district guidelines making things worse!

Honestly, just a cornice would make a big difference here.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 15th, 2018, 10:31 am
by Nathan
amiller92 wrote:
August 15th, 2018, 10:26 am
Hey, look, another example of historic district guidelines making things worse!

Honestly, just a cornice would make a big difference here.
It's hard to see in small renderings but there is a graduated brick cornice, reminiscent of the gothic inspired details of other buildings in the neighborhood. It's a classic brick feature.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 16th, 2018, 9:24 am
by nordeast homer
I think this is a case where the renderings don't do justice to what the actual building would look like. In some of the images it looks like a flat surface versus the brick that is actually proposed. That being said, I'm not a real fan of the balcony railings; I'm glad they're doing something different than the other projects around, just wish they would have gone with a better design.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 17th, 2018, 8:01 am
by Brenns
As someone who has spent a lot of time doing renderings, they look very rushed. It's possible that the materials and detailing will come together on this one, and they're just not represented well in the images.
That said, these S/K condo buildings are getting a wee bit predictable...

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 17th, 2018, 9:28 am
by MNdible
Nathan wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 3:19 pm
*masonry expert* you just need to use a brick that is available in a thin veneer.
So, not to belabor this point, but I was looking at the new Variant project, also in the North Loop, and it appears to be six stories of real brick over stick frame construction.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 17th, 2018, 1:40 pm
by Nathan
Did you see it go up? I'm surprised by that!

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 17th, 2018, 2:53 pm
by transplant
The building code only allows brick to go up to 30' unsupported or up to 35' at a "gable" condition. Many people stretch the definition of a "gable" to get the whole building up to 35' (my numbers are not exact - it may be 33' or 34' but you get the point).

However, there is an exception that basically says if a structural engineer signs off on it then the brick can go up as high as you want. The reason many architects don't like to do this is that the real challenge is differential settlement between brick and wood. Wood shrinks as it continues to dry out and to a lesser extent also gets crushed. This can mean a reduction in height of up to 1/4" or more per floor. The windows are attached to the wood but the brick doesn't move so as the building shrinks the windows move down and on the upper floors that can be as much as an 1" or more so as the windows try to move down they run into the brick sill (which is not moving at all) and they get crushed. Therefore, architects need to design a slip joint for the sill flashing that allows for this movement. This is a tricky detail and almost certainly requires the owner to reapply sealant around all the windows in a few years after the building is built. As architects push the envelope and get more comfortable with 5 floors of wood construction we are starting to see more buildings being done with brick all the way up. Indeed Variant did have brick all the way up and there are no relieving angles above the top level of precast (I watched it go up). Time will tell if it works out OK.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 17th, 2018, 3:04 pm
by MNdible
Interesting! Thanks for the info.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: August 22nd, 2018, 11:46 am
by ztr421
MNdible wrote:
August 17th, 2018, 9:28 am
Nathan wrote:
August 14th, 2018, 3:19 pm
*masonry expert* you just need to use a brick that is available in a thin veneer.
So, not to belabor this point, but I was looking at the new Variant project, also in the North Loop, and it appears to be six stories of real brick over stick frame construction.
Variant is absolutely real brick. I watched it being constructed.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 13th, 2018, 3:34 pm
by lordmoke

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm
by seanrichardryan
hmmm. I like the layout and the interior circulation. Materials- eh

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 13th, 2018, 9:18 pm
by GILBball
I think the live/work alley is pretty interesting, certainly unique. I'm happy to see a developer trying something new.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 13th, 2018, 9:47 pm
by mamundsen
I think it's interesting. I think it would be a good fit for the neighborhood.

Re: West Elm Hotel & Condos - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 14th, 2018, 6:37 am
by jtoemke
seanrichardryan wrote:
September 13th, 2018, 4:24 pm
hmmm. I like the layout and the interior circulation. Materials- eh
I think the materials are just poor rendering quality. You can see that the "limestone bands" are actually just a white fill with 50% opacity over the brick kicked out by the render software. Just some sloppy photoshop work -the bricks are literally visible still.

Based on massing, I'd say better. Materials, we will just have to wait and see.

Re: North Loop Development (Not West Elm Hotel & Condos) - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 14th, 2018, 8:16 am
by alexschief
I might like this proposal better if the demarcations between the floors didn't make this look like a supersized three and a half story building. But that's not the only thing bothering me. I don't understand the recessed center section at all, it's going to feel like a massive void. The parking/unit ratio (1.22) is straight-up bad.

It's a weird proposal and nothing in the packet explains why it turned out so poorly or why we should trust that it won't be all that bad.

Should go back to the drawing board on this.

Re: North Loop Development (Not West Elm Hotel & Condos) - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 14th, 2018, 8:42 am
by Tyler
Lame. Did they get push back from the HPC on that other proposal? Design wise, this one is a huge downgrade.

Re: North Loop Development (Not West Elm Hotel & Condos) - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 14th, 2018, 8:55 am
by amiller92
Maybe I'm crazy (and I'm certainly less qualified that some of you), but this looks like a major improvement to me, with the massing of each half being much more congruous with the historical references. At an angle or at a distance, they look good and like separate buildings.

The issue is the middle bits, which I'm unsure about but could work from a street-activation perspective if there's retail to generate activity in the "courtyards." And I sort of love the idea of a promenade (like this one in DC: https://www.google.com/maps/@38.9003262 ... 312!8i6656), but I'm not sure many people will have a need to pass between Azine Way and 1st. Which again to me means they need very attractive retail for it to work.

Re: North Loop Development (Not West Elm Hotel & Condos) - 102-120 1st Street N

Posted: September 14th, 2018, 9:16 am
by xandrex
I think the biggest issue with the live-work spaces is that it seems like they'll be pretty dark most of the time. Some of these units seem like they'll never get direct sunlight.