Loading...
6 - Planning Board Bus Tour of recently built/approved projects - June 7, 2007Planning Board Bus Tour of recently builU approved projects June 7, 2007 Comments from the Board and Staff (does not necessarily represent consensus) DRAF1' When projects are phased over time (and most are), it's harder to know if the Board's vision of what they approved will come to pass. By their nature, large project will end up with minor amendments that wil] affect layout, materials, and uses. Some of the projects have evolved well, whereas others have not evolved so well. The most important emphasis in reviewing projects should be on how people will move through the site, focusing on what the pedestrian experience will be like. We sometimes over-emphasize the importance of the design of the building, whereas iYs how the buildings feel at the street level and the design of spaces between the buildings that people experience most. Sometimes the ]ittle spaces are the most important; they can create intimacy, connectivity. Some good examples we saw: the 8`~ and Peazl courtyazd, the passageway through Studio Muse in the Holiday project. They are simply organized and finely/ appropriately detailed. Nearly all the projects could have benefited from more pedestrian connectivity which wouldn't take that much more space to accommodate. Things are nearly always more complicated in person than they are on paper. Some of the sites seemed complicated and not well connected. Uptown Broadway works well along the streets, but the back of the site appears to be an after- [hought. The plaza in the front works well, especially its connection to the coffee shop. But the common open space in the residential area was completely dead and inhospitable, echoey and loud. The materials aze cold and may not weaz well over time (the concrete plaza is already cracked). There are no private open spaces where residents would not feel on display. Detailing matters. Many of the projects appeared not to pay attention to details such as paving and landscaping materials. IYs important to pay attention to secondary and tertiary street fronts to avoid creating blank walls. Banks at the street level can be deadening to the pedestrian environment. Some of the buildings we saw were overly articulated, too fussy. Some of the buildings seemed ]ike they were just plunked down, divorced from the ]andscape azound it. Question how durable some of the newer building materials used in Uptown Broadway and Holiday will be over time. Something to watch/ consider.