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Old Posted Feb 21, 2019, 7:49 AM
Hindentanic Hindentanic is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 53
I wasn't too clear on this point, but I actually think the arcade wall is the better element, as it conforms to the path of the Riverwalk and it hides that gormless, double-height glassy stuff behind. The Riverwalk actually has a pedestrian "streetscape" that is not unlike that of the actual street level, making certain urban design techniques applicable to both. Instead of suburban-style setbacks and zigzagging broken massing, it is better have build-to lines that create façade walls. The arcade helps to rectify this, but it is obvious that the building has no relation to this arcade and was pulling back from the Riverwalk with the arcade added as an afterthought. Pigeon-holed brand architecture is like that, leaving the center view of the building when facing the arcade being a 7-story blank tan wall flanked by dull windows with no sills or lintels on a cheesy building with superficial cornices. Yes, better than what was previously there, but still...

The bleak Embassy Suites wall also tells us its not enough to conform to the path of the Riverwalk and that the wall has to be porous, humanely scaled, and lively to be interesting. Ironically, they actually have a gem of an arcade portal for someone brave enough to venture down past all the bare channel walls:

(Photo be Aaron Hockley on Flickr)

Too bad they couldn't bring the same treatment along the full stretch of their Riverwalk façade. Maybe the Hampton Inn & Suites will be similarly as good with their larger arcade and shifting Jenga steps, but as those were a forced compromise and not the original plan on a section of the Riverwalk rife with previous mistakes, I'm much more hesitant in my optimism.
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