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  #201  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 6:41 PM
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Can't they at least retain the face of the existing building at the bottom..
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  #202  
Old Posted Mar 12, 2007, 10:54 PM
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A shot I took of Rudolph's building back in January. Considering I don't really care for any structure from the brutalist era, I must say this one really does look good.

But does that mean I'd prefer it to 115 Winthrop? Nope.

     
     
  #203  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 5:00 AM
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Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
A shot I took of Rudolph's building back in January. Considering I don't really care for any structure from the brutalist era, I must say this one really does look good.

But does that mean I'd prefer it to 115 Winthrop? Nope.

This base is easily reproducable . No big loss here. An overall big gain.
     
     
  #204  
Old Posted Mar 13, 2007, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post


Like the aerial view of the tower...


Quote:
In an interview, Mr. Piano said he wanted his tower to have a “light presence,” hovering above the proposed 70-foot-high public plaza. Without the vast open space, he said, his tower will seem too aggressive, and only demolition of the Rudolph building will make that wide plaza possible.

“I am a great admirer of Rudolph’s and I always ask myself, ‘Can we try to keep a building as a piece of architectural memory?’ ” he said. “But if it is not demolished, we lose the opportunity to create a city square.”

Yet Mr. Piano added that he was under pressure from Mr. Belkin to increase the tower’s width, something he said he could not agree to do. That conflict leaves the project’s outcome even more unclear.
Piano has drawn his line in the sand...
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  #205  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2007, 3:27 PM
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Originally Posted by NYguy View Post
Like the aerial view of the tower...




Piano has drawn his line in the sand...

Since the tower is essentially a big glass rectangle anyway, does increasing the width really compromise the design?
     
     
  #206  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2007, 6:37 PM
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Architectural Record

Rudolph Building, Eyed for Piano Skyscraper, Gets Temporary Stay of Execution







March 15, 2007

Paul Rudolph’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building, labeled one of the most controversial structures in the U.S. when it opened in 1960, is making headlines again. The Boston Landmarks Commission voted earlier this week to delay the building’s demolition, which the owner is seeking so that it can construct an 80-story office tower, New England’s tallest, designed by Renzo Piano.

Rudolph’s design is recognized as a significant step in the evolution of Modernism. The precast concrete ribs in its facade bucked the then-prevalent International Style aesthetic of steel and glass. Although its iconoclastic looks initially attracted criticism, the 13-story structure also drew praise for sensitively matching the scale and character of its downtown context. Developer Steve Belkin’s Trans National Properties plans to construct a 1,000-foot-high tower on its site. Preliminary designs include a rooftop garden and sun reflectors to mitigate shadows.

Preservationists at a public hearing on Tuesday criticized what they characterize as a rush to demolish Rudolph’s building. They noted that the proposed tower faces a long permitting process with no guarantees it will be constructed.

The new building resulted from a request for proposals that the city issued last year to construct a signature skyscraper and civic space on the site of a municipal parking garage in Winthrop Square. Trans National, which was the sole respondent, owns the Blue Cross/Blue Shield Building on an adjacent parcel at 133 Federal St., allowing it to expand the tower’s footprint.

The developer’s team testified on Tuesday that 133 Federal St. must come down so that Piano’s tower can include a spectacular landscaped plaza that is open on all sides. But members of the Landmarks Commission expressed their belief that the two buildings could coexist.

Preservation groups questioned whether or not security requirements for the new tower can be met while maintaining public access—and if Boston needs such a large open space in the relatively small Winthrop Square, especially given the fact that several new parks are currently under construction nearby. They added that Piano is uniquely qualified to incorporate Rudolph’s building within the new scheme, pointing to his success at marrying old and new structures at the Morgan Library in New York City and the High Museum in Atlanta.

The 90-day stay on demolition opens the way for possible revisions to Piano’s design plan but does not mandate preservation of the Rudolph building. Commissioners requested more information from Trans National and are also soliciting ideas from other groups.

Ted Smalley Bowen
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  #207  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Boston Globe

Renowned architect quits tower project

By Thomas C. Palmer Jr.,
March 17, 2007

The famed architect behind the audacious 1,000-foot environmentally sensitive skyscraper planned in downtown Boston, Renzo Piano, has split with the building's developer, Steve Belkin. Piano's original design for the building, which would be the tallest in the city and has received major support from Mayor Thomas M. Menino, was for an unusual tower of glass floating over a ground-level park.

A senior executive at Renzo Piano Building Workshop in Genoa, Italy, yesterday said the split involved a dispute over creative control of the tower.

"There have been requests to change" the building, said the executive, who asked that his name not be used because he had not discussed his remarks with Piano. "Some modifications were asked for. We felt they weren't appropriate," he said, but declined to elaborate on what those issues were.


Piano was traveling in California yesterday and couldn't be reached for comment.

Belkin's company, Trans National Properties, issued a statement with Piano's firm that did not discuss why the architect departed.

Rather, the statement said Trans National thanked Renzo's firm "for its inspired artistic vision for the site and its now completed involvement." Trans National said the Boston-based architect on its team, CBT/Childs Bertman Tseckares Inc., would have "sole future responsibility for architectural design and execution." Belkin couldn't be reached for comment.

In an article published this month in The New York Times, Piano was described as being "under pressure from Mr. Belkin to increase the tower's width, something he said he could not agree to do."


Belkin and Piano unveiled the Italian architect's design for the 80-story building in November. The design called for the glass tower to have reflectors that would direct sunlight to the ground-level public space, external elevators to whisk visitors to a restaurant and public space at the rooftop, and a supermarket and parking below.

Belkin was the sole respondent to Menino's solicitation last year for proposals to build a skyscraper on the site of a decrepit city-owned parking garage between Winthrop Square and Federal Street. In January, the Boston Redevelopment Authority officially selected Belkin as site developer.

"I called for world-class architects to come up with a building that reflects all the greatness and potential of Boston," Menino said when Belkin and Piano unveiled their design in November. "Today's proposal . . . promises everything we asked for."

Yesterday Menino said, "From what I understand, it's still a Piano-inspired design, and I'm happy about that."

Neither the joint statement nor the Piano executive indicated whether Belkin and CBT would keep the Italian architect's striking design, all or in part .


Belkin's project had already lost a key player when the leader of the development management team at Meredith & Grew, Daniel O'Connell, left to become secretary of the state Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development in the administration of Governor Deval Patrick.

O'Connell was a partner and experienced development professional who previously worked at Spaulding & Slye and helped prepare the massive Fan Pier on the South Boston waterfront for development. He was replaced by Yanni Tsipis, a vice president who has been with the firm's development group for years.

Belkin is an experienced businessman who helped launch the affinity credit card market, and has interests in travel, financial, and other industries. This is his first effort as a real estate developer. Other developers have privately said a project of the size proposed by Belkin would be difficult and expensive to build, even for an experienced developer.

Piano is known for the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which he designed in the 1970s, and for many other idiosyncratic buildings, like the Kansai Airport Terminal in Osaka, Japan. His new headquarters for The New York Times Co., which owns The Boston Globe, opens at Times Square this spring.
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  #208  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2007, 12:57 PM
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How sad.
I, too, believe that increasing the tower's width is not a good idea.
     
     
  #209  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2007, 3:44 PM
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How awful, it would've been great to see a Piano rise over Boston.
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  #210  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2007, 4:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Fabb View Post
I, too, believe that increasing the tower's width is not a good idea.
I agree from an aesthetic standpoint. But economics-wise, this tower is just under 20k sf (140 x 140 ft.), and that's awfully small by today's standards where a 40k sf floorplate is more common on a building of this height. Plus, this little floorplate has to accomodate 80 floors worth of elevators, requiring that the lower floors be taken up by an inordinate amount of space for vertical circulation.

Honestly I was never crazy about the Piano tower, and I wouldn't mind if CBT redid it with a wider base and setbacks, so that way the portion that pierces the skyline will still be slender while the lower portion can still offer office space that's competitive with the rest of the market. How they can do that on the awkwardly-shaped site, well, I'll leave that up to the professionals.
     
     
  #211  
Old Posted Mar 17, 2007, 5:37 PM
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Italian style is tall and slim. Same is true when you buy suits, the Italian cut is thinner. American's are fatter.

I'm glad to see that awful modern squat to go. An ugly disaster of modern times.
     
     
  #212  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 1:37 AM
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How sad is that?

We almost had the JHT on its way to being eclipsed! If I know Menino like I think I do, he will not stop and will probably press on to have this tower approved and built
     
     
  #213  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 4:57 AM
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Honestly, I think that it might be wiser just to move it somewhere else. Like I was thinking of Fan Pier, where the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) just opened its new gallery building. I read about the museum's new building in the March 2007 Architectural Record, and they discussed possibilities of massive new development in the Fan Pier area. I also know that is an area that Menino has expressed interest in as well.

Building a major office building in Boston's old core may wind up being more of a liability than people realize. When I was in Boston last October, the streets were extremely difficult to navigate because of the all the one ways, dead ends, etc. A new skyscraper, let alone an 80-story gargantuan, would add congestion, traffic, and less sunlight to the Financial Center's already narrow streets. Not to say that old Boston is not great, it is; but Fan Pier is open for development, literally.

It could easily serve as a new office core, as well as a residential neighborhood. It would expand the skyline in an even greater way than one building could, and it can open the door for more development. In a similar fashion to Portland's South Waterfront, it can be developed with wider streets, more parks and pedestrian space, including that spacious open plaza that Piano raves about.

And the best part: It's quite unlikely that the NIMBYs will be on the developers about this empty space, and they can keep the Rudolph building.

Old Boston is already beautiful. I think empty lots and parking lots are a little more in need of change than Boston's classic buildings.

It's just an idea....
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  #214  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:07 AM
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So does this mean the timeline for a 1000 footer will be pushed back quite a bit?
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  #215  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 4:03 PM
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^ Too early to say, but most likely yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StatenIslander237 View Post
Fan Pier is open for development, literally.
Yes it is, but only to developent that is no more than (approx.) 20 floors in height, thanks to Logan and the FAA. And I'd say Menino's number one requirement for this project is that he wants a tower to reshape the skyline. So Fan Pier, or anywhere on the South Boston waterfront, is off limits.

Also, I respect your comments on Boston's core handling a tower of this size, but at the same time I think you might be worrying a bit much. Remember, although it's over 1,000 ft tall, there's only 1.47 million sf of space here, whereas One Financial Center (two blocks away) is just 46 floors but 1.26 million sf in size. So I don't really think we're breaking the bank with this one, nor do I think the financial district is fully built out.

Last edited by kznyc2k; Mar 18, 2007 at 4:10 PM.
     
     
  #216  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 4:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post

Yes it is, but only to developent that is no more than (approx.) 20 floors in height, thanks to Logan and the FAA. And I'd say Menino's number one requirement for this project is that he wants a tower to reshape the skyline. So Fan Pier, or anywhere on the South Boston waterfront, is off limits.

Also, I respect your comments on Boston's core handling a tower of this size, but at the same time I think you might be worrying a bit much. Remember, although it's over 1,000 ft tall, there's only 1.47 million sf of space here, whereas One Financial Center (two blocks away) is just 46 floors but 1.26 million sf in size. So I don't really think we're breaking the bank with this one, nor do I think the financial district is fully built out.
good to know....thanks for responding to my input
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  #217  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 4:32 AM
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Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
^ Too early to say, but most likely yes.



Yes it is, but only to developent that is no more than (approx.) 20 floors in height, thanks to Logan and the FAA. And I'd say Menino's number one requirement for this project is that he wants a tower to reshape the skyline. So Fan Pier, or anywhere on the South Boston waterfront, is off limits.

Also, I respect your comments on Boston's core handling a tower of this size, but at the same time I think you might be worrying a bit much. Remember, although it's over 1,000 ft tall, there's only 1.47 million sf of space here, whereas One Financial Center (two blocks away) is just 46 floors but 1.26 million sf in size. So I don't really think we're breaking the bank with this one, nor do I think the financial district is fully built out.
I know the FAA complains very vocally about anything of height in southie...but considering that mixed-use plan with the 800-foot condo tower that was going around a few years ago would suggest height in the area isn't as big a problem for Logan as they make it out to be.
     
     
  #218  
Old Posted Mar 21, 2007, 5:59 AM
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Could you be a bit more specific about what the project was or where it was located? I hadn't heard anything about an 800 ft tower on the Southie waterfront.

And all I can say towards that the FAA limit is note how every development out there tops off at around 17-20 stories.. that's not the free market dictating those limits.
     
     
  #219  
Old Posted Mar 28, 2007, 1:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kznyc2k View Post
Could you be a bit more specific about what the project was or where it was located? I hadn't heard anything about an 800 ft tower on the Southie waterfront.

And all I can say towards that the FAA limit is note how every development out there tops off at around 17-20 stories.. that's not the free market dictating those limits.
Of course I can't find anything about it now...but I believe the Pritzker family was involved, and it was going to be a large complex south of the courthouse that would include a large (800 ft) hotel/condo tower. I think what ultimately stalled the project were arguments among the Pritzkers and disagreements about how much public green space would be included in the complex.
     
     
  #220  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2007, 12:38 AM
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Hey! Ya, I have been following this whole thread for about a month or two now, and i finally got an account and joined! Glad to be here now....but ya I have been following development in Boston lately, and I am very interested in what's going on, because I live right near Boston, and love it. But ya, Trans National Place would be so amazing, and although the design might not be approved, which is all right with me, I want them to build a 1000 ft tower nevertheless. Boston needs some taller buildings, and Hancock Tower has gone unchallenged for like 35 years and it is about time we finally get a building that tall. I'm very excited and hope this gets approved. Also I saw that South Station tower is a go which is also exciting, and I am hoping some of the other Boston projects, like South Bay Development are approved....But ya I am very excited and hopefully I can find out more in this forum because I want to know everything happening in Boston!
btw, i found an old forum and one of the things said their was a proposed building in Boston, called Filenes Tower, and I can't find anything on it....Did anyone else hear about it, if so post some info cause it looked like a cool building
CHYA BOSTON!
     
     
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