bunch wrote:previous scheme was much more successful. planners imo couldnt reconcile the need to integrate with streetscape along grand parade with its visual significance as a termination of the vista down washington street. they should have decided that one cannot address both equally, and should have decided to prioritise one over the other. i feel if they accepted that its importance as a terminating point for washington street in visual terms outweighed its role as part of the grand parade streetscape, a more interesting and acceptable design would have emerged. instead, the design is completely straight-jacketed between two conflicting design parameters and a slavish response to the planner's conservative approach to this site.
what it needed i think was an acceptance that a strong visual statement was required on the grand parade. this involved an interruption of the established pattern and rhythm of grand parade facades, which is entirely acceptable. naturally, this would require a sensitive approach to the english market entrance. the problem with the central shoe stores is the signage. the building otherwise is fine and could have been integrated into the scheme. agree that it is a lumpy and boring design. pana facade ok.
Actually I don't think there needs to be a dilemma here. Just look at any Georgian planned town, and you'll see plenty of houses which are identical to their neighbours but which simultaneously act as elegant termination points for intersecting streets.
The idea that building a completely bland and ugly building like this is showing some kind of respect for Grand Parade is ridiculous. That site, looked at from any angle, would have been much better served by an elegant and distinct symmetrical design, possibly slightly raised above the level of neighbouring buildings, in order to provide a good termination point for Washington Street.
My point, in a nutshell, is that where they could have had respect for both Grand Parade and Washington Street, they have respect for neither, and that there is therefore no excuse whatsoever for this rubbish.