In preparation for Tuesday's Flower Mart presentation and in respect for all of our limited attention while on Zoom, we are offering up the joint Booster's|DNA Design Review Committee's assessment of the current designs based on two meetings, one in July and the second on Sept. 1st.
The main issues remain working on a way to better break down the monolithic nature and lack of activation of 17th street; ensuring there is a clear, welcoming entrance from the east and/or south side of the building that face into the community -- off of 16th; and guaranteeing safe passage for bikes and pedestrians along Mississippi and 17th Streets while minimizing the growing bottleneck traffic on these corridors during rush hour.
Adding green screen aspect and/or colorful/engaging graphic aspect to the metal grillwork proposed would also be very welcome and fitting for the Flower Mart and for the location as it is such a marquis location.
The committee stated serious concerns about the treatment of the 17th street facade in the July meeting as the initial design turned it's back to the neighborhood and 17th street by its lack of program activation, transparency, and variation of materials--ultimately missing a sense of scaled articulation.
The subsequent design, shown above, still feels very monolithic in its approach to 17th street and the neighbors were and are keen to ensure this street is treated with care and acknowledgement rather than as an afterthought of the activities inside the building or along 16th street.
The two moves presented Sept 1 that speak to what was requested in July include the following:
1. Inject program space into the existing masonry structure which is very small (program is still undefined but we will take it as a plus). 2. Breakup the 380' expanse of sheet metal facade with a repeating trio pattern of translucent recessed glazing strips and accent strips of green framing (alluding to trees). We appreciate the changes but feel they are far too subtle. When looking at the elevation as it is shown above...it still feels like a 380' long monolithic facade broken by a small percentage of masonry which is a remnant of the past but hardly appreciated or celebrated.
We have requested a followup meeting with more design explorations with some using a bolder approach.