Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Keeping Building Facades

This post is a follow up to my previous Keeping History from November 14, 2008. In that post I spoke about how the definition of historic (or what is deemed as historic) is directly tied to location and surroundings. With that comes the value of preserving what you can, and how you apply the historic notion to development. The Packard Building is a fine example of keeping something questionably historic in greater terms, but certainly worthy to be deemed historic based on the added value stemming from maintaining the character of a neighborhood.

I was walking by the project site the other day, so grabbed a few images showing the construction progress. From what I can tell, a fair amount of the below-grade work is complete. Soon we will start seeing the new structure rise behind the saved facade. It's a great time to view the site, as the old building facade seems to be balanced on not very much. Probably a bad time for an earthquake.

On a sunny day the sun pierces through the openings where the windows once resided. On any day you can look through the openings and see the crane lowering and rising with rebar and concrete.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Bellevue Towers Hits the Mark - I WANT!

The new Bellevue Towers development is pretty much completed, along with a host of other recent projects in Bellevue's downtown core. Probably bad timing with market being hit hard right now, but only if you're financially involved. Which I'm not, so my connection is purely visual. That said, take a look at the website to see the project in detail.

I feel this project is great on so many levels. Even had to pull my car over and get out to gawk when I first drove by a couple months ago. The architecture is fantastic. The two buildings speak to each other in a dramatic yet graceful way. The feel is most definitely residential. The balconies, curves, angles, tower bases, all of it... totally hits the mark. One of the most awe inspiring views is from the North where you really get a sense of all the stunning architectural features. In my opinion, Bellevue Towers raises the bar and is the development to beat!

These two photo's were taken by one of my readers. In the above image you can just start to make out the curving balconies that intertwine and reverse every six levels, which in my eyes is one of the most appealing elements. I'd love an image from the side of the building to really show what I'm talking about, though you can see it on the first image which is a computer rendering of the project. Below is a construction shot, also sent in by the same reader, with the project nearly completed.