jk1237 wrote:in what sense do you mean typical Prince George? Im assuming you mean the outside facade
Yes I do mean the facade, but not just that. I think that the office section seems eerily like another clone of city centre, and if the residential section was chopped off and flown over to Glenelg or Newport Quays it would hardly look out of place at all; from that point of view it seems very typical. And beyond that, it's typical in some more subtle ways. I don't mean this as an attack on the designers & builders: obviously they do take a lot of responsibility for how the building turns out, but everyone on this site knows that council, governments, the "market", and the wider public all have a part to play in what ultimately gets built in Adelaide.
Starting from the bottom and working our way up, I was interested to learn that blame for the carpark likely falls on the state government: back in 2006, Will posted some history
of this plan, and he had learned that the original plans had included underground carpark; the DAC got cold-feet about that idea, and so we're stuck with multiple levels of carparking just above the street. I think that the building has at least tried to make a silk purse from that sow's ear (with the louvres rather than a blank concrete wall), but nothing's going to hide the fact that this building hasn't got as much street-appeal as it could have.
On the office levels, the building's from the big-empty-square school of design, waiting to get filled with desks, partitions, cubicles (or what have you) by the tenants: I can hardly think of anything more typical for an office than that. I particularly dislike this layout because it limits the amount of natural light that will be shared by the occupants. You can judge the amount of light that reaches the centre of a building by comparing the floor area with the perimeter: the more outside surface you've got compared to the amount of inside space, the more light can get in. A square has a very poor perimeter-to-area ratio compared to more "interesting" shapes; as a result, fewer people in the office will get to enjoy natural light. In fact, I guarantee that the window desks/offices will become status symbols - do you suppose the views of Hindmarsh Sq will be given to the managers or the recptionists?
Also, it seems to be another hermetically sealed box, because having built all that north and east facing glass we need high-efficiency aircon. Well I'm pleased to see that the opening window is making a comeback - take a look at this recent building
just north of downtown Seattle. Notice too its central courtyard that gives a light channel instead of what would have been a dark central area.
In the residential section, I dislike that, by starting so far above the street, it's been so separated from the city around it. It's almost like a gated community in the sky. What really appeals to me about urban settings is that public/private mix, those places where apartments are just above the street (or square, as the case may be) and the two have a certain amount of interaction. Maybe not much interaction, maybe just seeing that each other are there, but it's more than you get from seeing distant figures on the balconies of their ivory tower. I wonder if it would be plausible to arrange the stacking the other way around - put the resi bits at the bottom and the offices at the top?
And is there any "affordable" housing as part of this "major project"? Not as far as I can tell, it seems to just be 50-ish very expensive apartments so a hundred-odd people with six-figure salaries can walk to their offices (and still have parking for a couple of cars, but that's another story). Why did we need a major project to give a bunch of lawyers, dentists, and GMs some ritzy digs?