My brain exploded yesterday, because I recall that a frequent criticism of new high-rise developments in Adelaide, is that they are hamstrung by having to 'respect' the architecture of neighbouring heritage buildings, thus making them bland, boring, beige boxes with faux sandstone. Another common complaint is that our 'tall' buildings look like podiums of never built towers - i.e. they are short, fat and boxy.
Thus, when I opened this thread, and saw that people were complaining that this building should 'respect' the look of the existing heritage building and that it is too thin and should be reduced in height.....
I agree with you here. A well designed modern building can look fantastic above an existing heritage building. Old vs new type thing.
For the record, I don't think this is an architectural masterpiece, but equally it isn't offensive. What people should consider is that developers seeking to rehabilitate old derelict heritage buildings have extra costs, which unfortunately may mean extravagant architecture becomes unviable. I would rather this development proceed, rather than the site remain derelict for years and eventually fall into such a state that it has to be demolished.
After doing some research, I since discovered that Catcon/Woodhead only have control of the middle portion of the heritage buildings. I was under impression that these buildings were just one, but that's not the case. So I can now understand why the developers have gone for a proposal like this. I also remembered there is a 20 level proposal
for the eastern portion and 199 North Terrace.
It's unlikely this will happen, but I would love for one of the owners to buy the whole site and combine it into one big development. For example.. the heritage buildings converted into retail and dining, with a 20-25 level mixed tower above. It would need to have lots of glass, curves and stunning features.
If this marketed well (eg VUE), it would sell extremely fast... smack bang in the Rundle Mall precinct, opposite the museum/university precinct, close to the riverbank, would have stunning northern views, frequent public transport on it's door step and North Terrace will no doubt attract more big fashion names in the future.
Instead of two completely different buildings right next to each other. Though if I had a choice, I would prefer the 199-200 North Terrace proposal.