Build It at the Office Park

In today’s Courier-Journal there is news a new office building has been approved by the Louisville Metro Planning Commission.  The only hurdle before construction can begin is a zoning change from industrial to commercial zoning.  You can check out the article here.  I’d say this is great news considering the current situation, but quite frankly its unimaginative and trite architecture.

I don’t wish this architecture upon anybody, but if the twin office towers are going to be built it should be in an office park in some suburb.  It shouldn’t be built in downtown Louisville on Main Street across from Louisville Slugger Field.  One person on the Commission made the correct decision in voting against the planned office building.  In dissent Yvonne Wells-Hatfield said the building would be out of context in both size and character.  That’s pretty much dead on.

Standing at 10 and 12 floors respectively, both buildings will be anchored by a 6 level parking garage.  There is nothing site specific about this building.  It could be built in any city, any where in the world and it would “fit in”.  And by “fit in”, I mean it wouldn’t work at all.  It works only because we’ve reached a point where we accept this as “good” architecture.  Are you kidding me?  If the rendering is accurate (Which it won’ be.  Most buildings end up looking WORSE then a rendering depicts.) I’m not sure where the inspiration for the reflective glass and white material came from.  One would think being situated across from Louisville Slugger Field the design would draw from the historic brick building that anchors the stadium.

So ultimately this begs the questions, “What is the purpose of the Louisville Metro Planning Commission, if it only verifies the building follows the rules?” (The rules, which by the way, are broken!)  Why aren’t more members questioning the actual decisions behind the design and why the building looks like it does (which may lead them to voting against a design even if it does follow the rules).

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