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Design a Better Boston Are you disappointed with the state of Boston's current architecture/development? Think you have a better idea? Post it here.

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Old 11-30-2011, 11:13 AM   #1
davem
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Buildings I've designed.

I "sketch" in my free time, IE: as I walk around this city I gain inspiration from the underused lots, ugly buildings, voids in streetwalls, etc, and can't help but figure out ways to fix them. I mostly use Sketchup because its super fast and the integration with google earth makes grabbing site dimensions and topographic information a breeze. I've decided to share some with you all, in hopes of criticism, praise, and just general discussion.

First up: The Twin Donuts building in Union Square, Allston.
My inspiration here was the iconic neon sign. This cafe has been the keystone for the entire square for 50 years or so, and it really deserves a more landmark building.

I still haven't figured out what to do with the 2nd floor, so its blank for now. The storefront is supposed to be 50s-ish in style. The rest of the building was more 50s to start as well, but slowly moved towards a more classical styling.


The residential lobby:


N. Beacon Street. The storefront in the rear is really deco, but I've changed my mind and plan to redo most of the facade.


And in context with googles 3d buildings:
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

I like what you did over the doorway, very nice. Just make sure it gets built with copper or something and not more precast.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:24 AM   #3
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

125 Mass Ave: Corner of Boylston and Mass Ave over the Pike.
This is one that I really liked in the beginning, and have come to dislike more and more. The inspiration was a modern interpretation of the art-deco style, concentrating especially on verticallity. I think its not bad from the street, however it turned into a big grey monster. It is however from the time in which I had a v-ray subscription, so there are some better quality renderings.



My favorite part: (I renamed Hynes to the historic name of the pre-back bay peninsula that was here: Gravelly Point).
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:28 AM   #4
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Originally posted in re: to Twin Donuts:
Why the heck aren't you in the industry? That looks great!

I think the scale and massing is very appropriate. I also really appreciate the green portion of the facade as the focal point and marking of the entrance. You've got a lot of talent. I can't wait to see more.

---
Edit: Ask and you shall receive... The Mass Ave building is interesting. It gave me a Landmark Center vibe. It's like... art deco brutalism...
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #5
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vanshnookenraggen View Post
I like what you did over the doorway, very nice. Just make sure it gets built with copper or something and not more precast.
I was thinking either wood or a type of metal that looks to be oil-rubbed bronze. The tan part would be glazed elongated brick, and the grey that is not the stainless steel Twin Donuts storefront would be precast.


Just to show I'm not only an armchair architect, here is something that did get built: (not Boston though)








Hand chiseled every single mortise and tenon, 3/4" oak pegs hold it together.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:37 AM   #6
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
Originally posted in re: to Twin Donuts:
Why the heck aren't you in the industry? That looks great!

I think the scale and massing is very appropriate. I also really appreciate the green portion of the facade as the focal point and marking of the entrance. You've got a lot of talent. I can't wait to see more.

---
Edit: Ask and you shall receive... The Mass Ave building is interesting. It gave me a Landmark Center vibe. It's like... art deco brutalism...
The economy keeps me out of actually working, but I'm studying Historic Preservation at the BAC. I'm also glad that the green hue is coming through on the enterance, I didn't want it to be just stark black like the building a bit up the street.

Art deco brutalism... I like it!
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

I have to write a paper now, but heres a teaser of things to come:
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:51 AM   #8
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

The historic preservation background shows. The material palattes and facade details are very appropriate for their areas. It's refreshing to see the classical approaches still in use in this day and age amidst the barage of post-modernism.
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Old 11-30-2011, 12:30 PM   #9
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by datadyne007 View Post
The historic preservation background shows. The material palattes and facade details are very appropriate for their areas. It's refreshing to see the classical approaches still in use in this day and age amidst the barage of post-modernism.
The thing is, there is no reason that historic APPROACHES cant be used for modern architecture. Vernacular architecture is what drove designers of the past, and its what drives me. People often cite cost as the reason for our throwaway architecture, but for instance when pricing out going with authentic board and batten vs the fake hardi-board, the wood actually came out cheaper. Disneyifacation is also a fear when looking to the past, but it is easily avoided by not copying, only being inspired. New programs such as Revvit also don't help, as "drag and drop" architecture is becoming more common. Detailing is practically forgotten in lieu of massing, when really one should work in concert with the other.

...it also helps that I grew up transforming this:

and this:

to this:

and this:
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:09 PM   #10
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

I'm actually an "armchair sketcher" myself - I wouldn't even call myself an armchair "architect"! But I'm glad Davem has posted what he's been working on here - definitely takes guts! Actually, it's given me the impetus to share my own, now that he's created a thread for this. Would be very interested to see others' as well.

Most of these are conceptual without any particular site in mind. The Washington Square Movieworks site is the exception.






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Old 11-30-2011, 01:53 PM   #11
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem;131208


[IMG
http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y256/Ins0mniac69/2010-09-051.jpg[/IMG]
hand chiseled every single mortise and tenon, 3/4" oak pegs hold it together.
Lurker approves!
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Old 11-30-2011, 01:57 PM   #12
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Heh, When I saw these I thought, "Hmm, I bet Lurker will like these!"

For the record I really like your work as well.

Was there a reason you didn't keep the bull nose running the entire height of the first building?
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:47 PM   #13
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

If it said "Twink Donuts", I'd be more likely to visit.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:53 PM   #14
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem View Post
125 Mass Ave: Corner of Boylston and Mass Ave over the Pike.
This is one that I really liked in the beginning, and have come to dislike more and more. The inspiration was a modern interpretation of the art-deco style, concentrating especially on verticallity. I think its not bad from the street, however it turned into a big grey monster. It is however from the time in which I had a v-ray subscription, so there are some better quality renderings.



My favorite part: (I renamed Hynes to the historic name of the pre-back bay peninsula that was here: Gravelly Point).
I love the doorway and the subway station. I'd make special effort to use the station just for the entrance.
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Old 11-30-2011, 05:54 PM   #15
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnAKeith View Post
If it said "Twink Donuts", I'd be more likely to visit.
...





...roflwtf.
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Old 11-30-2011, 06:10 PM   #16
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Wow, this is great
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Old 04-17-2012, 07:47 PM   #17
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

How do you do this?


What computer program do you use?

These are really awesome
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:42 PM   #18
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem View Post
125 Mass Ave: Corner of Boylston and Mass Ave over the Pike.
This is one that I really liked in the beginning, and have come to dislike more and more. The inspiration was a modern interpretation of the art-deco style, concentrating especially on verticallity. I think its not bad from the street, however it turned into a big grey monster. It is however from the time in which I had a v-ray subscription, so there are some better quality renderings.



My favorite part: (I renamed Hynes to the historic name of the pre-back bay peninsula that was here: Gravelly Point).
how on earth do you do this in Google Sketchup?

Please Help
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Old 04-21-2012, 07:58 PM   #19
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

There are many excellent Youtube tutorials for Sketchup - just start googling them, choose your favorite one, and take it through. There are a lot of simple tricks to make things smoother and easier.

Also, don't despair if nothing you design in Sketchup looks like those buildings ^ . He had mentioned that this particular model was rendered through fancier software. His model itself is awesome, but these rendering engines really enhance the impact beyond what you can achieve in sketchup alone.
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Old 04-21-2012, 08:13 PM   #20
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Re: Buildings I've designed.

What 3rd party rendering engines have you guys been using?
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