Monday, December 15, 2008

le semple, c'est simple

The Semple Building was the third structure to become a component of the rapidly expanding Youngstown Business Incubator campus in downtown youngstown.

And its outside will soon be getting a facelift.

here's a direct picture of the brick facade (post terra cotta demolition and pre-tech center construction):

and here are the two buildings on both sides of the Semple:

a critique:

What's to like about this design is that the brick integrity is being retained (as well as the rest of the building - the inside looks great too), which when mixed with the glass, will balance old and new materials. Nicely done.

What's not to like about this design is that in the rush to make cohesiveness between the Tech Center and Home Savings, the feel of building sequence is becoming increasingly monolithic.

The utterly architecturally horrific Children's Services Building and its slighty-nicer-but-still-ugly-step-sister of a building, the Voinovich Building, sit face to face to the YBI structures. See the twin tragedies here.

Taken together, now both sides of Federal Street between Hazel and Vindicator Square/Symphony Place lack street level interaction, and for someone interested in commerce or kinetic activity, is somewhat of a dead zone - and will remain this way for years to come because it is recent construction.

So as I walk from the Symphony, or the SMARTS Center, or the Ford Recital Hall, or the wonderful Overture restaurant, or the Mahoning Valley History Museum to the entertainment venues and restaurants towards central square . . .

. . . there is a sense of the dark side one must walk through to go between the patches of liveliness.

especially after business hours.


Sarah said...

solution? blow up alderaan. problem solved.

Paul said...

Here's a nice thing I can say: At least this building wasn't torn down and replaced with one made entirely out of aluminum mini-blinds.
Even though I think this is a completely unnecessary wart on the Semple building, I can say that, unlike the Children's Services Building, it could be worse.