JAIR LYNCH Development Partners has completed a new conceptual design for the second of two mixed-use multi-family buildings and a critical anchor in the reinvented North Service Court. Located on Parcel 2 between 1st Street and Half Street, the building delivers a dynamic, efficient mixed-use program with 250 apartments, of which 25 will be affordable at 80% of AMI, and 15,000 sf of neighborhood serving retail with outdoor seating adjacent the North Service Court and Olmsted Walk. Collectively the design and program optimize the pedestrian experience and benefits to residents, while remaining a backdrop to the historic landmark.
Designed by MV+A Architects, the building is imagined to provide a unique expression honoring the McMillan site as a historic landmark, while relating to the existing approved buildings. Drawing inspiration from themes articulated in the Master Plan and Design Guidelines to allow for a cohesive place, the design is unified and diverse, while complimentary to the existing historic resources and sense of place that is McMillan. Evident in the proposed design, thematic elements include:
- Simple Geometry – Consistent with the strategy in other proposed buildings, the proposed massing is expressed as a series of simple linear bars. As outlined in the design guidelines, providing rational and straightforward geometries “reflect[s] the site’s logical organization and the historic structures’ formal simplicity.”
- Draped Landscape – Connecting to the manner in which the grassy landscape of McMillan drapes and folds over the vaulted filter cells below, the building’s white metal element is expressed as draping over a dark masonry building beneath. The treatment between the two elements relates to the contrast between the landscape and the functional elements required for the water filtration process. This concept follows the design guidelines suggestion that a “systematic layering and variation of façade elements is appropriate and encouraged.”
- Unified Palette – To maintain the cohesion of the site as a singular place, the concept design utilizes a material palette and treatment consistent with existing approved building concepts. The primary building color is white as expressed through a white metal panel facade system; secondary building color of charcoal grey is expressed through charcoal masonry and metal; and a tertiary building color is expressed in the wood balcony railings and accent mullions.
- Banded Pattern / Grid Pattern – The banded patterning of the white metal façade treatment relates to the patterning on the sand bins left behind from their construction process. Similar patterning is proposed through different means and materials on other North Service Court buildings. The regular gridded patterns of McMillan are referenced in the simple regular grid of windows on the building’s white metal facade system. The playful dance of its small vertical windows further provides diagonal readings similar to the manhole covers in McMillan’s landscape.
- Accented Entries / Portal Passages – The site features a number ofcelebrated portal passageways with accented entries, such as the pronounced framed entries into each of the filtration cells and the bold openings to the sand bins. The previously proposed buildings and landscape design employ abstracted portal passageways in a variety of locations and scales. The proposed building creates a portal passageway at the intersection of 3/4 Street and the North Service Court, which frames reciprocal views to and from the North and South Service Courts, creating an intimate, yet activated space to view the preserved historic assets in the North Service Court.
- North Service Court Cohesion – The design contributes to the cohesive nature of Service Court as outlined by the approved design guidelines. The building respects the unified podium height and setback above the podium in order to evoke the plinth and provide context to the historic elements. As proposed in designs for Parcel 1 and 4, the podium wall is canted similar to the existing service court wall and punctuated by a portal passage, mirroring a similar design element in the healthcare facility across the court.
Formally submitted to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB) for review earlier this month, a hearing before the Board is scheduled for tomorrow, January 29th at 1:30. Check back next week for an upated video highlighting the this latest addition to the New McMillan.