Pic of the Week

Union Station Rendering

I spotted this drawing while I was at the Urban Design Center this week. Could this be the first rendering of Union Station? No. I’d put money down that it isn’t. It was just very cool to see it.

The latest is that a downtown design firm Clearscapes and a handful of others were selected in December to design Raleigh Union Station. This is according to a Facebook post.

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  1. Are City Council members and Wake County Commissioners getting paid under the table to use Clearscapes? I imagine they are. This firm is awful. There designs or input on designs is laughable, other than convention center (which is a poor design), they have not done ANYTHING signature). Stop using them Raleigh. With them involved, we are goin gto get an ugly tan box for Union Station (just like that ugly tan box of a convention center). The citizens of Raleigh should approve structures moving forward, NOT our city council clowns (Crowder an architect, that is funny, this guy has NO portfolio)

  2. Agree with Robert 100% about Clearscapes. Let me guess, this will look like a box like the convention center. No design should be approved if it looks like a box. If it does, level the existing structure and start from the ground up for a signature building. This will be the first thing people see arriving into Raleigh. This building needs to say: Future, Vision, Educated Region, Leading Edge and Technology Driven

  3. Sorry folks, but the Raleigh architects (and NC, in general) are amateurs. How many projects outside of the Triangle or NC has Clearscapes been involved in? The homerism of the backwoods bubbas is a bit tiring. They are intimidated by everything that is outside of the narrow world and much of the Triangle culture reflects that. No standards or aspirations or vision. Anyone remember the Plensa fiasco?

  4. This design will say exactly what it is: “I am a warehouse for humans”. I don’t think that we should be complaining about the local architects as much. Duda Paine is a fine example of local architectural firms that produce quality, as well as the Raleigh office of Kling Stubbins. There are decent architects but many of them are forced to work on sub-par projects. Unfortunately, we have too many examples of badly designed buildings, but let’s hope that Union Station escapes this fate.

  5. What a shame a few more of our HQ’s do not move to downtown Raleigh into their own signature buildings that bring more exposure for both them and Raleigh (example: more local technology companies, SAS (not the whole campus of course), Golden Corral, First Citizens, some of the pharma companies, Lulu (I like this founder/owner of Lulu, has excellent vision), etc).
    I have been here decades, I have never seen a successful bank as First Citizen perform so poorly in the community. They build that ugly flower pot HQ building on Six Forks instead of making a commitment to our community with a downtown signature HQ that would bring a large amount of foot traffic. I know they had plans to build downtown, but what an ugly design that building was back then, with no retail, thank goodness that was not built.
    OK, do not need to hear it is not First Citizens obligation to help develop our downtown and it’s not their reason for being in business.

  6. Nicholas, I still believe that some day FCB may return to downtown. While it is not their obligation to help downtown, they can give back by remaining a solid and healthy company. We need such employers here. I envision something great from them in the future, when they will be big enough. I don’t view them as anti-downtown, but maybe they want to take their time and return to the core when they are confident enough about their status in the market. After all, if they can survive this mess, they can survive most “storms”.

  7. Clearscapes should stick to landscaping. Their work can best be described as “Hillbilly Refurb”. I will say they are step up from J. Davis’s hackery.

  8. I hate to say this, but they money isn’t there for something better than this. We were lucky to get phase 1 fully funded. There are still two more phases that are unfunded, and both are pretty desperately needed. Look at all the hubub about Moore Square bus traffic. It’s only going to get worse as the bus fleet expands. A real downtown bus terminal is needed to improve the whole city.

  9. A landscape firm? do your research. Clearscapes is a part architectural, part public art firm and has done work across the country, though most of the work outside of NC has been in the realm of public plazas, etc, including recent work in California, Colorado, Oregon, etc. You continue to use the convention center as an example of their work, though keep in mind, Clearscapes was NOT the design lead of that project. They were partnered with TVS, out of Atlanta, and O’Brien Atkins and were mainly involved in construction administration and the public process. With Union Station, they’re partnered with STV, a firm out of New York, who served as the Architect of Record for the new station with Calatrava at Ground Zero as well as the lead for the restoration of Grand Central Station, the rail system at JFK Airport and a number of other projects. Urban Design Associates out of Philadelphia is also a part of the design team. In terms of adaptive reuse, restoration, familiarity with the site, etc. Clearscapes is extremely competent.

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