Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Chapel Hill redevlopment: "soft modernism"
Dean Marvin J. Malecha of the N.C. State College of Design has spent seven peer review sessions with the design team for the Lot 5 and Wallace Deck properties--time well spent, to judge the results. Yesterday the team presented schematic designs.
The basic architectural vocabulary they have chosen draws upon what Dean Malecha referred to as "soft modernism," which he explained to mean a modernist aesthetic that responds to the surrounding context (in downtown Chapel Hill, distinctly not modern), that incorporates color in ways that Corbusier-inspired modernism usually did not, and that makes accommodation for pedestrian traffic in ways that auto-centric modern designers were not typically thinking about. Although he stressed yesterday that there was a long way left to go, what we saw was exciting.