Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Market Building Re-Design: Nothing To Write Home About

Roanoke City Market Building under construction.
The third floor finally gets bathrooms.
This is the multi-purpose room on the third floor.
Newspaper photographer Eric Brady shoots the third floor.
This is the newly-designed entrance.
This structure is in the middle of the main floor. Yuck.
Doug Waters talks to a reporter.
Brick mason adds an attractive entrance.
Leasing Agent Roger Elkin, Doug Waters talk to press.
It pains me to harp on this (not really), but I continue to be completely underwhelmed by the re-design of the Roanoke City Market Building, which a bunch of us media types toured this morning with leasing agent Roger Elkin of Hall Associates and Doug Waters, who is head of the group running the building. The occasion was to promote occupancy for the building before its grand opening Labor Day. It will have "soft openings" for vendors before then, however, as they move in.

As I've said to the point of boredom in the past, when Roanoke City Council awarded the architecture contract to Cunningham/Quill of Washington, D.C., it made a serious error. Today, I saw more evidence of council's failure. (Council rejected a marvelous concept from local firm Spectrum Design in favor of the out-of-town firm.)

The best that can be said of the design is that it includes plenty of bathrooms, something that anybody designing the building would have featured. There were no bathrooms at all on the top floor of the building and now there are stalls aplenty, which will be a good thing if the big room with a stage is used as frequently as the city hopes it will be.

The most distracting element of the entire design is the large structure smack in the middle of the main floor, ostensibly for vegetable vendors. I can't imagine why they would want to be in the building instead of outside, but hey, that's just me. The sides of the mezzanine have been removed and two separate end-pieces remain for, I suspect, dining.

Here are some photos. Judge for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. oh I for one am disappointed... I had high hopes, but I fear that too much of the original character has been changed... Nice to see the third floor has been spruced up and will have restrooms. I remember our after prom party was in the Market Building and it was a pain to have to run downstairs to go to the bathroom while your date stayed upstairs to listen to the band!!!