Thursday, January 17, 2013

Mesa Infill Project Revised, Facade Simplified

A project to construct an infill building at the site of a structure lost to fire in 2011 has been revised, according to an item on the City Plan Commission agenda set for the January 24, 2013 meeting. The project is located at 906 N. Mesa Street.

Revised plan for the new building at 906 N. Mesa Street.

The site plan and elevation schematics that are part of the Special Permit application show a simplified facade with less windows and stonework than previously revealed. The first level parking garage now has one entrance at the rear and no longer has one at the front, and the garage's footprint has also been reduced.

Previous elevation plan.
According to the application, the square footage has decreased in size from 9,795 to 8,830. Side elevations show that balconies have been added.

The building formerly at 906 N. Mesa Street was destroyed by fire on May 17, 2011 and was demolished by the city days later after a partial collapse of the top floor. The building was vacant at the time. The owner of the property is DDDG Investment II, L.P.

Building destroyed by fire in 2011.

Previously: Mesa Project to Replace Building Lost to Fire

City Plan Commission agenda:

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Latest Artspace Rendering Offers Refined Look, Nighttime View

A new conceptual image of the future Artspace artist lofts is giving us a look at what the building may look like at night. The image was recently posted by architect William Helm on Facebook.

Latest Artspace Concept Image
The new rendering also shows some slight differences from concept images that debuted in late 2012. Different sections of the facade are now distinguished by depth and color, with some sections in gray and others in subdued yellow. Concrete blocks that previously made up the southern staircase tower have been replaced by what looks like smooth concrete, and the Artspace sign is no longer seen. Awnings along the ground floor have been broken up into different sections and heights. And the arrangement of windows has also slightly changed.

Previous Rendering.
When completed, the building will feature up to 70 live/work units for artists, as well as ground level gallery space and will be located along Oregon Street between Missouri and Wyoming Avenues, adjacent to the Doubletree Hotel. According to the In*Situ website, the architect of record is ASA Architects in collaboration with William Helm. The project is headed by the El Paso Community Foundation.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Luther Bldg Update to Include Improved Facade, Storefronts

The Luther Building will soon serve a role in the City's effort to empty the current City Hall to make way for a baseball stadium, and new images show that the aging building may look very different in the coming months.

Proposed Luther Building Improvements
Concept drawings at the architect's website show a facade improvements include larger, more interesting windows, and a focus on giving the exterior a different character. It's a clear move away from the building's current utilitarian look. A series of horizontal and vertical lines help break up the current monotony.

The ground floor's current windowless walls will be replaced with storefront-style doors and windows, and street trees will line both Campbell Street and Mills Avenue. Awnings will shade the first level.

In*Situ Architecture's Luther Building page states that the project is currently in the "Building Shell phase" and will eventually house the City's IT Department. Paul Foster donated the 62,400 square foot building to the City in September 2012.

Ballpark Update: Paul Foster May Donate Luther Building
City to Buy Texas Ave Bldgs, Revamp Luther Bldg

In*Situ project page:

Airway Aesthetics Project Inspired by Flight

The first project in the City's effort to beautify Interstate 10 will include themes inspired by flight. That's according to an item on the January 15, 2013 City Council meeting agenda. The Interstate 10 overpass at Airway Boulevard project includes aesthetic improvements to the bridge structure as well as landscaping improvements to areas immediately adjacent to the main lanes.

According to a presentation by the consulting artist on the project, Vicki Scuri, colorful fins will be placed at strategic angles along the Interstate as well as the Gateways. These fins are influenced by the feathers that collectively make up a bird's wing, as well as by cross sections of an airplane's wing. Airway Boulevard is the Interstate's connection to El Paso International Airport.

Planters along the medians between the main lanes and the frontage road will include native plants and incorporate the colorful fins. Colors included in the overall project are influenced by El Paso's skies.

Columns below the bridge will be stenciled with similar fin shapes in different shades of blue. Pathways below the freeway will include lighting built into the sidewalk to provide a feeling of safety and destination to pedestrians. Planter walls along the Gateways will also include built in lighting, and a planter box in the Airway Boulevard median will "glow like a lantern."

The $10 million project's status and timeline should be updated at the meeting.

Previously: I-10 Beautification Moves Forward; Airway First

City Council agenda item (PDF):