Friday, June 26, 2009

Hello  "John Hancock" group, Peggy, Michelle and YoungJi,

I enjoyed the powerpoint yesterday and was impressed by all of you great computer skills!  I forgot to tell the rest of the groups and the three of you that all the photos I have taken of the out door, basement level, Hancock Center were adjusted and brightened up with iphoto.  

The plaza area is so dark with all the black reflective marble that you could see nothing.  I will post two photos to show you the difference.  I bring this up because it is a dark area with black materials even a black waterfall, that is hard to really see.  The Living Green wall will cover the flat part of the waterfall and add color and texture.  Also changing all materials to a lighter color will make the whole area appear larger.  

There is very little sitting area due to the 4 sets of stair cases, each with 28 steps to the lower level.  The monograph of the 1969 Hancock Center, shows a rectangular area with one pair of center stair cases on Michigan Ave.  Adding the shops and the additional stairs, with large sitting steps next to them, left little room for seating.  I love the idea of removing the center large seating area steps,  increasing the water pool and then with a "glass type" cover over the pool create a new seating area, so people sitting at the tables feel that they are "floating on the water as the walk and sit on it.  the Sketch-up pictures showed that well.

Even though the management and shop owners had mentioned making the area available year round, so that it is not a closed area in the winter, due to Chicago's extremely cold and windy winters that leave ice on the steps and only inside access, I feel at this point, for aesthetics and the iconic nature of the Hancock building it should be handled in winter, as a ski resort rest area would be.  

New flooring could be done with heating elements under it and on the staircases.  The waterfall could be replaced by a large fire pit for the inclement months.  A three to five foot glass over hang could be installed around the perimeter of the area with heat lamps and lighting installed under the UV glass.    

The "dome"  done as a green house with a movable glass roof, as we saw in the Italian piazza and other S.O.M. buildings, (that the restaurant owners and management have expressed an interest in) were an interesting design experiment, but Liz felt it should be abandoned at this point as the wrong approach because it would take away from the building itself, and I think we all agree.  Maybe changing the street level railing from steel to taller glass panels and door like entrances at the staircases, would enclose the area and be less obtrusive and offer more shelter than is there now.

I will meet all of you Monday at Harrington after Michelles class at 5:00pm to finish up.


Anne Marie


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