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When highrise/residential should not be built

metroboi

Cyburbian
Messages
49
Points
2
Here is an example of a rather large building/tower that should have never been built. Pictured below are the Condos at Sugar Mountain, NC. I don't remember the exact history behind this building, but during its construction people became outraged that such a project had been approved as it spoiled the view of the mountains. As a result of this project, I believe that a state law was passed which prevents the construction of similar towers lest the NC mountains become "raped" by these structures. The only purpose buildings such as this serve is to provide nice views for their owners at the expense of everyone else.




These were taken around 15 miles away in either direction. Imagine the tops of all these mountains covered in condos like that.

 

Cardinal

Cyburbian
Messages
10,080
Points
34
Hillside and hilltop development has been a contentious issue west of Madison, including in the community in which I once worked. The UW-Madison Planning Department spent a considerable amount of time working on the issue. It is strange to think how offended we are to see structures like this, or merely a house, crowning our hills. At the same time, though, we are enthralled by medieval castles perched atop the hills of France, Italy, Germany, and all of the other European nations. I wonder why? Is it that time hasallowed us to think of them as part of the landscape? Is it the architectural style or materials? Will places like this (or their ruins) come to hold the same position a century or two from now?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
13,918
Points
57
Cardinal said:
(snip)It is strange to think how offended we are to see structures like this, or merely a house, crowning our hills. At the same time, though, we are enthralled by medieval castles perched atop the hills of France, Italy, Germany, and all of the other European nations. I wonder why? Is it that time hasallowed us to think of them as part of the landscape? Is it the architectural style or materials? Will places like this (or their ruins) come to hold the same position a century or two from now?
Very astute! I agree with what Cardinal's saying.

There are probably, I assume, two forces creating this situation which need to be examined: the market for residential on hilltops/mountaintops with create views for a limited few and the regualtory framework of localities with jurisdiction over this location. Which is stronger? What can be done about it?

Personally, I think that people should not be building in this manner. If you want to see the view, go for a hike. It's good for you.
 
Messages
5,352
Points
31
Wasn't one of the reasons why castles were built in such a manner was so that the king/ruler could "watch over his lands?" If that's the case, what could be said of these modern-day condo-dwellers?
 

BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
I think some people find romantic the trappings of the feudal estate. You can see that in the over-deference paid to minor British and European "nobility." Hence, the castle ruins are "romantic" especially since ruins themself are dramatic and romantic. Of course, they were also prime examples of early "functionalist" architecture-so maybe these concrete bauhaus knock-offs are wirthy of attention :)

Will these buildings someday have a similar appeal? I don't know. Early McDonalds and other strip architecture are now fetishized by some preservationists. Heck, I look for orange roof 1970s IHOPs to be the subject of a scholarly study :)
 

H

Cyburbian
Messages
2,850
Points
24
BKM said:
Will these buildings someday have a similar appeal? I don't know. Early McDonalds and other strip architecture are now fetishized by some preservationists. Heck, I look for orange roof 1970s IHOPs to be the subject of a scholarly study :)
HA. Its funny because its true. We (my wife and I) saw an "old" "hisotric" McD's sign the other weekend and both thought it was just soooooooooo coooooooooool.

It was probably a replica :-D
 

passdoubt

Cyburbian
Messages
407
Points
13
Do the people who live in this highrise commute an hour to work every day? It doesn't look like there's much there to support that kinda construction...
 

ablarc

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
713
Points
20
What you put on top of the mountain is everything! The problem with this North Carolina abomination is not that there is something on top of the mountain; the problem is that this something has the colossal effrontery to be so banal in such a sensitive location. It has no public-spiritedness whatever. It gives nothing back to its surroundings in return for its views. It needs to be dynamited. Then let the developer hire a decent architect.

The world abounds with buildings that actually enhance their natural mountaintop surroundings, from the Parthenon to Rio’s colossal statue of Christ. Here is another that enhances every view from its surroundings. It has made its surroundings immeasurably more beautiful than they were, by having the decency to be beautiful itself.












Even if Disney later turned it into kitsch in our minds.

Even if it is Nineteenth Century revivalism.

Even if the insane guy who built it bankrupted his country.

* * *


Here are three more examples. Two grow organically out of the top of the hill, and one makes powerful symbolic use of its locale for cultural purposes that make sense to the populace. Even if it was built by the fascist dictator, Franco.


Mont Saint Michel growing from its rock: an organic fusion of natural and man-made structure.


Lindisfarne. Edwin Lutyens brilliantly finishes a composition begun by God.


Memorial to the Fallen, in the mountains outside Madrid.

* * *

Form is everything. If you can make something beautiful enough, people will in time cease to complain, as they have with the Eiffel Tower. This cheap, exploitive piece of crap people will complain about forever. And they should demand its destruction.
 
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BKM

Cyburbian
Messages
6,463
Points
29
Except our culture is so debased, ablarc, that we are beginning to worship banality.
 

Chet

Cyburbian Emeritus
Messages
10,623
Points
34
Great examples ablarc, but I agree this example is horrible. And Cardinal - I can think of at least one east side Madison example of this norht of the belt line and west of I-90. UGG.

Several suburban communities I work for in the glacial-till parts of Wisconsin actually have passed preemptive regulations against such things - even for single family homes.
 
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