Friday, May 23, 2008

Obnoxious Architecture - Vista Realty Partners

I keep driving by the large new development on Piedmont Avenue at Ralph McGill, Vista Realty Partners' 225 unit apartment complex called Marquis Vista. If the image to the right is any indication of how it will look, I will summarize my opinion with a single acronym: WTF?

Vista Realty Partners has done this before with Lindbergh Vista, although its not really as bad there. Lindbergh Vista is more of a missed opportunity, where as this rendering actually is quite annoying.

Generally, I would describe the problem with this style of architecture as an issue of proportion and quality. These architects try and mimic coherent styles, but they often use over-sized or cheap versions of the real thing. So you end up with the giant crown molding and on Lindbergh Vista, and this odd glass/cage tower thing on the front of Marquis Vista. And really, all they are trying to do is cover up the cheap stucco siding they've used on the rest of the building. Also, the colors - really? This isn't Miami, thats all I'm saying.

In the big picture, I don't mind that much. I am very happy to see mixed-use and/or pedestrian friendly developments in the city. And I have sometimes come around and started liking buildings that I used to hate. This definitely happened with the Westin downtown, which used to completely offend my sensibilities because of its street presence (or rather, its lack thereof). The Spring St side and the International Blvd side don't suck any less, but I have found I appreciate the overall effect much more than I used to.

For now, Vista Realty Partners gets the ignominious honor of being the subject of the first Obnoxious Architecture post. I went ahead and made this a category, since I know there will be lots more.


  1. I'd award an "Obnoxious Architecture" award to all the low-rise residential at Atlantic Station. It could be ugly for 100 years. I don't think it will last nearly that long. The commercial area is way above average. How did they go so wrong on the residential?

  2. B King, you are my hero. I pass this site everyday only to shake my head and think, "it's just going to get worse." As to the Atlantic Station residential assignments (let's go ahead and include all of them here), they definitely suck. Both before AND after all of the stucco-brick had to be reworked. Why does value-engineering have to equal crap? I second your "WTF?" and I appreciate you calling out all bad architecture and Architects. Boo!

  3. I for one, look for investments in real estate classifieds


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