LUC Minutes 2008-06-16

June 16 2008 Eliot LUC Minutes:
6:35 pm call to order

Present: Mike, Clint, Laurie, Gary – refer to attendance sheet for non board members.

Agenda: No approved, decided to only discuss Legacy parking structure.

Quorum established if 8 board members (no quorum if 9)

Legacy parking garage:
ZGF presented the design for the new 3 story parking structure on the northwest corner of Vancouver and Monroe St.

Required to follow design guidelines through the IMP (written in 1995). Type II design review process. 75’ height allowed at center and 100’ at edge, nothing specified in part of the center of campus.

Garage is to accommodate future children’s hospital wing and displaced emergency room parking. Hospital is interested in a new better quality image (used to be a place for indigent care, worst case care, not always reimbursed).

Focus was on materials and compatibility in the neighborhood.

ZGF discussion on materials:
Stainless steel perforated panels set between vertical pre-cast fins. Panels vary in size. As street drops in slope, moving west, the orange steel structure is revealed and parking garage becomes open (this part covered by 2×2 steel grid for safety). Blue bubble tiles at entry and emphasis at entry with stepped form. Glass enclosed stair towers on three sides. Building sets back in one corner facing Vancouver. The stainless will change over time and refract light in different ways as catch glimpses of cars in the lot. Engages passerby.

New paving, landscaping and storm water design between new and old parking garage to strengthen connection to park and hospital. Also planning on improving Gantenbein for pedestrians –lighting, paving, planting, trees, etc.

Does not fit into neighborhood. Not compatible with adjacent buildings on campus or using any of the same materials as seen in the neighborhood.

No sense of continuity with legacy campus –this building adds to the hodge-podge feeling. Once look up close at pictures it is not a bad design –some interest to pedestrian. Better quality materials used.

Agrees with Gary, also does not like the way the glass enclosed stair looks.
Discussion ensued on whether the glass enclosed stair is what LU members requested years ago. The architects were told the ENA liked the way the existing parking garage glass enclosed stair activated the street.

Asked if ZGF looked at what happens to the design with height increase planned for future –doesn’t look like it was thought through. ZGF said difficult to evaluate since do not know program, but it will step back from street before it rises up.

Also suggested living wall to soften harsh facade and tie in better. ZGF claims difficult to maintain and they don’t survive. They grow too tall. Laurie said if take smaller segments it can be successful if a simple maintenance plan is followed.

Like materials in sense that they are fun and playful since supporting the children’s hospital (although recognize that they are not compatible materials with the neighborhood).

Laurie said the biggest problem is no retail on Vancouver for two solid blocks of parking garages, a street that traditionally had commercial spaces along it.

The bottom of the stainless panels is a bit harsh along Monroe –forming a single unchanging straight line. Better if changed elevation of bottom of panels to break line and provide relief.

The group agreed the design was an improvement in quality over more recent campus buildings. Mike will write a letter.

Meeting adjourned.

(Minutes taken by Laurie Simpson)