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Sep
03

Appearance Commission to Review Residence Inn

residence1 The Raleigh Appearance Commission meets tomorrow, and among the items on their agenda is the planned Residence Inn for downtown Raleigh. The 9-story hotel is rumored to feature a “rooftop” bar, but will primary serve as a secondary hotel for those attending events in the adjacent convention center.

The building will use four materials on the surface: EFIS and three tones of brick. The street level tone of brick will be beige while the upper floors will feature brick of red and hulking grey tones. The building only gets EFIS treatments on its crown.

Overall the look is modern, urban, boxy with surfaces broken up by varying textures and materials. There are no vast expanses of a single material. Instead, the architects have presented a very busy looking building that is neither an eyesore nor a beauty nor bland.

I really like that the design continues the dedicated 2-story façade for the first two floors, as we have seen in so many projects in the last decade. The effect is that the streetspace feels wider than it would if the building were the same material from sidewalk to roof. (The rule is that the façade needs to change before it gets to the height that matches the width of the street, btw).

residence3 While I appreciate that this building is not a stark, unimaginative box, I do think the designers have gone a bit overboard with the heterogeneity of materials. I am not a fan of brick red and gray together, so obviously I don’t like the material choices. Also, I like the signage at street level, especially the vertically-oriented signs. However whoever designed the “Residence Inn” sign for the building’s crown must have happy-clicked on the kerning settings because it looks like a giant mistake.

We all wanted Greg Hatem’s dream of a skyline-impacting, boutique hotel with a signature rooftop restaurant to get built on this plot of land. However this hotel will be a nice addition to downtown and will help the sorely underserved hotel market for downtown. There are plenty of other sites where we can eventually get that boutique hotel, so until then, lets keep going up!

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The Appearance Commission will discuss this project during their meeting tomorrow, September 4, at 4:30 in the City Council Chambers.

residence2

  • Vatnos

    I have no complaints about the looks. My only issue is with the height. Very unambitious, 9 floors.

  • https://www.raleighmsa.com Ernest

    A vast improvement in terms of design, but a HUGE disappointment when it comes to land use. The best they could have done was to build an 18-20 story hotel on half the lot and leave the other half for another building.

    Of course, that would be too much to ask from people whose goal is NOT to take full advantage of our downtown’s potential. While other cities have the guts to dream big and act on their plan, we keep settling for less and less each time. This hotel would have looked fine in Glenwood South and The Warehouse District. Site 4, on the other hand, deserved MUCH better than this.

    Yes, I know, there are people who cheer about actually “getting something built”, but there has to be a balance. A cheeseburger from McDonald’s will keep you alive, too, but at the expense of your long-term health. The problem is that we are getting more of the cheap stuff and less of the projects that our city deserves. The continuous scale-down is nothing but a warning of what is coming.

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