Architecture Review Board Not Happy with Stonefield

Albemarle’s ARB is pushing back against the proposed design for the movie theater and Trader Joe’s at Stonefield (née Albemarle Place). A huge, beige, stucco wall is admittedly a lousy look for an entrance corridor.  #

12 Responses to “Architecture Review Board Not Happy with Stonefield”

  • Very reminiscent of 30’s Italian Fascist architecture.

  • Entrance corridors are just an excuse.

    Drive down Rt 29 from Greene county. The Albermarle side of Rt 29 is full of cheap billboards, mostly for lawyers.

    That entrance corridor is already completely trashy on the Albermarle side long before reaching Stonefield.

  • failing to see the issue

    They should try to match the aesthetic quality of the 7/11 and Blockbuster video stores that were once there. Clearly these hacks have no respect for this area’s history!!

  • What about Caravan “Home of the Humpburger” on Rt 29
    Now that was some classy digs!

  • It’d be nice to see more attractive buildings and why not push for that? Either way, people are going to flock to Trader Joe’s and the new theater.

  • failing to see the issue

    I would agree, Evan, that it would be nice if there were more attractive buildings up 29. But clearly these developers would be correct if they surmised that they were being singled out. Have you looked at the buildings on 29 lately? It would be hard to point to one and say, “there’s an attractive building.”

    What is the ARB’s mandate? Why are there so many ugly buildings on 29 currently? Why did the ARB not reject the design for Cheeseburger in Paradise? What about the ugly suntrust building at RIO and 29? Circuit City? Keglers? Walmart?

    I do not find the design offensive at all and simply rejecting a proposal leaves the architects shooting for a moving target. To me it seems capricious and arbitrary. I think the ARB is doing this simply because they can.

  • Failing to see (a an apt name to be sure), Cheeseburger in Paradise in actually in the city, the Suntrust building was built before the ARB, the Circuit City didn’t get the bright red reflective plug it wanted (it’s muted). The Wal-Mart just got a nice face lift and the Rio and 29 vitamin shoppe is nice buildings is the red lobster next to it.

  • failing to see the issue

    county mountie, I’m not sure why you feel the need to insult, but my point stands. This has more to do with the ARB’s authority than the design. Indeed, they say so: “I think if we approve a building with this much stucco in it, we’ll never be able to say no to anybody else with anything this size ever again. Either we’re making an enormous change in our design criteria here or we’re not.”

    Interesting that you don’t answer my question about what their mandate is. If they are responsible for making R29 look nice, they are failures.

    If the vitamin store and red lobster are examples of their “design criteria”, then I say “meh.”

    If they’re hoping for a ‘brick-heavy’ design that will mesh nicely with UVA’s brick-heavy campus, then count me as one disappointed with their lack of imagination or innovation.

  • “If they’re hoping for a ‘brick-heavy’ design that will mesh nicely with UVA’s brick-heavy campus, then count me as one disappointed with their lack of imagination or innovation.” I’m afraid I have to agree. Unfortunately too many people equate expensive with good design. Perhpas some windows will help break up the facade visually. What can be done with a grocery store and movie theater anyway?

  • I’d rather see more emphasis on what archtecture should do, rather than how it looks. The older homes and buildings were designed that way because it worked. For example, they had large porches because in the middle of the day it was too hot to work and people would sit outside with a cold beverage and chat with the neighbors.

    From that perspective we should ask ourselves what do we wnat this development to do for the community? I’d rather that sustainability be put front and center, with rain gardens, native plants, green roofs, living walls and other methods the treat stormwater create urban greenspace and wildlife habitat. Where possible, passive solar and other energy saving designs should be used.

    Lastly, but most importantly, it should be really walkable, not just a big sea of parking like the Hollymead “town center”. In that spirit it should actually include outdoor spaces that people will naturally want to congregate in as they walk between stores, etc.

    If we do these things, then I’d argue it’d be way more effective for the community and be way more attractive than any amount of brick or Jeffersonian design.

  • Lonnie Murray is right.

    But I’d like to see the pay for a streetcar down Seminole/Emmet Street to University Avenue. Barracks Rd. could rally do with some competition.

    Even the fake streetcar to downtown draws tons of students.

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