Earlier in the week, we ran a post stating that work was underway on the Longshed project at Canalside. It was at the time that some architectural buffs began to ask why the current design being floated around differed from the original renderings.
While we have seen a number of projects altered over the years, from renderings to completions, it’s usually after building construction is underway that anyone takes notice. In this case, questions have arisen early on, before the construction of the Longshed even takes shape.
The design in its current altered state sees the removal of the clerestory monitor, and a change of the waterfront facade design. The reasoning behind this appears to be that since the building is an interpretation of the historic building that was found at the site, some liberties were taken early on with the design to create the most dynamic building possible.
Those liberties led to the initial design by HHL Architects, which was permitted for the site, with stamped drawings ready to go. But as time passed, a number of the “dynamic” features have been eliminated, not due to funding, but probably due to a more accurate reflection of the original building. But since the building is not a replica, and is more of an interpretation, it is a wonder why the designs were changed at all, to the tune of an additional $75,000.
A number of architecture enthusiasts who have viewed the new design have noted that it is unfortunate that the clerestory monitor has been axed, because it will forsake the amount of natural light and natural ventilation within the Longshed (see original HHL rendering above). And in the winter months, extra daylighting would have come in handy. The new interpretation does not have as much character, but in the end, it is a means to an end to construct the Erie Canal Packet Boat. But eventually the Longshed will serve another purpose – it could house a restaurant, or serve as a gathering place for public events… and at that point in time, the public will likely look back and wonder why some of the more dynamic design elements were sacrificed for an up-charge.