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"Distinctive New Look" or "German Expressionist Horror Movie"?

There are some preliminary renderings of the Bottle District on the website of St. Louis-based Clayco Construction's Forum Studio. Daniel Libeskind (yes, that Daniel Libeskind) is working with the Forum Studio on the design.

In a Post-Dispatch article, Charlene Prost says the Bottle District's three condo towers "would bring a distinctive new look to the city skyline." As a counterpoint, James Howard Kunstler has called Libeskind's proposal for the World Trade Center site "the set for a German expressionist horror movie."

Personally, I hope there are some unique, local, owner-operated businesses to go with the tourist trap entertainment megaplexes planned for the Bottle District.

Posted under Business District by Brian Marston on Thu., Sep 15, 2005 at 11:23 AM


Libeskind seems obsessed with height and crude forms, two things that almost always create pedestrian-unfriendly environments. The Bottle District renderings aren't very encouraging -- the emphasis is on the "big picture" instead of the ground-level. This could be bad for an area already cut off from the downtown core by that big box outlet wannabe America's Center complex.

[Posted by Michael Allen on Thu., Sep 15, 2005 at 12:54 PM]

How is height not padestrian friendly? Also, god-forbid St Louis build something other than a conservative, high rise box.

[Posted by Ralph Moran on Fri., Sep 23, 2005 at 1:18 AM]

Height isn't necessarily anti-pedestrian, but height sometimes entails oversized scale, and that is exactly what is proposed here.

Libeskind's style is becoming the conservative choice of the 21st century, I think -- edgy enough to look modern but still beholden to the autocentric instincts of developers. The Bottle District designs show no real innovations in scale, materials or shape, and their street-level design is fortress-like.

[Posted by Michael Allen on Fri., Sep 23, 2005 at 12:21 PM]

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