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Re: “Tip of the Tongue: What's Missing in Richmond's Restaurant Scene?

Regarding RVA barbecue- I would like to invite Matthew to come out and try ZZQ this spring at one of our pop-ups.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by CPF on 03/16/2016 at 10:14 AM

Re: “Out of View

Thank you Scott Bass for exposing this unforgivable practice and inspiring me to speak up.

The Scott’s Addition project, and several other multi-family developments should never have seen the light of day. No pun intended. It is beyond comprehension to me that a project with this ambition would be approved with only a third of the units containing windows. Architects have a moral obligation to improve the built environment. Architecture must privilege people first. Human perception of space and its impact on our psyche is one of the most critical aspects of design. Modern life is chaotic enough and I have spent a career trying to thoughtfully design spaces that are peaceful and restorative. Every human being needs natural light and a visual connection to the landscape…a room with a view.

My experience with developers such as Tom Wilkinson is they are only interested in one thing, profit. Profit at the expense of fundamental human needs and concern for the quality of life of his residents. Clearly Tom and his “go-to” architect, Walter Parks, either disregard, or simply do not understand basic human psychology. His term “interior streetscape” is an absurd description, I have experienced these types of apartments and they are akin to living in a cell block…the furthest thing from something that qualifies as a home. Furthermore Parks’ assertion that his windowless units are “cool” and better than units with traditional windows is downright absurd…and, outrageously, according to Wilkinson we don’t need fresh air either. Their rhetoric illustrates a lack of genuine concern and sensitivity for the people who will call these places home. This is not a design issue, it is a psychological one. Any designer worth their salt understands this. Nothing can take the place of a simple window to the outside world. I think that Walter and Tom need to start opening windows in their own homes. A bit of fresh air might do them some good.

The City must stop this unforgivable, developer-driven, formulaic practice that values profit over people. Kudos to Doug Cole for voting against the Clay St Project, he clearly “gets it”. For our citizens sake I hope that a handful of developers with integrity can step forward to offer a thoughtful alternative to our multifamily market. Otherwise, as Cole points out, unless we hold the designers of our built environment to a higher standard, I fear that RVA cannot move forward and realize its potential to become a center of creativity and innovation.

Chris Fultz, Fultz Architects

51 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by CPF on 09/13/2012 at 11:23 AM

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