Mass Ave design should be edgier

Keywords Opinion

At the American Institute of Architects Regional Conference in Lexington, Ky., Olson Kundig of Seattle and Archimania of Memphis, the keynote speakers, left Indiana architects in awe of the beautifully detailed and technologically experimental, and amazingly crafted work. Both firms are recognized internationally for their gritty, elegant work. The key to their amazing projects is a firm stance that their works be original, of their location and have artistic beauty, especially in how the details enrich the projects.

This is especially timely with the release of the new Mass Avenue design concepts. The public deserves to see all the proposals. If what we have seen so far is exemplary, all the proposals need to push for more creative and responsive design.

Representatives of both Indianapolis firms were present in Lexington. Hopefully these firms take away what we all should have, that big gestures without substance and detail do not enhance our city, nor do they show a desire to create something of value for the neighborhood fabric they become part of. Mass Avenue deserves better and richer design than the mixed-use clichés.

Any arts district deserves buildings that are edgy, yet somehow respectful; buildings that can show citizens architecture of today with an eye to the future. It is said in our profession that God is in the details. What has been shown to us feels like it is of Anyplace, USA. Please give us big “D” design.

Thaddeus S. Lupton

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