June 25, 2004

Natick Mall Expansion Design

The MetroWest Daily News reports on architectural drawings for the Natick Mall expansion, which will apparently feature "tall, conical glass entrances and concrete berm that will rise and fall like rolling hills. An all-glass restaurant sits above a tunnel and one restaurant will have an outside eating deck," the article says.

Outside is nice, although a deck over a view of a parking lot wouldn't be all that appealing.

The artist's rendition on the News Web site shows three people walking by the buildings; but if you look carefully, that view at least is certainly not very pedestrian friendly -- there's no barrier at all between the sidewalk area and the street. The only reason those artist-rendition pedestrians appear to be strolling so casually and happily is that there are no speeding vehicles (or ANY vehicles) in the drawing.

The architects, Beyer Blinder Belle, also worked on the fabulous Grand Central Terminal restoration in New York. So hopefully they have something better in mind for the mall expansion than a modern, sleek-looking center surrounded by a pedestrian-hostile environment that one would only want to drive to or between.

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