"You won't feel this presence of a building right on top of you," says architect Jeff Zelisko, deflecting criticisms that this mixed use project won't fit the ambiance of Madison's State Street. The building — for the block of State Street closest to the University — is supposed to "feel like it belongs" because of the way it looks like a series of short buildings up front, with a separate-looking tower in the back.
Business in the front, party in the back!
I feel sorry for architects that have to try to satisfy the tastes of Madison urban design authorities. I see one Madison alderman is criticizing this building as another entry in something he calls "the luxury student market." (Did you know there was such a thing?)
Madisonians are fussy about the old-timey facades on State Street. At the State Capitol end, there's a big project that preserves a couple historical storefronts and integrates them into the new construction. A similar approach was taken to the Overture Center project a few years back when there was an immense struggle that forced internationally renowned architect Cesar Pelli to include a second old facade (one of dubious distinction) into his otherwise quite modern design.
This new project — called The Hub — is all new construction, and seems as though fitting into State Street now includes the idea of looking like the mishmash we get over historical preservation when there's sentimentality over existing facades.