Our client for this design approached us with the opportunity to renew an older infill building near the square in downtown Tyler, Texas. At Butler Architectural Group, we are always striving to create new models for urban and architectural innovation to replace the traditional model of sprawl and focus on flexible development instead. The Lindsey Building Renovation, titled ‘Grand Fair,’ was made to provide an urban regeneration paradigm and a new icon for the Tyler skyline.
The Grand Fair mixed-use project was inspired by the history of active downtown streets and sidewalks. The design was made with a permeable urban fabric to allow pedestrian connections within the building and to neighboring areas. Located one block off the main square, the scheme consists of two main facades, one facing a major urban thoroughfare and the other facing a smaller side street, both with excellent visibility to car traffic and pedestrians. Large storefront glass street-level facades enhance the commercial spaces.
On the upper floors, the apartments have views East, South and West. The overall height achieves a smooth transition to the scale of the surrounding buildings. By extending the pedestrian circulation network from the parking garage, around the building, and towards the north, the building will connect to the square, a historic gathering place for the neighborhood, home to many amenities like coffee shops, fitness studios and restaurants. The spatial strategy for the urban design relies on a system that should work at different scales and maintain the building’s identity when seen from afar or up close. A system of horizontal window coverings facilitates a transition between the public commercial spaces on the first floor and the apartments, creating a diverse urban space.
Porous at street level, the building has a plinth that accommodates anything from workshops, bookstores, retail and restaurants. A portico shelters the entrance zones and opens the building to the public. While the lower commercial zone is mostly covered with transparent or translucent glass, the towers are made of completely transparent glass, with privacy coming in the form of horizontal window coverings. On top of high-performance glass, these horizontal bars accentuate the residential zone’s private vs public spaces. Using the same inclination, balconies mark amenity areas and public spaces within the upper floors. Throughout the development, the pattern and position of the panels reduce solar radiation and optimize daylight exposure.