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Marco Polo Replacement in Vienna Returns With Less Boring Design

After an earlier work session decried the building design as boring, designers of the Vienna Market mixed-use project came back with a slightly more spiced-up project.

Criticisms of the original designs included notes that the building did not offer interesting or unique street faces on every side of the project. The new redesign of the project was presented at the Board of Architectural Review (BAR) Work Session on Friday, June 14.

Most of the distinctions are fairly subtle, but enough to excite architecture wonks on the BAR. Members of the Board praised the new bay windows — glass spaces that project forward from the main room — as a new visually distinctive feature of the project.

The proposed project is planned to replace the Marco Polo building that was destroyed in a fire last year. The project would add 44 condominiums and 8,200 square feet of retail space to 245 W. Maple Avenue.

Representatives of Northfield, the site developer, said at the meeting that a focus of the work between the last work session and this one was rustication, giving the building a more rough-hewn look as compared to the more clean-cut original design.

The building still has a ways to go before approval. Another work session is planned for next Friday (June 28), prompting one BAR member to remark that his wife was getting suspicious of the number of “work sessions” he was attending for the project.

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