When most of us see architectural renderings, we go through an automatic process of uncloaking them to create a mental image of what a building or streetscape might actually look like. Renderings are, of course, PR tools–slick representations of best-case scenarios under ideal conditions.
Especially in the case of recent proposals for a new development on Nicollet downtown. As the Strib article says, “Firms bidding to develop the old Nicollet Hotel block are working through the holiday season to produce new renderings that depict their ideas for transforming it. They hope to influence public opinion for an ambitious makeover of a site now owned by the city of Minneapolis.”
A few weeks ago I found myself staring at this rendering, preoccupied with the task of visualizing what I thought the area might really turn out to look like. But it was hard to extrapolate from the shiny, textureless reality. So I touched up the rendering to provide a more realistic depiction.