Friday Photo – Rendering the Rendering

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.



9 thoughts on “Friday Photo – Rendering the Rendering

    1. Shawn

      I kind of agree… The buildings are well muted, but that’s definitely an Oct/Nov sky, so get those trees barren!

      Otherwise, I’d love to see every architectural rendering in a reasonably awful perspective 🙂

  1. Adam MillerAdam Miller

    Needs more dead birds. Just look at all that glass. And it’s what, 2-3 blocks from the river?

    What’s that? We only worry about birds when it’s a stadium we don’t like? Okay, never mind.

    1. Jake H

      The Audibon Society has worked with all of the developers in the city, and will likely work with this one to ensure the project doesn’t cause harm to migration patterns.

    2. Wayne

      I thought many (most?) of the downtown glassy skyscrapers already use some of the 3M films to protect birds?

  2. Eric AnondsonEric Anondson

    The Truth-in-Renderings commission has spoken! Though I think the skyway needs far more people in it, because … Minnesotans.

  3. Alex SchieferdeckerAlex Schieferdecker

    It’s not worth a law, but I’d love it if there was an unwritten rule that for every rendering depicting a building with a beautiful sunset, there needs to be another rendering depicting it in a drizzle.

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