Ratcliffe Condominiums on The Green
425 South Tryon Street
Submitted by: adam hines
The Green/Ratcliffe is a mostly residential building with ground floor retail and a wonderful park/plaza.
The neat things about the Ratcliffe are: underground parking deck with new and great interactive passive park on the top which includes fish fountains, built-in cement chess boards on stone tables, landscape walkways with motion activitated stone walls that make nature sounds, built in hopscotch on the ground, several built in riddles on the ground, neat statues of books, international street signs, and more. This is a really interactive and yet stimulating passive park or public space. The Ratcliffe Residential Building is named after the historic flower shop on the ground level that was moved and then replaced in its original position with the new building built around it. The new building itself is attractive to look at and offers a neat and unique addition to downtown Charlotte. The park is surrounded by 60,000 square feet of retail and office space. Restaurants and retail shops will open to the park from a European-style arcade positioned along one side of the park and a three-story brick and glass building on the opposite side, overlooking the park.
What Makes Ratcliffe Condominiums on The Green a Great Place?
The building itself was done in colors and materials that tie it in with a church on the other side of the park. The park connects the convention center, the Ratcliffe Building, and a First Union building offering a front lawn for all four buildings and opening up and connecting two streets that previously weren't connected in any sort of human way. The park offers a central point to the four buildings.
The park is visually attractive and draws you in. It is beautifully landscaped, well lit, offers several different nooks and crannies to hide in or be social in. The park also has the Ratcliffe Building residential and ground floor units overlooking the park to provide eyes on the street.
This park offers a place for social interaction, respite, places to play chess, sit down, an opportunity to be near or in a fountain, and a pleasant area to walk in.
Sociability is probably the most appropriate category for this park. It definitely is different than any park I have seen anywhere in the world and yes, I show it to family and friends when they visit Charlotte. People who visit the park, and I have seen packs of buisiness men in suits in the park on their lunch hours, congregate there and take a mental break from the stress and mundane routine of life. The park sort of reminds you to be a child of life, to think outside the proverbial box, smell the roses, etc. It feels like an artist and landscape architect got together and decided to create a outdoor room that would engage people of all ages, backgrounds, and education levels.
History & Background
The park was the idea of First Union/Wachovia.
David Wagner, Wagner Murray Architects