PDA

View Full Version : SOHO Italia | 95.5m | 30 fl | Approved


Pages : [1] 2 3 4 5 6

waterloowarrior
Oct 27, 2007, 6:04 PM
500 Preston St. - Approved
18 storey residential tower with ground level retail
Developer: Routeburn
Location: 500 Preston St.
Web: Not available
Rendering:
http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/pec/2006/03-28/ACS2006-PGM-APR-0047_files/image004.jpg

http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2006/04-12/pec/ACS2006-PGM-APR-0047_files/image006.jpg





http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2006/04-12/pec/ACS2006-PGM-APR-0047_files/image008.jpg













Staff Report (http://www.ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2006/04-12/pec/ACS2006-PGM-APR-0047.htm)

cityguy
Oct 28, 2007, 3:32 AM
I have my doubts this project will get built.It seems like project get proposed and then you don;t hear a word about them.

waterloowarrior
Oct 28, 2007, 3:39 AM
I have my doubts this project will get built.It seems like project get proposed and then you don;t hear a word about them.

there was a recent application to waive a private approach bylaw for this property, so I don't think it's dead

http://ottawa.ca/calendar/ottawa/citycouncil/occ/2007/07-11/trc6/ACS2007-PWS-TRF-0014.htm

waterloowarrior
Jul 11, 2008, 7:35 PM
from Ottawa.ca (http://ottawa.ca/residents/planning/downtown/construction_en.html)
500 Preston Proposed redevelopment - parking lot
Type: Mixed-use building: retail, office and condominium apartments -19 storeys
Developer: Carling Laser Clinic In Trust
Architect: Richard Brisbin
Units: 29


http://ottawa.ca/residents/planning/downtown/construction_en-2.jpg

harls
Jul 11, 2008, 9:01 PM
Looks better in this present rendering!

AuxTown
Jul 11, 2008, 9:53 PM
Looks very similar to East Market III don't you think?

http://www.novocondo.com/DATA/Projet/1423_1.jpg

No complaints here.

waterloowarrior
Jul 11, 2008, 9:55 PM
too bad there are so few units... exclusive building or maybe more office than usual

Deez
Jul 11, 2008, 11:07 PM
I'm pretty sure everything above the podium is residential. Those are going to be some pricey condos.

c_speed3108
Jul 12, 2008, 2:35 AM
I'm pretty sure everything above the podium is residential. Those are going to be some pricey condos.


Looks like 2 condos per floor with a 360 degree Penthouse or something along those lines.

cityguy
Jul 13, 2008, 12:17 PM
Any idea when it goes to council for approval?

waterloowarrior
Aug 28, 2010, 12:16 PM
Has anyone heard anything about a condo planned for 490 Preston (not far from Carling)? I noticed it listed here: http://www.ottawasnewcondos.com/what-s-new - and wondered if it was the long-since-cancelled 500 Preston proposal, or something new. I believe its the same lot. It would be great to see some life on that corner.
Thanks!

I would think there unrelated as, a) the address is different, and b) its a 44 unit building making it probally a 6 floor condo. While I believe 500 Preston, as the location was more suiting, was 16-20 stories?

500 Preston's address was "490-500 Preston" so it is likely the same lot and maybe the same stale proposal. However the previous proposal was 29 units (approximately 2 units per floor). So if it's a new proposal it could be the same height with just more units per floor. I don't know who the developer "Methaven" is.

Davis137
Aug 30, 2010, 12:15 AM
That'll look so awesome if it gets built!

McC
Jan 17, 2011, 12:27 PM
CBC Radio this morning is reporting that a developer is trying to up their approval for (probably) this site (can't think of another 18-storey development site on Preston) to 35 storeys. The CeeB is also saying that it would be Ottawa's tallest building, so these 35 storeys must be a taller 35-storeys than the Metropole's and taller than Tower C's 29 storeys.

I think Eric Darwin might have had an inkling this was coming giving this post from January 10: http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/10/purely-speculation-of-course/

McC
Jan 17, 2011, 12:37 PM
More details in the 7:30 news, it is this site being discussed, and they're calling it the "SoHo Italia." These Mastercraft/Starwood people are really coming into Ottawa big time aren't they? That would make 5 buildings by my count at some stage of development (Parkdale, Lisgar and two on Champagne). Ottawa's new Claridge?

AuxTown
Jan 17, 2011, 2:08 PM
This is getting interesting! Has an Ottawa developer finally found a neighbourhood that might welcome such large-scale construction? I'm sure there will be some NIMBYism but nothing compared to Glebe or Westboro.

McC
Jan 17, 2011, 2:36 PM
This is getting interesting! Has an Ottawa developer finally found a neighbourhood that might welcome such large-scale construction? I'm sure there will be some NIMBYism but nothing compared to Glebe or Westboro.

whoah, easy there, let's not be too hasty...
anyway, more from Eric Darwin here:
http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/17/highest-high-rise/

Davis137
Jan 17, 2011, 3:27 PM
Even if it was approved for 19-25 storey's, it'd certainly look awesome in this area...Preston and southern centertown are going to have an awesome skyline when all of these projects start going up...

I can't see something that's taller than average being completely shot down for approval in this area...it's lower elevation than Parliament hill, and will only be easily visable from either DOW's lake, or the 417...

reidjr
Jan 17, 2011, 3:34 PM
Even if it was approved for 19-25 storey's, it'd certainly look awesome in this area...Preston and southern centertown are going to have an awesome skyline when all of these projects start going up...

Do you know what other projects are planned for the area?

McC
Jan 17, 2011, 4:12 PM
Do you know what other projects are planned for the area?

Darwin's blog post, linked above lists them all.

hhunter
Jan 17, 2011, 4:31 PM
This is an interesting development!

I'm torn. I really like:
- using the space (Little Italy needs an entrance that's more interesting then parking lots!)
- how aesthetically interesting the building could be (the stacked cards thing is neat)
- density in such a great spot (though if they're huge units like the last proposal then the added density isn't that high)
- spurring more development in the immediate area!

I'm less keen on:
- the complete disregard for the plan to build an 'Italian Village' themed, retail-based mainstreet. I wonder if there's a way to have a crazy tall, interesting building, and still work within the BIA and community's vision... I'm sure there is, its just a question of whether or not the developer will take the time to figure out what that would look like.
- the possibility of bait and switch seems high here -- if the site is rezoned because the project is seen as innovative, then some of the more innovative elements are dropped

We'll see how this one develops! I'm looking forward to it.

gjhall
Jan 17, 2011, 5:08 PM
Drove by this morning and the sales office is up and almost done on the inside - these guys don't waste time!

AuxTown
Jan 17, 2011, 5:36 PM
I know Toronto isn't always the best example or appropriate locations for highrises and integrating new developments into older neighbourhoods, but I think the distillery district has some good examples of how to design tall residential to fit in with the distinct character of a neighbourhood. The condos in the area use herritage (or faux herritage) fascades and big setbacks to ensure the pedestrian experience is changed minimally despite adding major residential density. I guess 90 George would be our best example of this.

Gooderham
http://www.condo-living-west.com/toblog/images/gooderham-new-intro.jpg

Clear Spirit
http://urbantoronto.ca/picoftheday/images/clearspiritrender.jpg

Pure Spirit
http://urbanrealtytoronto.com/wordpressimages/purespirit2.jpg

90 George
http://www.mattrichling.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/90_george.jpg

Now, I don't know if there is enough room for such a setback along Preston, but I still think almost any tower can be integrated into any neighbourhood with proper street level integration and attention to the pedestrian character of the area.

What do you guys think about potentially having our tallest so far from the CBD?

c_speed3108
Jan 17, 2011, 5:45 PM
A new tallest for Ottawa????


Condo developer wants 35-storey tower on Preston
Last Updated: Monday, January 17, 2011 | 12:08 PM ET



A condominium developer is seeking to construct a 35-storey tower in the heart of Ottawa's Little Italy that, if completed, would be the tallest building in the city.

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2011/01/17/tp-ottawa-tall-building.jpg
An artist's concept of the Soho Italia, a 35-storey condominium tower.An artist's concept of the Soho Italia, a 35-storey condominium tower. (Roderick Lahey Architect Inc.)Mastercraft Starwood Group wants to build "Soho Italia" just behind the archway of Little Italy on the site of an old parking lot on Preston Street.

Last week, developers pitched the idea to mayor Jim Watson and the ward's city councillor, Diane Holmes, as well as Peter Hume, the chair of the Planning and Environment Committee. An official zoning change request has not been filed yet.

An artist's conception for the project from architect Roderick Lahey shows a slim glass and concrete tower that resembles a stack of plates. The design also includes a ground floor dedicated to a museum of Italian culture.

Lahey said he's excited about the project, and describes it as a fluid design that's supposed to look like water moving, inspired by the Aqua Tower in Chicago. The Ottawa building would house about 220 residential condo units.

If completed, it would likely edge out tower C of Place de Ville, the 29-storey, 112 metre building, and the 32-storey, 108 metre-tall Minto Metropole in Westboro, as the tallest building in Ottawa.

Developers have battled over this land in the past and won concessions from the city.

The spot is currently zoned for 19-storeys for a commercial building and 22-storeys for a residential building, according to a spokesperson with Mastercraft Starwood. The company has also met with the local business improvement association and is expecting to meet with community groups to discuss the plan.

Local residents, businesses and politicians CBC spoke with expressed surprise at the sheer size of the planned building, with some questioning its height while others worry that it is too wide for the available lot.
Lot is 'tiny postage stamp': Holmes

"It's hardly the location for the tallest building in Ottawa," said councillor Diane Holmes. "The problem is it's a tiny postage stamp piece of land."

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2011/01/17/tp-ottawa-little-italy.jpg
The potential site of the proposed condo on Preston Street is just north of Carling Avenue and next to a CIBC branch. The potential site of the proposed condo on Preston Street is just north of Carling Avenue and next to a CIBC branch. (Ashley Burke/CBC)"I think the height is way beyond what that area can put up with. The fact they are going to 35 is quite an exaggeration. I don't see the value that we would get," said Holmes.

The developers are also consulting with the Preston Street Business Improvement Association on the plan.

Stoneface Dolly's owner and Preston Street BIA member Bob Russell said he has mixed feelings about the proposal.

"It came out of the blue, it was a bit of a shock... I mean we're looking at a significant size building...and it's a concern," said Russell.

"On the one hand, I want to protect the heritage of Little Italy and that's what [the BIA is] trying to do...on the other hand, being a business owner I say well [it's] 2,000 more people coming in. So it's going to be very delicate to get a balance."

Dalhousie Community Association president Eric Darwin said that while businesses and the city are getting word of the proposal, the public has yet to hear directly from the developers.

"I think most people will go ballistic when they first hear about it," said Darwin. "It's just squished in."

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2011/01/17/ottawa-preston-tallest-building.html#ixzz1BJdOoESS

BlueJay
Jan 17, 2011, 5:46 PM
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/ottawa/story/2011/01/17/ottawa-preston-tallest-building.html

Jamaican-Phoenix
Jan 17, 2011, 6:08 PM
How is it squished in? The whole point of building tall on small parcels is to utterly maximize density and profit. It's what Vancouver and many other cities have done. It's not squished in; it's making the most out of the space it has which is a very smart and urban way to do things.

hhunter
Jan 17, 2011, 6:15 PM
Drove by this morning and the sales office is up and almost done on the inside - these guys don't waste time!


Could be wrong but I believe that sales office is for Soho Champagne, which is being built by the same company one block west.

...though, it would be quite entertaining if they started selling units for this building now. ;)

hhunter
Jan 17, 2011, 6:31 PM
How is it squished in? The whole point of building tall on small parcels is to utterly maximize density and profit. It's what Vancouver and many other cities have done. It's not squished in; it's making the most out of the space it has which is a very smart and urban way to do things.

They should buy up the little house next door (which will be terribly out of place anyway). Though I suppose that means replacing affordable housing with probably very expensive housing... but little residential buildings don't belong on a mainstreet anyway...! :)

Uhuniau
Jan 17, 2011, 7:08 PM
This is getting interesting! Has an Ottawa developer finally found a neighbourhood that might welcome such large-scale construction? I'm sure there will be some NIMBYism but nothing compared to Glebe or Westboro.

There is nowhere in Ottawa where NIMBYism isn't spreading like the plague.

Uhuniau
Jan 17, 2011, 7:11 PM
Now, I don't know if there is enough room for such a setback along Preston, but I still think almost any tower can be integrated into any neighbourhood with proper street level integration and attention to the pedestrian character of the area.

One can only hope there isn't room for a setback, but that won't stop the NIMBYs from demanding one.

What do Ottawans have against the street line anyway?

Uhuniau
Jan 17, 2011, 7:13 PM
How is it squished in? The whole point of building tall on small parcels is to utterly maximize density and profit. It's what Vancouver and many other cities have done. It's not squished in; it's making the most out of the space it has which is a very smart and urban way to do things.

In other words, the exact opposite of how things are done in this stupid, suburban, "city".

And why can't Diane Holmes let the architects and engineers worry about whether the building will physically fit on its site? I am pretty sure those professionals know how to use surveying equipment.

c_speed3108
Jan 17, 2011, 7:26 PM
In other words, the exact opposite of how things are done in this stupid, suburban, "city".

And why can't Diane Holmes let the architects and engineers worry about whether the building will physically fit on its site? I am pretty sure those professionals know how to use surveying equipment.


The think that really bugs me with Diane Holmes is that she is never in favour of anything tall. It is fine and dandy to say this doesn't work here or that doesn't work there, but a city needs tall buildings to grow (unless you want sprawl). At some point you have to be supportive of building something tall downtown somewhere. You can't oppose everything. I have never seen her suggest an alternative site or anything...it is just no, no, no, no all the time.

reidjr
Jan 17, 2011, 7:56 PM
The think that really bugs me with Diane Holmes is that she is never in favour of anything tall. It is fine and dandy to say this doesn't work here or that doesn't work there, but a city needs tall buildings to grow (unless you want sprawl). At some point you have to be supportive of building something tall downtown somewhere. You can't oppose everything. I have never seen her suggest an alternative site or anything...it is just no, no, no, no all the time.

We have to halt urban sprawl if we don't 10-20 years from now its going to be a nighmare.Council can't say were aginst urban sprawl but were aslo aginst tall buildings you have to have one or the other.

Davis137
Jan 17, 2011, 8:16 PM
That's crazy tall! It looks quite elegant though, and I think it'd still be a hit if it were 25 floors, instead of 35....even 29 sounds "shorter/smaller" than 35...hehehe.

I agree with those of you above that stated that the urban sprawl must be put on a leash, and done so soon. Taller buildings will give them the influx of people they are looking for, with a smaller footprint. Honestly, I've been to the area out by Jockvale road, and it's nuts...houses spread out on meandering winding roads with nothing of susbtance as far as services or retail for most of that community (yeah yeah, there's the golf course, parks, and trails), and I can tell by the overall layout of that area, that most people will be forced to use their car for almost everything, and that's the type of developments they really need to put the brakes on.

Hopefully this, and SOHO Champagne, and the other buildings proposed for the Preston/Carling District will get approved, and we can get more people living in the central part of the city, instead of the burbs outside the greenbelt.

BTW, what I said about that area out off Jockvale road wasn't meant to be a personal assault to anyone living out that way...I just think that that type of urban (read, suburban) planning doesn't work anymore.

Back on topic, BUILD that building! It's amazing looking!

reidjr
Jan 17, 2011, 8:39 PM
That's crazy tall! It looks quite elegant though, and I think it'd still be a hit if it were 25 floors, instead of 35....even 29 sounds "shorter/smaller" than 35...hehehe.

I agree with those of you above that stated that the urban sprawl must be put on a leash, and done so soon. Taller buildings will give them the influx of people they are looking for, with a smaller footprint. Honestly, I've been to the area out by Jockvale road, and it's nuts...houses spread out on meandering winding roads with nothing of susbtance as far as services or retail for most of that community (yeah yeah, there's the golf course, parks, and trails), and I can tell by the overall layout of that area, that most people will be forced to use their car for almost everything, and that's the type of developments they really need to put the brakes on.

Hopefully this, and SOHO Champagne, and the other buildings proposed for the Preston/Carling District will get approved, and we can get more people living in the central part of the city, instead of the burbs outside the greenbelt.

BTW, what I said about that area out off Jockvale road wasn't meant to be a personal assault to anyone living out that way...I just think that that type of urban (read, suburban) planning doesn't work anymore.

Back on topic, BUILD that building! It's amazing looking!

Jockville is one thing do i like it no but my bigger concern is what is going on in kanata and stittsville and barrheaven something has to be done a urban sprawl in those areas is getting out of hand.

Cre47
Jan 17, 2011, 8:43 PM
Lot is 'tiny postage stamp': Holmes

"It's hardly the location for the tallest building in Ottawa," said councillor Diane Holmes. "The problem is it's a tiny postage stamp piece of land."

At least with the buildings at Booth Street and nearby and with the other upcoming ones, it won`t be as out of place like say the Dunton Tower, the big tower near Carlingwood Mall or even the Metropole. Sure my preference would have been having the tallest tower built downtown - sure there are still some occasions left - but at least it would great that we could have finally a new tallest tower in Ottawa. (not sure if it is going to pass Terrasses de la Chaudiere (centre tower) though).

kwoldtimer
Jan 17, 2011, 11:20 PM
The think that really bugs me with Diane Holmes is that she is never in favour of anything tall. It is fine and dandy to say this doesn't work here or that doesn't work there, but a city needs tall buildings to grow (unless you want sprawl). At some point you have to be supportive of building something tall downtown somewhere. You can't oppose everything. I have never seen her suggest an alternative site or anything...it is just no, no, no, no all the time.

Her reported quote about this being "hardly the location" for Ottawa's tallest seems to imply she has ideas about where new tallest buildings would be appropriate - someone needs to ask her where that is! :haha:

cityguy
Jan 18, 2011, 2:31 AM
How would they have enough parking for a building that large?The lot is tiny.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 2:57 AM
How would they have enough parking for a building that large?The lot is tiny.

Probably by thinking in three dimensions.

blackjagger
Jan 18, 2011, 3:03 AM
How would they have enough parking for a building that large?The lot is tiny.

Lets hope that they only provide .5 parking spots per unit as the site is about two steps to rapid transit.

Cheers,
Josh

drawarc
Jan 18, 2011, 3:08 AM
Nice. Hope this new proposal is built.

cityguy
Jan 18, 2011, 10:44 AM
Maybe the first few floors of the podium will be used for parking.

Proof Sheet
Jan 18, 2011, 12:53 PM
The think that really bugs me with Diane Holmes is that she is never in favour of anything tall. It is fine and dandy to say this doesn't work here or that doesn't work there, but a city needs tall buildings to grow (unless you want sprawl). At some point you have to be supportive of building something tall downtown somewhere. You can't oppose everything. I have never seen her suggest an alternative site or anything...it is just no, no, no, no all the time.

I agree with you...she is forever bemoaning sprawl, the suburbs, car-centric lifestyles, road expansions etc, but if a proposal is brought forward in her ward, she fights tooth and nail against it if there is any semblance of density etc.

To me, she is the ultimate back seat driver...always complaining without any concrete ideas.

BlueJay
Jan 18, 2011, 1:18 PM
Maybe the first few floors of the podium will be used for parking.

Below is a quote taken from Joanne Chianello, of The Ottawa Citizen about the proposal.



"The plans for the building call for the first two levels to be a museum or pavilion of some kind that will “highlight the Italian community,” said Lahey. On top of that would also be about four levels of parking, disguised by digital billboards, like a mini-Times Square. (There’s also a provision for underground parking as well.) The condos themselves would start on the seventh floor".



Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Rising+controversy/4123074/story.html#ixzz1BOOodjhG

c_speed3108
Jan 18, 2011, 1:43 PM
Reading through various articles an opinions this morning I suspect a few things will happen.


-This will eventually end up in 25-30 story range
-The Italian History is unlikely to happen.

reidjr
Jan 18, 2011, 1:47 PM
Reading through various articles an opinions this morning I suspect a few things will happen.


-This will eventually end up in 25-30 story range
-The Italian History is unlikely to happen.

Even at 25-30 feet it atleast i think be a nice fit i would like 35 but 25-30 would not be all that bad.

jitterbug
Jan 18, 2011, 1:55 PM
Anyone want to bet what the actual number of storeys this building will be (assuming it ever gets built)? OK, I'll start: After the usual backroom negotiations, the final count will be 24 floors.

With key councillors (Diane Holmes and planning committee chair Peter Hume) cool to this proposal, not to mention tepid community support, it'll be nearly impossible to get 35 storeys, no matter how much we like the design and height.

reidjr
Jan 18, 2011, 1:59 PM
Anyone want to bet what the actual number of storeys this building will be (assuming it ever gets built)? OK, I'll start: After the usual backroom negotiations, the final count will be 24 floors.

With key councillors (Diane Holmes and planning committee chair Peter Hume) cool to this proposal, not to mention tepid community support, it'll be nearly impossible to get 35 storeys, no matter how much we like the design and height.

Preston is not as bad as some other areas such as the glebe and westboro will it be 35 floors i doubt it 30 would not be out of the question.

Davis137
Jan 18, 2011, 2:13 PM
I think 25-27 Floors will likely be the maximum this gets approved for. Ottawa seems to have a real zest for buildings that are 27 floors and under...

Mind you, I agree that the developer is asking for such a large structure's approval, knowing in advance that it'll get shot down, but will likely get something approved that is still taller than the original 19 storey building. I'd likely use similar tactics if I was in their position. Makes sense to point out the additional tax revenues from more addresses on the same plot of land, and that they've already got 2-3 other projects being built, or soon to be built already. I think that they have a pretty decent position to work with right from the get-go.

Ideally, they'd be wise to purchase the neighbouring property and include that in the development, in the event the Setback Nazi's show up...

reidjr
Jan 18, 2011, 2:19 PM
I think 25-27 Floors will likely be the maximum this gets approved for. Ottawa seems to have a real zest for buildings that are 27 floors and under...

The funny thing is people complain about urban sprawl so a project like this comes along that would address some urban sprawl and people complain about this its to tall etc.What some fail to grasp is to end urban sprawl you go this way taller buildings you can say no to taller buildings an d no to urban sprawl.

Davis137
Jan 18, 2011, 2:33 PM
Same thing is going on in Hamilton too...The suburbs being built out by Rymal road are massive, as are the newer ones going up in Stoney Creek (up on the mountain), and others in Dundas too. Hamilton has buildings that are in excess of 27 stories (I think the "Landmark", formerly the Century 21 building, is 45-48 floors tall), but they seem to want to limit anything new going up downtown to stay under 15 floors, if it even gets built at all. I don't get it.

Honestly though, I'd be happy if they approved that original 19 floor building for that location, as it will allow for MORE towers to get built in that part of the city over time.

McC
Jan 18, 2011, 2:41 PM
Lots of new drawings (of dubious accuracy) from different perspectives:
http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/soho-italia-the-developers-proposal/

c_speed3108
Jan 18, 2011, 3:35 PM
There doesn't seem to be much approved in Ottawa over about 27-28 unless it is situated on a large site with set-backs...a la the Metropole, or even Le Parc (a bit older)

No doubt the developer is leaving themselves some negotiation space.

citizen j
Jan 18, 2011, 4:12 PM
As much as I'd like to see this get built, the formula for approval is:
final height = proposed height - (proposed height x 0.16)
approved height rounded down to the nearest number divisible by itself and Diane Holmes' salary.
*subtract an extra 3 storeys for the following neighbourhoods: Westboro, Glebe, Centretown.
If result is a negative number, you may build a Shoppers Drug Mart and a Drive-Thru Tim Hortons.

c_speed3108
Jan 18, 2011, 4:23 PM
That is what will go on the ground floor when the musium inevitably gets nixed...A shopper's drug mart...and perhaps a Tim's if there is sufficient space.

:jester:

AuxTown
Jan 18, 2011, 4:50 PM
As much as I'd like to see this get built, the formula for approval is:
final height = proposed height - (proposed height x 0.16)
approved height rounded down to the nearest number divisible by itself and Diane Holmes' salary.
*subtract an extra 3 storeys for the following neighbourhoods: Westboro, Glebe, Centretown.
If result is a negative number, you may build a Shoppers Drug Mart and a Drive-Thru Tim Hortons.

lol so true

adam-machiavelli
Jan 18, 2011, 4:50 PM
I'm hesitant to approve of this until I see a full shadow study. I don't think it would be right to plunge Preston Street pedestrians and cyclists into darkness, especially in winter. Also, given our already dark winters, I think they should use a brighter coat of paint on the base. Finally, if the museum plan falls through, there should be a guarantee that the space will remain for public use, such as low-cost rented space for non-profit organizations or an arts facility.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 4:53 PM
With key councillors (Diane Holmes and planning committee chair Peter Hume) cool to this proposal, not to mention tepid community support, it'll be nearly impossible to get 35 storeys, no matter how much we like the design and height.

Is community support tepid?

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 4:54 PM
Ideally, they'd be wise to purchase the neighbouring property and include that in the development, in the event the Setback Nazi's show up...

I think I hear them marching already.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 4:59 PM
I'm hesitant to approve of this until I see a full shadow study. I don't think it would be right to plunge Preston Street pedestrians and cyclists into darkness, especially in winter. Also, given our already dark winters, I think they should use a brighter coat of paint on the base. Finally, if the museum plan falls through, there should be a guarantee that the space will remain for public use, such as low-cost rented space for non-profit organizations or an arts facility.

It's a building shadow, not a Balinese dragon eating the sun. Since the earth rotates about its axis, any given property, other than those immediately north of the building, will be in shade for a brief period in any given day.

Pedestrians and cyclists seem to manage downtown, with all of its 20+ storey buildings, quite fine. Maybe they can give some tips to Preston Street pedestrians and cyclists on how to deal with the everlasting night that this one building will cause.

Dado
Jan 18, 2011, 5:37 PM
Lets hope that they only provide .5 parking spots per unit as the site is about two steps to rapid transit.

Cheers,
Josh

The would-be buyers are likely going to be buying for the view of Dow's Lake, not access to rapid transit, so they're going to want their parking spaces, which, it turns out, will mainly be above grade (4-5 storeys of above ground parking, 3-4 of below grade). For those lucky enough to get one of the above grade spaces, that means a shorter elevator ride to their cars and even less reason to consider taking transit.

Of course the fact that the would-be buyers will likely be buying for a view also means they'll be mighty annoyed when someone comes along to develop the un[der]developed properties either side of Preston at Carling with even taller, wider buildings. The SOHO Italia condo association will be first in line opposing any new development to the south and will have the finances to hire high-priced talent to make their case, something that the current community can't afford to do.

McC
Jan 18, 2011, 6:22 PM
ThThe SOHO Italia condo association will be first in line opposing any new development to the south and will have the finances to hire high-priced talent to make their case, something that the current community can't afford to do.

In a similar vane, I'm going to hold my breath to count how long it takes the future residents of the SOHO Parkdale to start making noise about all of the social housing in Mechanicsville.

Luker
Jan 18, 2011, 6:40 PM
The would-be buyers are likely going to be buying for the view of Dow's Lake, not access to rapid transit, so they're going to want their parking spaces, which, it turns out, will mainly be above grade (4-5 storeys of above ground parking, 3-4 of below grade). For those lucky enough to get one of the above grade spaces, that means a shorter elevator ride to their cars and even less reason to consider taking transit.

Of course the fact that the would-be buyers will likely be buying for a view also means they'll be mighty annoyed when someone comes along to develop the un[der]developed properties either side of Preston at Carling with even taller, wider buildings. The SOHO Italia condo association will be first in line opposing any new development to the south and will have the finances to hire high-priced talent to make their case, something that the current community can't afford to do.

Great, sad, and scary post for many reasons, to us, and others in general..

jitterbug
Jan 18, 2011, 7:40 PM
Even if this project results in just another non-descript Claridge-style condo box, the developer clearly knows a thing or two about marketing. Most Ottawa residents have now at least heard about the "tallest building in Ottawa" and you can bet that when SOHO Italia starts sales they will be brisk. And judging by the sales office currently being built on the site, it won't be long before those sales start to materialize.

Claridge must be paying close attention.

adam-machiavelli
Jan 18, 2011, 8:03 PM
It's a building shadow, not a Balinese dragon eating the sun. Since the earth rotates about its axis, any given property, other than those immediately north of the building, will be in shade for a brief period in any given day.

Pedestrians and cyclists seem to manage downtown, with all of its 20+ storey buildings, quite fine. Maybe they can give some tips to Preston Street pedestrians and cyclists on how to deal with the everlasting night that this one building will cause.

Don't even get me started about the permanent darkness in downtown! I'm not against a building of this height in this location as long as, in the long term future, the collection of development projects around there don't also block out the sun. Every building creates a shadow in one spot for a brief period of time. Every adjacent building increases the time a shadow is cast on a piece of space. Parts of Toronto have a design requirement that direct sunlight must be able to hit given blocks of streets for at least 3 hours per day. I support intensification, and I think many more residents would too if such a requirement existed in parts of this city too.

AuxTown
Jan 18, 2011, 8:12 PM
Don't even get me started about the permanent darkness in downtown! I'm not against a building of this height in this location as long as, in the long term future, the collection of development projects around there don't also block out the sun. Every building creates a shadow in one spot for a brief period of time. Every adjacent building increases the time a shadow is cast on a piece of space. Parts of Toronto have a design requirement that direct sunlight must be able to hit given blocks of streets for at least 3 hours per day. I support intensification, and I think many more residents would too if such a requirement existed in parts of this city too.

The loss of sunlight in DT Ottawa is a direct result of not allowing tall buildings, not the opposite (though I'm sure you're aware of this). Developers are refused the heights they propose or they don't even ask for them as they know what the answer will be and the result is shorter buildings on every single square inch of useable space, making no use of setbacks and not leaving any place for the sun to shine through. A tall thin tower would be the best thing for this location and for many locations downtown to minimize the impact that shadowing might have at street level.

Harley613
Jan 18, 2011, 8:35 PM
not to mention the wind tunnel effect created by medium height blocks filling every cubic inch of every city block.

reidjr
Jan 18, 2011, 8:39 PM
Don't even get me started about the permanent darkness in downtown! I'm not against a building of this height in this location as long as, in the long term future, the collection of development projects around there don't also block out the sun. Every building creates a shadow in one spot for a brief period of time. Every adjacent building increases the time a shadow is cast on a piece of space. Parts of Toronto have a design requirement that direct sunlight must be able to hit given blocks of streets for at least 3 hours per day. I support intensification, and I think many more residents would too if such a requirement existed in parts of this city too.

I use to have the same mind set you do until i really looked around the city and took in to count with how out of control urban sprawl is.With that said i now fully support taller buildings vs urban sprawl.

adam-machiavelli
Jan 18, 2011, 8:54 PM
The loss of sunlight in DT Ottawa is a direct result of not allowing tall buildings, not the opposite (though I'm sure you're aware of this). Developers are refused the heights they propose or they don't even ask for them as they know what the answer will be and the result is shorter buildings on every single square inch of useable space, making no use of setbacks and not leaving any place for the sun to shine through. A tall thin tower would be the best thing for this location and for many locations downtown to minimize the impact that shadowing might have at street level.

I am aware and agree that height restrictions downtown led to developers purchasing entire blocks to build medium-height, squat buildings and this too is also bad. Like I've indicated before, I will support this building if it enhances the human scale of our city. The best strategy is to ensure there are gaps between tall buildings. This can be done by assigning height minimums and maximums to every lot in areas targeted for significant intensification. These heights should follow a peak-and-valley pattern where the peaks occur at intersections and the valleys are mid-block areas.

adam-machiavelli
Jan 18, 2011, 8:58 PM
I use to have the same mind set you do until i really looked around the city and took in to count with how out of control urban sprawl is.With that said i now fully support taller buildings vs urban sprawl.

I agree that we must end sprawl. But I think, in terms of intensity, many Ottawa residents would prefer Amsterdam over Hong Kong. We don't need to build as if we're Hong Kong. Our land supply is not THAT limited.

McC
Jan 18, 2011, 9:54 PM
Ken Gray's chimed in with a cranky "No"
http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/bulldog/archive/2011/01/18/ken-gray-column-the-condo-tango-in-little-italy.aspx

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 10:06 PM
Don't even get me started about the permanent darkness in downtown!

What permanent darkness would that be?

I work downtown and have lived at three different downtown addresses north of Somerset, west of the canal, south of the Ottawa River and east Bank. I don't remember there being any permanent darkness anywhere.

Parts of Toronto have a design requirement that direct sunlight must be able to hit given blocks of streets for at least 3 hours per day. I support intensification, and I think many more residents would too if such a requirement existed in parts of this city too.

There is nowhere in Ottawa I can think of where shade is a problem. I'd like to see someone think of the shade, for once. There are way too many public spaces where you cannot get real relief from the mid-summer sun. Exhibit A: almost every Transitway station.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 10:07 PM
Ken Gray's chimed in with a cranky "No"
http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/bulldog/archive/2011/01/18/ken-gray-column-the-condo-tango-in-little-italy.aspx

In other news, sun to rise in east, set in west on Wednesday.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 10:10 PM
I am aware and agree that height restrictions downtown led to developers purchasing entire blocks to build medium-height, squat buildings and this too is also bad. Like I've indicated before, I will support this building if it enhances the human scale of our city. The best strategy is to ensure there are gaps between tall buildings. This can be done by assigning height minimums and maximums to every lot in areas targeted for significant intensification. These heights should follow a peak-and-valley pattern where the peaks occur at intersections and the valleys are mid-block areas.

The best way to ensure human scale, is to maximize the public-access uses at ground level, minimize the distance between sidewalk and building, and minimize the distances between buildings and changes of building use and purpose.

Setbacks and gaps are antithetical to human scale.

Proof Sheet
Jan 18, 2011, 10:31 PM
Ken Gray's chimed in with a cranky "No"
http://communities.canada.com/ottawacitizen/blogs/bulldog/archive/2011/01/18/ken-gray-column-the-condo-tango-in-little-italy.aspx

Even if you disagree with his stance on it, I think he has captured how this thing will play out perfectly. He's also seen through the talk about the Italian museum and hiding the parking through billboards.

I gather that Gray doesn't think much of Lahey based on the convent project.

Uhuniau
Jan 18, 2011, 10:35 PM
Even if you disagree with his stance on it, I think he has captured how this thing will play out perfectly. He's also seen through the talk about the Italian museum and hiding the parking through billboards.

I gather that Gray doesn't think much of Lahey based on the convent project.

I agree that the museum thing is going nowhere, but what in Dog's Green Earth do people in Ottawa have against outdoor advertising?

Skyway
Jan 19, 2011, 1:20 AM
I don't see much difference between 25 and 35 stories (shadows, parking etc.) But it seems you need the taller buildings to get the best and sleekest designs. So the more floors they pare off the more I think this will limit the design and from the building being an iconic presence at the entrance to Little Italy.

Dado
Jan 19, 2011, 2:04 AM
The loss of sunlight in DT Ottawa is a direct result of not allowing tall buildings, not the opposite (though I'm sure you're aware of this). Developers are refused the heights they propose or they don't even ask for them as they know what the answer will be and the result is shorter buildings on every single square inch of useable space, making no use of setbacks and not leaving any place for the sun to shine through. A tall thin tower would be the best thing for this location and for many locations downtown to minimize the impact that shadowing might have at street level.

We're not going to get tall thin towers set on top of a 3-6 storey podium. We never do, anywhere, ever.

What we get are tall blocky towers or shorter towers of the same footprint that look squatty.

The basic truth of the matter is that in downtown Ottawa, next to no one has any reason to build nice buildings. The federal government wants the cheapest buildings it can get to house its workforce and doesn't care what they look like while much of our "private sector" consists of various lobbyists, NGOs, foreign missions, contracting agencies, etc., most of whom barely use up a floor, never mind a building. All they want is cheap office space, and cheap office space is had by building blocky towers, the higher the better. We have not much of a bona fide private sector engaging in one-upmanship to get the best looking head office in town - because there aren't any head offices to speak of. The only exceptions are some of the more arms-length government agencies like EDC. To the extent we have nice buildings, most of them are far older and much shorter dating from a different age when Ottawa was the home to lumber barons, early industrialists and a few railway tycoons rather than just civil servants.

There is no such thing in downtown Ottawa as a trade-off between tall nice buildings and short ugly ones. You can have a short ugly building or you can have a taller version of the same ugly building.


I use to have the same mind set you do until i really looked around the city and took in to count with how out of control urban sprawl is.With that said i now fully support taller buildings vs urban sprawl.

We're not going to solve sprawl with a handful of tall condo buildings few can afford to own a piece of in the few livable communities we have.

When places like Fairlawn Plaza (opposite Carlingwood) are "redeveloped" by putting in single-storey retail boxes at the edge of the existing parking lot along Carling, or when the entire 'Train Yards' thing goes through with its expanses of surface parking, you know there's no seriousness when it comes to intensification and when the same kind of thing keeps getting approved in "greenfields" you know there's no seriousness to addressing sprawl in a meaningful way either.

AuxTown
Jan 19, 2011, 2:18 AM
There is no such thing in downtown Ottawa as a trade-off between tall nice buildings and short ugly ones. You can have a short ugly building or you can have a taller version of the same ugly building.


I agree with a lot of what you said, but not this. I think it would have been cool to see significantly taller versions of EDC, Constitution 3, Mondrian (I'm biased, I know), World Exchange, and others. These are all decent-looking buildings built with quality materials and could have brought in interesting, while still boxy, presence to our DT. Anyway, I like the density of our CBD and with LRT, tons of condo construction, and the continuously-growing feds I'm sure it will continue to get better, tall buildings or not.

sgera
Jan 19, 2011, 2:42 AM
http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/4123075.bin?size=620x400
OTTAWA -- A developer has briefed city politicians over its hope to erect the city’s tallest building, a potentially controversial 35-storey condo tower near the corner of Preston Street and Carling Avenue.

Mastercraft Starwood, a Toronto-based builder with Ottawa roots and a number of other “SOHO” developments throughout the city, will be asking the city for a second rezoning of the site in order to allow the proposed 230-unit project, dubbed SOHO Italia. The company has hired well-known local architect Rod Lahey, whose preliminary drawings depict a soaring tower with a series of undulating terraces that reach to the sky and digital billboards on the lower floors that disguise parking.

Although these early plans won’t likely be submitted to the city’s planning department until next month, the developer has already met with Mayor Jim Watson, planning committee chairman Councillor Peter Hume, and the ward representative, Councillor Diane Holmes, to brief them of the plans.

Watson was unavailable for comment on Monday, but spokesman Bruce Graham said the mayor had made no commitments and that he “looks forward to the public’s input” on the matter in the coming months.

Both Hume and Holmes, however, expressed skepticism that the extra heights are justified and characterized the project as “overwhelming,” “daunting” and “out of perspective for the area.”

“Of course, everyone is trying to get up high enough to see Dow’s Lake,” said Holmes. “It’s all about making as much money as you can from those top floors that have a view of the water.”

The city’s official plan, which lays out where and how intensification should unfold across the city, calls for heights of around five storeys on a street deemed a traditional main street like Preston. But a number of years ago, the site at Preston and Sidney Street was rezoned for about 64 metres, or approximately 20 storeys. At the time, the extra height was given because the location fit in with a number of the city’s intensification goals, including the fact that it is near public transit.

But now the developer is asking for another 50-per-cent increase in height to 112 metres, or 35 storeys.

“This (site) already has lots of height, it’s not a small building to begin with,” said Hume. “The zoning there adequately reflects the city’s goals when it comes to intensification.”

Lahey said in an interview Monday that he sees the site as “a gateway” or entrance to Little Italy, adding that the extra height the builder is requesting allows for “a little more fun with the architecture.” He suggested that Ottawa has a downtown that “is less than inspiring,” architecturally speaking, partly because buildings have been kept “artificially low.”

The plans for the building call for the first two levels to be a museum or pavilion of some kind that will “highlight the Italian community,” said Lahey. On top of that would also be about four levels of parking, disguised by digital billboards, like a mini-Times Square. (There’s also a provision for underground parking as well.) The condos themselves would start on the seventh floor.

There’s a concept — relatively new to Ottawa — that developers asking for height over and above what the zoning calls for should give something back to the community. In this case, the developer would donate space for an Italian-heritage museum.

The only trouble is, there is no Italian museum.

“It’s still very difficult to find someone who’s going to run a museum,” said Holmes. “They cost money to run. I don’t think the community benefit is real.”

Hume added that although “there’s still a lot to discuss,” so far he too is not seeing any community benefit that would be worth giving the developer the extra height.

“I’ve yet to be convinced,” he said.

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen


Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/business/Rising+controversy/4123074/story.html#ixzz1BRezXow4

bradnixon
Jan 19, 2011, 3:35 AM
The loss of sunlight in DT Ottawa is a direct result of not allowing tall buildings, not the opposite (though I'm sure you're aware of this). Developers are refused the heights they propose or they don't even ask for them as they know what the answer will be and the result is shorter buildings on every single square inch of useable space, making no use of setbacks and not leaving any place for the sun to shine through. A tall thin tower would be the best thing for this location and for many locations downtown to minimize the impact that shadowing might have at street level.

The only reason this tower is tall and thin is that the lot is tiny. The plans and pictures over at Eric Darwin's site (http://westsideaction.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/soho-italia-the-developers-proposal/) make it pretty clear that the building takes up basically 100% of the lot area.

I think a building of this height would be acceptable on a larger property where it could be built on a podium or include some open space (a la the Vancouver model). The Dow Honda property would be such a site. I don't think this is it.

Uhuniau
Jan 19, 2011, 3:46 AM
I think a building of this height would be acceptable on a larger property where it could be built on a podium or include some open space (a la the Vancouver model). The Dow Honda property would be such a site. I don't think this is it.

Why open space? How does magic happy open space suddenly make a tall building "acceptable"?

cityguy
Jan 19, 2011, 12:30 PM
I think the lot is a little too small for such a tall building,maybe the developers should buy the two small buildings just to the north.

McC
Jan 19, 2011, 12:43 PM
Why open space? to accommodate a patio? a bit of landscaping a bench and a couple of trees to shade the sidewalk and green the street a touch? to leave room for someone to stop and look in a shop window without causing a collision from blocking the sidewalk? those are a couple of reasons.

Anyway the CeeB had Katherine Hobbs on this morning, apparently she's supportive of this proposal (outside of her ward). Kathleen Petty failed to ask the most obvious question, i.e. what Councillor Hobbs would think of this proposal if it was in her ward, say on Scott and MacRae, Somerset in Hintonburg, or Richmond/Wellington and Island Park. The only remark she made regarding Kitchissippi ward was to say hey, we have the Metropole "Ottawa's tallest building," (lots of people make that mistake) "so there." Real insightful. Anyway, I'm sure a lot of residents, not to mention owners of underused lots in her ward would love to know the answer to that question!

McC
Jan 19, 2011, 12:58 PM
We're not going to get tall thin towers set on top of a 3-6 storey podium. We never do, anywhere, ever.

the plans SOHO Champagne (see upper left of the photo on the upper right http://westsideaction.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/proposal.jpg) are two towers on a townhouse podium, but as you say, these towers are not thin at all, and might as well be one single block they're so close together and take up so much of the vertical space above the podium (the view from the south-east is the wrong perspective, but would any light slip between those two towers?)

m3i6
Jan 19, 2011, 1:19 PM
""Stoneface Dolly's owner and Preston Street BIA member Bob Russell said he has mixed feelings about the proposal.

"It came out of the blue, it was a bit of a shock... I mean we're looking at a significant size building...and it's a concern," said Russell.

"On the one hand, I want to protect the heritage of Little Italy and that's what [the BIA is] trying to do...on the other hand, being a business owner I say well [it's] 2,000 more people coming in. So it's going to be very delicate to get a balance.""

Where do you figure the "2000 more people" figure comes from. That would be 9 people per unit. Carleton U makeshift dorms perhaps??

reidjr
Jan 19, 2011, 1:25 PM
Does anyone think this will be approved in some form meaning maybe not a 35 floors but smaller.

blackjagger
Jan 19, 2011, 1:50 PM
the plans SOHO Champagne (see upper left of the photo on the upper right http://westsideaction.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/proposal.jpg) are two towers on a townhouse podium, but as you say, these towers are not thin at all, and might as well be one single block they're so close together and take up so much of the vertical space above the podium (the view from the south-east is the wrong perspective, but would any light slip between those two towers?)

I'm looking at the site plan and the rendering doesn't seem to match it. Unless because of the height reduction from 24 to 20 and 20 to 16 storeys they have gone with a fatter tower. The original submission has much more slimmer towers at a little more then half of the hickory street frontage per tower.

Cheers,
Josh

Dado
Jan 19, 2011, 4:28 PM
There is no such thing in downtown Ottawa as a trade-off between tall nice buildings and short ugly ones. You can have a short ugly building or you can have a taller version of the same ugly building.

I agree with a lot of what you said, but not this. I think it would have been cool to see significantly taller versions of EDC, Constitution 3, Mondrian (I'm biased, I know), World Exchange, and others. These are all decent-looking buildings built with quality materials and could have brought in interesting, while still boxy, presence to our DT. Anyway, I like the density of our CBD and with LRT, tons of condo construction, and the continuously-growing feds I'm sure it will continue to get better, tall buildings or not.

You're actually kind of proving the rule with the exception...

As you say, those buildings are decent at their current heights - far better than most of the rest. That proves though that just adding height isn't the determining factor in whether a building is built decently because it is evidently possible to do it with shorter heights. Adding more height is no guarantee of better quality because a developer doesn't think in terms of 'tall high quality' versus 'short low quality' but rather 'tall high quality' versus 'tall low quality' or 'short high quality' versus 'short low quality'. Any architectural flourishes always take money off the bottom line of a building of any given height. Proportionately they may take less off a tall building (and this is where this hope of higher quality tall buildings seems to come from) but if the developer is fundamentally not interested in making an attractive building it doesn't really matter how high they're allowed to build.

The trade-off is only going to exist in a place where there is a desire to build quality in the first place and in those circumstances height might becoming a limiting factor. But the desire has to exist first - and by and large in downtown Ottawa (for commercial buildings at least) it doesn't.

Uhuniau
Jan 19, 2011, 4:51 PM
to accommodate a patio? a bit of landscaping a bench and a couple of trees to shade the sidewalk

Buildings and their accoutrements are much better at shading sidewalks than trees are.

Anyway the CeeB had Katherine Hobbs on this morning, apparently she's supportive of this proposal (outside of her ward). Kathleen Petty failed to ask the most obvious question, i.e. what Councillor Hobbs would think of this proposal if it was in her ward, say on Scott and MacRae, Somerset in Hintonburg, or Richmond/Wellington and Island Park.

Funny, to me the obvious question is "So, have you heard yet from the usual people in the Breezehill and Sherwood area of your ward, calling to whinge about their morning sun and property values?"

Because you know that's coming.

Harley613
Jan 19, 2011, 5:13 PM
does anyone else find this whole thing reminiscent of north york in toronto? a secondary skyline just over the main highway from the cbd? the parallels are striking! this could anchor a secondary skyline, adding some some serious visual interest when passing through the city.

kevinbottawa
Jan 19, 2011, 5:38 PM
does anyone else find this whole thing reminiscent of north york in toronto? a secondary skyline just over the main highway from the cbd? the parallels are striking! this could anchor a secondary skyline, adding some some serious visual interest when passing through the city.

There is a similarity. Toronto has a third skyline in Scarborough around Scarborough Town Centre and the civic centre, which is somewhat similar to Tunney's Pasture.

Marcus CLS
Jan 20, 2011, 1:28 AM
In other words, the exact opposite of how things are done in this stupid, suburban, "city".

And why can't Diane Holmes let the architects and engineers worry about whether the building will physically fit on its site? I am pretty sure those professionals know how to use surveying equipment.

As a surveyor let me assure you that architects do not know much about surveying equipement, they design, civil engineers, survey engineers and other engineers make it reality.

Remember the Big O. That architect is not allowed to set foot in this country without being arrested.

Uhuniau
Jan 20, 2011, 2:19 AM
Remember the Big O. That architect is not allowed to set foot in this country without being arrested.

I'd let him into the country in return for the immediate arrest and deportation of anyone who has ever designed a building built on the Carleton campus. :)

Harley613
Jan 20, 2011, 4:35 AM
seriously. with the exception of dunton tower, which is a nice example of modernist architecture and anchors the site quite nicely...if quietly... the whole campus is a hodgepodge of HORRIBLE buildings. the library looks like a temporary military structure. carleton has one of the most beautiful locations you could imagine for a university and they've just ruined it.

ThaLoveDocta
Jan 20, 2011, 1:15 PM
seriously. with the exception of dunton tower, which is a nice example of modernist architecture and anchors the site quite nicely...if quietly... the whole campus is a hodgepodge of HORRIBLE buildings. the library looks like a temporary military structure. carleton has one of the most beautiful locations you could imagine for a university and they've just ruined it.


Don't mean to go OT but....
Looks like they're owning up that and now they're fixing it: http://www2.carleton.ca/campusplan/documentation/


This should be a great view in all directions if this (4th?) SOHO goes fwd...

Dado
Jan 20, 2011, 6:00 PM
Buildings and their accoutrements are much better at shading sidewalks than trees are.

Deciduous trees do a better job when considered from a year-round perspective - they shade in the summer but let sun through in the winter. Buildings shade the most when least needed or unneeded (in the winter) and the least when most needed (in the summer).

Preston and Bank are somewhat more fortunate than Richmond/Wellington in that they are north-south streets, so shadows from tall buildings along them tend to move around during the day. This is much less the case for east-west streets where a wall of tall buildings effectively keeps the street in shadow most of the time in the winter.

The Westboro Station Phase II/III is still under construction at the moment but already it has turned the entire block of Richmond west of Roosevelt into a rather darkened environment at this time of year. It's far more pleasant in the rest of Westboro where the buildings on the south side are shorter, but, hey, so long as most of Westboro is still pleasant to stroll around in, it doesn't matter, right? All that matters is building tall buildings for the sake of building tall buildings so that the condos on the south side therein - whose inhabitants have left for the day - can have lovely sunlight while the street behind it - the reason for the desire to put a condo up in this spot in the first place - can be left in the shade. It's the urban equivalent of naming a suburban subdivision after the natural features you just blew away.

Meanwhile, the developers continue to have little interest in developing nearby Scott Street in the same way. What's there to overshadow? Nothing but a transitway trench. Clearly no streetlife to shadow there, so no point in building anything tall or even something that hits the height limit (and besides, what fun is there in building tall buildings few would object to? that would destroy our ability to slander the populace), and if something is built, no way will it include street-oriented ground floor units. No sirree, developers aren't about to help foster or promote streetlife where it doesn't yet exist.

That's how we end up with this opposite Westboro Transitway Station:

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ottawa&ie=UTF8&om=1&hq=&hnear=Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario&ll=45.396088,-75.752449&spn=0.002803,0.004823&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.396033,-75.752575&panoid=gGwEeo5RA5bocjMlQ3YwGA&cbp=12,73.58,,0,5.4

McC
Jan 20, 2011, 7:26 PM
Meanwhile, the developers continue to have little interest in developing nearby Scott Street in the same way. What's there to overshadow? Nothing but a transitway trench. Clearly no streetlife to shadow there, so no point in building anything tall or even something that hits the height limit (and besides, what fun is there in building tall buildings few would object to? that would destroy our ability to slander the populace), and if something is built, no way will it include street-oriented ground floor units. No sirree, developers aren't about to help foster or promote streetlife where it doesn't yet exist.

That's how we end up with this opposite Westboro Transitway Station:

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Ottawa&ie=UTF8&om=1&hq=&hnear=Ottawa,+Ottawa+Division,+Ontario&ll=45.396088,-75.752449&spn=0.002803,0.004823&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=45.396033,-75.752575&panoid=gGwEeo5RA5bocjMlQ3YwGA&cbp=12,73.58,,0,5.4
The Westoboro Collection proposal for a point tower on a mid-rise podium was pushed to a shorter fatter redesign after community engagement, but I wonder if the developers will be ringing up Katherine Hobbs with a revised version of their plan after hearing her on the radio?

(PS this was a good zinger "It's the urban equivalent of naming a suburban subdivision after the natural features you just blew away.")

Uhuniau
Jan 20, 2011, 8:54 PM
It's far more pleasant in the rest of Westboro where the buildings on the south side are shorter, but, hey, so long as most of Westboro is still pleasant to stroll around in, it doesn't matter, right?

What is the metric unit for pleasantness? (Pleasantosity?)

I don't find open sun to be pleasant. I find it very unpleasant. I would suspect many others, if not as sun-averse as I am, are at least shade-seeking, as I've noticed the difference between pedestrian traffic on the shady vs. sunny side of streets many times.

No sirree, developers aren't about to help foster or promote streetlife where it doesn't yet exist.

In many cases they aren't allowed.

In other cases, the self-appointed community guardians demand conditions or changes to projects (pointless setbacks, stultified and useless open space, no commercial use, for god's sake no pub or café, "no overlooks", etc.) that are antithetical to streetlife.

Kitchissippi
Jan 20, 2011, 11:36 PM
I don't mind the design of the proposal even though it just uses the cheap architectural trick du jour of curved balconies to make it interesting. But in context with the rest of Preston street it is horrible and insensitive. If the premise of this project is to create a "gateway" to Little Italy, it fails miserably. A gateway is supposed to set the tone for the rest of the street, and scale-wise it has nothing in common with the intimacy of the small shops and cafés that give the area its character. Unless the intended future for the length of Preston street is a canyon of 6-storey blank podiums plastered with supergraphics, this building will be out of place.

citizen4829
Jan 21, 2011, 12:02 AM
What is the metric unit for pleasantness? (Pleasantosity?)

I don't find open sun to be pleasant. I find it very unpleasant. I would suspect many others, if not as sun-averse as I am, are at least shade-seeking, as I've noticed the difference between pedestrian traffic on the shady vs. sunny side of streets many times.



In many cases they aren't allowed.

In other cases, the self-appointed community guardians demand conditions or changes to projects (pointless setbacks, stultified and useless open space, no commercial use, for god's sake no pub or café, "no overlooks", etc.) that are antithetical to streetlife.

I disagree. I have been walking around centretown for over twelve years. People invariable walk on the sunny side of the street when the weather is cool (fall, winter, spring). Most people prefer the sun except in the extreme heat of the summer. You are the exception here.