Originally Posted by Copes
I'm a big fan of the Trillium, but I feel that's exactly the type of development that people would be up in arms about if it were to go in downtown. For one, I'm quite sure its too tall. Secondly, I feel there would be resistance to the modern look in "historic downtown".
There are a lot of strange, unreasonable opinions about urban development that have cropped up over the last few decades of suburban sprawl and underinvestment in cities. A lot of people just don't think about it much and aren't really aware of the modern possibilities out there. They know they like some old buildings and don't like some of the "new" (1980's or earlier) buildings and that is about it.
Has St. John's had many planning exercises that focus on the benefits of density and good urban design? Does the local media talk about these things?
I think the Trillium is okay but it could have been much nicer with a simpler design. The development next door has more of a lowrise scale that is closer to existing buildings in St. John's. I don't think this design is perfect by any stretch but it is an improvement over the parking lot that is there right now: http://www.thesistersites.ca/
The coloured balconies are interesting because to some degree they are tied to a local vernacular style (colourful wooden houses) but are not an overly literal interpretation. It's usually much better to build a modern building that re-interprets some interesting local features than it is to mimic old building styles. The old styles were designed for particular materials, skills, and scales. A design done in stone for a three storey commercial building will look ridiculous when reinterpreted in foam and plastic for a larger condo building.