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  #21  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 2:35 PM
sdm sdm is offline
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Here's an idea for a quick fix for the tower that wouldn't require any major changes to the design... just changes to the cladding. The idea is, keep the central portion of the tower in brick and make the rest all glass... so the glass wraps around to the front. It would look like two intersecting towers, a glass rectangle intersected by a brick square. While you're at it... take the idea of the two intersecting towers a little further by making the central brick tower a little higher. I also made the brick darker to differentiate it from the Roy building below.

Anyway, these are just quick ideas and my Photoshop'd file here was done in like... 10 minutes... VERY rough and just meant to illustrate what I'm trying to say rather than being taken as a fully thought out design proposal. If it were my building... I would get the architect to start over.

I rather see it all glass to be honest.
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  #22  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 2:36 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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Reminds me of the old Halifax Infirmary...
That's it! I knew this reminded me of something else, and the old Infirmary is it.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 3:09 PM
Takeo Takeo is offline
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I rather see it all glass to be honest.
Ya. Probably. As I say... I'd go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.

If they keep the current design however... they should rethink the cladding. The big "L" shape of brick gives it a look like it's carved from a block of cheese... giving it that Halifax Infirmary look. The current transitions from brick to glass (middle of a side wall... and right at an outside corner) feel awkward to me. It's like they were afraid to have any glass on the "historic" side of the building. It seemed to be designed with one thing in mind... not offending anyone. Not usually a recipe for good design.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 3:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Takeo View Post
Ya. Probably. As I say... I'd go back to the drawing board and start from scratch.

If they keep the current design however... they should rethink the cladding. The big "L" shape of brick gives it a look like it's carved from a block of cheese... giving it that Halifax Infirmary look. The current transitions from brick to glass (middle of a side wall... and right at an outside corner) feel awkward to me. It's like they were afraid to have any glass on the "historic" side of the building. It seemed to be designed with one thing in mind... not offending anyone. Not usually a recipe for good design.
But that is our problem in halifax, trying to alter things as to please too many people, and as you say leaves a bad design.
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  #25  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 6:13 PM
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Here's a nice shot of the Roy Building found on Flickr:



By nsca.

Like I said, I think it will be fairly difficult to see this tower from the Barrington side.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 6:17 PM
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Like I said, I think it will be fairly difficult to see this tower from the Barrington side.
So is your point that it's ok to have a boring design if you can't see it? I'm sure you will see it from some perspectives.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 8:16 PM
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So is your point that it's ok to have a boring design if you can't see it? I'm sure you will see it from some perspectives.
I think he's just stating the setback, but i believe he agrees that is should be a glass curtain wall on the barrington street side as well (not to put words in someone123 mouth however)
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  #28  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 10:12 PM
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This proposal illustrates the problem with the Barrington St heritage designation quite well. There are a lot of unremarkable and/or uneconomic old buildings on that street that are difficult to do anything with but can't easily be changed just because they are old. It makes no sense to replicate the Roy Building over again -- it is very ordinary architecture to start with. If you want to build a replica of a historic building facade at least pick something good. Otherwise knock it down and build something truly new.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jul 10, 2008, 11:43 PM
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I think he's just stating the setback, but i believe he agrees that is should be a glass curtain wall on the barrington street side as well (not to put words in someone123 mouth however)
Yep. I would prefer for it to be glass curtain wall all around. However, I think it's important to get a real idea of what this building would look like if completed and some of the comments I've read suggest that people are not necessarily getting that from the renderings and elevations.

In general it is true that if something is not visible there is no point in worrying about aesthetics over basic functionality. Sewer systems are not designed to be beautiful, for example. This building will be part of only certain views and should be designed with those in mind. Other viewpoints from which the top part will not be visible shouldn't enter into the equation.

The Roy Building is not the greatest architecture but I think there's value in preserving it simply as a piece of the city's past, and the fact that somebody is proposing this kind of development proves that it is feasible.

It could be torn down and replaced but the fact is that if you're looking for superior brickwork or stonework that's just not on the table at this point given this project's budget.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 11:42 AM
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Yep. I would prefer for it to be glass curtain wall all around. However, I think it's important to get a real idea of what this building would look like if completed
Agreed. The renderings that have been released are done with a virtual camera positioned arbitrarily inside a computer. And I'm guessing the virtual camera is using an extreme wide angle "lens". It would be better to see some renderings in-context... from more human viewpoints.

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In general it is true that if something is not visible there is no point in worrying about aesthetics over basic functionality.
In general... yes... but we're talking about a building here... not a sewer pipes. I'd like to see a design that's a little more thoughtful. There's a new rendering in the Herald today showing the wavy curtain wall. This part of the tower will be clearly visible from the street as there is no setback in the back. It's not a pretty view. I'm not a fan of their wavy window idea. Personally.

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The Roy Building is not the greatest architecture but I think there's value in preserving it simply as a piece of the city's past, and the fact that somebody is proposing this kind of development proves that it is feasible.
But they're not preserving it. The plan is to completely demolish it and build a REPLICA! That's just bizarre.

Last edited by Takeo; Jul 11, 2008 at 1:52 PM.
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  #31  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 3:19 PM
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But they're not preserving it. The plan is to completely demolish it and build a REPLICA! That's just bizarre.
They keeping the facade, just the interior is being demolished. Without do that they couldn't put a tower on top.
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  #32  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 4:00 PM
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They keeping the facade, just the interior is being demolished. Without do that they couldn't put a tower on top.
I'll have to take a second look at the Herald article. The article made it sound like the were taking the whole building down and rebuilding it using as much salvaged original material as possible. But of course... that can't be. That would make no sense. So ya... it's probably a case of demolishing everything but the outer walls and restoring the facade.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 4:12 PM
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Part of the facade will be constructed. Currently the Roy Building doesn't go to the corner of Sackville Street, so two small buildings will have to come down for that.

I don't think the Roy Building interior is a big loss, especially if replacing it means that the building can be fully used again.

The Herald rendering looks very cartoonish. A high quality glass curtain wall would look better than what's pictured I think.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 5:03 PM
hfx_chris hfx_chris is offline
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The articles I've read so far basically say they're demolishing the entire thing, and re-using some of the materials to re-build the facade from scratch..
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  #35  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:01 PM
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The articles I've read so far basically say they're demolishing the entire thing, and re-using some of the materials to re-build the facade from scratch..
I don't believe accuracy of the Herald these days as today they stated the project at 1860 Upper water street was voted down by council? Didn't even know it had gone to council.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:01 PM
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At the meeting the other night they said they had to demolish the entire building and then reconstruct it. They would use as much salvaged material as possible and possibly reclaimed brick as well. Some people thought it would turn out looking like the brick work on the WTC, hopefully this is not the case.
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  #37  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:04 PM
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That sounds like a very bad idea. While it's theoretically possible that they could reconstruct it accurately, it seems very unlikely. If they're not simply restoring the facade you have to wonder what the point is.

Something else to consider is that this is a key site and if something goes wrong it would basically be a disaster. There's an area of several blocks nearby that's already about 60% parking lot, and the George Street lot on Barrington has now been there for nearly 20 years.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:06 PM
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The rendering from the paper today.

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  #39  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:20 PM
phrenic phrenic is offline
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The waves make it look like a much larger project in Chicago, Aqua.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jul 11, 2008, 6:34 PM
terrynorthend terrynorthend is offline
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Whoa! Aqua gives me vertigo...

I kinda like the back side of Roy in that render..I think they should keep that theme all the way around to the front..
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