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  #1241  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 9:25 PM
lio45 lio45 is offline
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Originally Posted by MolsonExport View Post
... but then you realize that while Vulcans or Romulans may love hanging out in that sort of environment, it is piss poor for urban vitality.
It is, but then we have to realize that government complexes - this one serves one of the most populated U.S. states - will always be bad for urban vitality per area of surface.

The Quebec City Parliament is kind of a dead zone too, if you look at its footprint in the city (and compare it with the same surface anywhere else nearby, which will be full of residents and shops). I'm sure it's the same in Ottawa. It's inevitable...
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  #1242  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 10:32 PM
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It is, but then we have to realize that government complexes - this one serves one of the most populated U.S. states - will always be bad for urban vitality per area of surface.

The Quebec City Parliament is kind of a dead zone too, if you look at its footprint in the city (and compare it with the same surface anywhere else nearby, which will be full of residents and shops). I'm sure it's the same in Ottawa. It's inevitable...
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  #1243  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 10:45 PM
MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
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The area outside Canada's parliament buildings is quite lively. It is that horrible collection of back offices (e.g., in downtown Hull) that is deader than John. A. McDonald


pastottawa
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  #1244  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:21 PM
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The area outside Canada's parliament buildings is quite lively. It is that horrible collection of back offices (e.g., in downtown Hull) that is deader than John. A. McDonald


pastottawa
Yeah, I've been to Ottawa, I know that. What I'm saying is that the (vast) area occupied by the government's buildings is never going to be lively and urban per square foot, by nature. Outside it, then sure, but that's not what we were talking about - we were discussing whether to fault a huge govt administrative complex for being un-lively and occupying a lot of space.

This is what street life looks like right outside ESP in Albany:

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6512...7i13312!8i6656
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  #1245  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:25 PM
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One thing on which I'm sure we will agree is that govt buildings should minimize their footprint by being as tall as possible, so that the sterile area they'll inevitably occupy at the heart of the capital can be minimized.

ESP on that one could easily be improved. The buildings are tall, but there's also lots of lost space. It's part of the design, sure... but one could argue it would have been better overall to destroy less rowhouse fabric (like 50% less), compromise by losing the wind-swept expanses of the Plaza, and have the exact same amount of office space, just more compact.
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  #1246  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:36 PM
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Nearly everything you see in this view is govt offices, and it's not vibrant at street level. (I love the 1920s Smith building, but its base is not full of cool little shops.)

https://www.google.com/maps/@42.6536...7i13312!8i6656

I think it's just a feature of capitals, and can't really be avoided. It can be minimized maybe, but by definition if you have grand public buildings in a certain area you won't have typical "vibrancy".
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  #1247  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:55 PM
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How's this for an ugly government building? I saw this last spring in Edmonton and the green spandrel / paneling looked even worse in person.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5347...7i13312!8i6656
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  #1248  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:58 PM
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How's this for an ugly government building? I saw this last spring in Edmonton and the green spandrel / paneling looked even worse in person.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5347...7i13312!8i6656
That building looks really low budget. Horrible!
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  #1249  
Old Posted Feb 11, 2019, 11:58 PM
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Speaking of dead zone government buildings here's the Harry Hays building in Calgary. The form is kind of interesting, but it's a complete bubble of non activity form the street. It's also seemingly designed like a fortress.





What is with buildings of this era and poo coloured tiles?

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  #1250  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 12:11 AM
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No, it's all brick, but we do have brick and stucco mishmashes, even in that general area.

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Obviously windows did not factor into the budget here.
https://www.google.com/maps/@48.3686...7i13312!8i6656
Back when FCU was a functioning church (it's now an abandoned building), I made a comment on Flickr about it looking like a "dark, imposing hall of doom", and it pissed off someone who went to that church so much that they made multiple profiles and attacked me and my friends for two days in the comments section below the photo. I deleted all the comments, but not before recording this screenshot for posterity.

Enjoy.

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The worst part about these homes is that they back onto a Sewage Plant. I shit you not.
https://www.google.com/maps/@48.3974...7i13312!8i6656
The got a friendly reminder of that on May 28th, 2012.



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I can only imagine the amount of natural light in this building.
The people who work in it can only imagine natural light as well.

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Originally Posted by O-tacular View Post
How's this for an ugly government building? I saw this last spring in Edmonton and the green spandrel / paneling looked even worse in person.

https://www.google.com/maps/@53.5347...7i13312!8i6656
Isn't that building abandoned? With a bit of care it could be restored to something quite attractive, but it's just sitting vacant as far as I can recall.
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  #1251  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 2:50 AM
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In terms of fugly government buildings The Downsview Governent Complex is quite awful.

I like to call this one the Mcbuilding. Ketchup and Mustard is not a good paint swatch.




This is where the convicts are kept.


It looks like a high school to me.


All of em in one picture.
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  #1252  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 2:56 AM
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The Governent of Canada Revenue Building’s in Mississauga also never struck me as particularly attractive.
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  #1253  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 3:09 AM
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Some Fugly City Halls (aside from Mississauga which rules them all).

Brampton


Laval


Ottawa


Red Deer


Burlington
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  #1254  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 3:09 AM
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The Governent of Canada Revenue Building’s in Mississauga also never struck me as particularly attractive.
No, but it's also by no means super ugly, IMHO.
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  #1255  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 3:34 AM
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
Back when FCU was a functioning church (it's now an abandoned building), I made a comment on Flickr about it looking like a "dark, imposing hall of doom", and it pissed off someone who went to that church so much that they made multiple profiles and attacked me and my friends for two days in the comments section below the photo. I deleted all the comments, but not before recording this screenshot for posterity.
Wow, that is sad. Those are some really strange comments...but I love that High Priest account, it adds a great element to the whole argument.
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  #1256  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 4:35 AM
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I appreciate that I am going to get shot for this but..........I really like the Middlesex Court House. It has a strong presence and bold design right at the entry to the city which gives it stature and a sense of permanence. I like the brownish colour as opposed to standard ugly concrete and I think it has aged exceptiionally well. I also like that it is not set back surrounded by a deadzone but rather right up against the street. Yes it lacks window but remember this is a court house.

There are a plethora of ugly concrete 1960/70s brutalist buildings out there but I think the Middlesex Court House is one of the very few exceptons.
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  #1257  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 4:55 AM
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I appreciate that I am going to get shot for this but..........I really like the Middlesex Court House. It has a strong presence and bold design right at the entry to the city which gives it stature and a sense of permanence. I like the brownish colour as opposed to standard ugly concrete and I think it has aged exceptiionally well. I also like that it is not set back surrounded by a deadzone but rather right up against the street. Yes it lacks window but remember this is a court house.

There are a plethora of ugly concrete 1960/70s brutalist buildings out there but I think the Middlesex Court House is one of the very few exceptons.
It doesn't look that bad, I like it.
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  #1258  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 11:54 AM
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Yeah, I've been to Ottawa, I know that. What I'm saying is that the (vast) area occupied by the government's buildings is never going to be lively and urban per square foot, by nature.
Government workers and lively don't go together based on my experience dealing with government staff. The work environment tends to suck the soul out of people so that they just head in and head out as soon as they can from their cubicle world.
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  #1259  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 12:27 PM
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One thing on which I'm sure we will agree is that govt buildings should minimize their footprint by being as tall as possible, so that the sterile area they'll inevitably occupy at the heart of the capital can be minimized.


This seems to presuppose that they'll be ugly, though.

Isn't that a bit despairing?

Madrid's city council building could extend for blocks and I'd be fine with it.

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  #1260  
Old Posted Feb 12, 2019, 12:29 PM
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Government workers and lively don't go together based on my experience dealing with government staff. The work environment tends to suck the soul out of people so that they just head in and head out as soon as they can from their cubicle world.
They're just people, they work at their jobs, eat, go for coffee, and run errands like dry cleaning or whatever.

This activity pattern could sustain a great daytime urban environment. That it doesn't, in many cases, is entirely due to weird 20th century spatial practices.
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