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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2008, 1:26 AM
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Salter's Gate fails in many ways:
- the ceilings are too low (direct result of view planes)
- the lobby is too bland
- the artifact display completely misses the mark ( should have been a grand theme)
- the exterior cladding is a sandstone wannabee
- the arcade on Hollis is a waste of very limited pedestrian space
- the copper dome is 46.3% too small
- however the fieldstone on the commercial building and in the landscaping on Lower Water just makes the grade
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2008, 2:21 AM
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Yeah, the low ceilings are another irksome feature of this development that I've mentioned before.

Hopefully that will be fixed by HRM by Design - ground floors should have to be a little taller than the requirement for upper floors and there should be storefronts, windows, or something interesting at ground level.
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 15, 2008, 4:14 PM
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Yeah, the low ceilings are another irksome feature of this development that I've mentioned before.

Hopefully that will be fixed by HRM by Design - ground floors should have to be a little taller than the requirement for upper floors and there should be storefronts, windows, or something interesting at ground level.
Unfortunately they are keeping the view planes intact, which means they can only do so much to improve ground floors.

I mean if you're a developer with 67.5632298 feet of height under the viewplanes than you can't afford to make the ground floor 4 feet taller without chopping off a floor of your building. Why not just give them 7 floors, and let them decide what height each floor is? So what if they building is 77 feet tall instead of 67?
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2008, 2:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empire View Post
Salter's Gate fails in many ways:
- the ceilings are too low (direct result of view planes)
- the lobby is too bland
- the artifact display completely misses the mark ( should have been a grand theme)
- the exterior cladding is a sandstone wannabee
- the arcade on Hollis is a waste of very limited pedestrian space
- the copper dome is 46.3% too small
- however the fieldstone on the commercial building and in the landscaping on Lower Water just makes the grade
Many of these comments don't make sense;
- low ceilings? for who? Salter's Gate has 6 floors of money making space, levels 3-8. Take away one for extra ceiling clearance and the developer won't be able to get financing for the project, as the leasable space will be reduced by 16.6%. All development runs on a model of profit - if you can't make a profit, it doesn't get built. Full stop.
- which Lobby is too bland? If you are referring to the Hotel Lobby, the design is a "standard" Courtyard except for the fireplace and artifacts display. I understand it isn't for everyone, however the Marriott people know what works and they insist on their design for any hotel bearing their name.
-the artifact display was created with the input from the NS Goverment and the private Archaelogical Firm DAC Consulting. This display represents the FIRST TIME the NS Government has ever allowed a PRIVATE BUSINESS to permanently display artifacts. Please try to remember that the artifacts are located in a hotel lobby and that the hotel is not located in a museum.
- the precast cladding is supposed to mimic sandstone - the advantage of precast concrete is durability, quality control, and speed of installation. While real sandstone would be beautiful, it is unfortunately very expensive and time consuming for installation. I see a lot of people on this board complaining about precast, however no solutions put forth. If you have a building to erect, there is a financial reson for complting it as soon as possible. Glass and aluminium systems simply take longer, and include many more small bits that are assembled in the field thereby increasing the odds for a mistake that will eventually leak.
- the arcade along Hollis Street was an HRM requirement for this development. I have heard some say they don't like it, however it is well lighted at night, and wide enough to have two people walk side by side. You can please some of the people some of the time.....
- the copper dome does look too small in relation to the building, however it also relates to an interior hotel suite. It is small as a result of the viewplane restrictions.

As you may have guessed with my intimate knowledge of this project, I am involved with this and the Condo project. I enjoy reading the discussions; an outside fresh perspective often sees things that have been right in front of our own eyes. Please keep posting.
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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2008, 5:49 PM
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Thank-you for following the forum and commenting.
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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2008, 6:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone456 View Post
Many of these comments don't make sense;
- low ceilings? for who? Salter's Gate has 6 floors of money making space, levels 3-8. Take away one for extra ceiling clearance and the developer won't be able to get financing for the project, as the leasable space will be reduced by 16.6%. All development runs on a model of profit - if you can't make a profit, it doesn't get built. Full stop.
I understand the reason why the building is the height it is was planning restrictions. Therefore the fault lies with the govt, for not amending those restrictions, and the developer, for not making a compelling-enough case for govt to amend those restrictions.

Quote:
- the precast cladding is supposed to mimic sandstone - the advantage of precast concrete is durability, quality control, and speed of installation. While real sandstone would be beautiful, it is unfortunately very expensive and time consuming for installation. I see a lot of people on this board complaining about precast, however no solutions put forth. If you have a building to erect, there is a financial reson for complting it as soon as possible. Glass and aluminium systems simply take longer, and include many more small bits that are assembled in the field thereby increasing the odds for a mistake that will eventually leak.
The merits and demerits of these faux materials are being discussed right now in another thread on the site which, quite coincidentally, I updated earlier today using this building as one of the examples:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...84#post3435584

Sorry for using your building as a bad example.

Again, I have to blame the developer for this along with the govt. The developer, because he was trying to mimic an expensive material on the cheap, and it looks it; and the govt, for demanding a faux-heritage look for that part of town.

Quote:
- the arcade along Hollis Street was an HRM requirement for this development. I have heard some say they don't like it, however it is well lighted at night, and wide enough to have two people walk side by side. You can please some of the people some of the time.....
It is a fairly major disaster from an aesthetic standpoint. Again, I blame the govt.

Quote:
- the copper dome does look too small in relation to the building, however it also relates to an interior hotel suite. It is small as a result of the viewplane restrictions.
Surely a case could have been made that the dome would not in any way cause anyone distress if it was enlarged to an appropriate size. I have to blame the developer for not trying hard enough.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2008, 7:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith P. View Post
I understand the reason why the building is the height it is was planning restrictions. Therefore the fault lies with the govt, for not amending those restrictions, and the developer, for not making a compelling-enough case for govt to amend those restrictions.



The merits and demerits of these faux materials are being discussed right now in another thread on the site which, quite coincidentally, I updated earlier today using this building as one of the examples:

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/show...84#post3435584

Sorry for using your building as a bad example.

Again, I have to blame the developer for this along with the govt. The developer, because he was trying to mimic an expensive material on the cheap, and it looks it; and the govt, for demanding a faux-heritage look for that part of town.



It is a fairly major disaster from an aesthetic standpoint. Again, I blame the govt.



Surely a case could have been made that the dome would not in any way cause anyone distress if it was enlarged to an appropriate size. I have to blame the developer for not trying hard enough.

There is no such thing as trying hard enough when it comes to viewplanes - they are the sacred cow of Halifax, never to be interfered with. Suggesting otherwise indicates a complete misunderstanding of the development guidelines / hurdles that property Owners face. It would be a wiser use of money to pile it up and burn it rather than pose an argument with HRM council on viewplanes - at least then you'll get some heat.

Thanks for the reply.
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 25, 2008, 3:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by someone456 View Post
Many of these comments don't make sense;
- low ceilings? for who?
I'm not sure which comments don't make sense? HRM planning, the developer and the viewplane leglislation have combined to produce a building that is altered in a way that detracts from a quality development. THE CEILINGS ARE TOO LOW IN THE LOBBY, THE HALLS AND THE ROOMS. More attention could have been paid to the entry at the corner of Hollis and Salter...maybe some granite or real sandstone to define the entry? The whole building doesn't have to be done in granite or sandstone...JUST THE ENTRY WAY. The dome is too small for the application because of viewplanes so find a feature that works. Viewplanes for the most part are destroying the appearance of buildings.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 26, 2008, 2:18 AM
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It's true that the viewplanes are a sacred cow. Many people act as if they are gospel and were some kind of amazing stroke of genius when in reality they're very dated and don't make sense in terms of driving developers to build the best buildings possible. The floor height issue is one example of a problem with the viewplanes.

I don't think the developer should be expected to enter into a protracted legal battle over the size of a decorative element on their building.
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  #30  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 4:26 AM
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Anybody know when the committee is supposed to make their decision on this proposal?

It was cut last week due to time restraints.
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  #31  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 12:29 PM
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That dome should have been deleted. It looks ridiculous. Like a tiny little stuck on christmas decoration. Like a little pimple. I can't believe any architect would have actually designed it that way. If the view planes turned it into a parody of itself, it would have been better to delete it.

And the ceilings are really low. The new Spirit Spa feels like you're in someone's basement. I loved the high ceilings in their old space.

So arcades are a design requirement from the city?!?!?! WTF?!?!?! That's crazy! That's news to me. If true, that's completely insane. Talk about hindering creativity. Wow. Unreal. When are the next elections?

On a related note... the arcade would also seem to allow that extra floor the developer needed... because it allowed the retail level to be partially below grade. Makes for a crappy pedestrian experience. The two store fronts are kinda hidden down and under an imposing concrete and styrofoam arcade.

What a difference an extra 10 feet would have made eh? I don't envy what architects are up against in this city.
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  #32  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 3:24 PM
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Arcades were a requirement for that development; not all development. When the Development Permit process is undertaken, all parties get a say and the city staffers then modify the proposals to make use of comments. For example, there were some negative comments on the Salter's Gate arcade, and I believe those comments justified having the arcade elements dropped from the "Alexander" proposal.
Your comment to remove 20% of all leasable space in the building would have ensured the property remained a parking lot. Extra head height is great, but if you don't have the space you work with what you have.
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  #33  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2008, 9:45 PM
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Who's comment to remove 20% of leasable space? I don't see that anywhere on this thread.

So how did an arcade become a design requirement for that building? Who made that a requirement? The client?
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  #34  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 1:00 AM
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WRT the arcade, I believe that the planners in 2002 wanted to try and incorporate more pedestrian space at grade level so they were suggesting the use of arcades. It might have resulted from earlier Barrington Street feedback.
Terribly sorry you and others don't like the ceiling heights. I agree that it would have made for better retail with 10-12 foot clearances. You play the cards you're dealt. We'll try to use your comments as a positive move on the next phase.
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  #35  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 1:51 AM
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Glass awnings are common here in Vancouver and would probably work well in Halifax.

Arcades would maybe be fine as well but when they're too short and below street level they look very private and uninviting (which is definitely not a good thing if you've got storefronts behind them). Hills complicate things as well.

I like what I've seen of the proposed tower for the South end of the brewery lot. The Lower Water St elevation up on the HRM website currently shows an attractive curved corner entrance plus some storefronts built right up to the street.

The proposed Halkirk House building unfortunately suffers from the same issues of proportion mentioned earlier. Its ground floor is only 2/3 as tall as that of Benjamin Weir house next door and shorter than the upper floors, making it look unbalanced. If it were bumped up by about 50% the building would look much nicer, even if this came at the expense of having a lower roofline than Keith Hall (which is almost insignificant, though I could see people getting worked up over this).
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  #36  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 3:28 AM
worldlyhaligonian worldlyhaligonian is offline
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where are we at then with this development? it will add a nice piece to our skyline!
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  #37  
Old Posted Apr 29, 2008, 3:34 AM
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Looks like the District 12 PAC discussed this development a few hours ago. That is what was supposed to happen last week.

Not sure when this would go to council. The development would also be subject to appeal to the URB. I would not be surprised if it happened due to its proximity to Government House but I hope it does not.
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  #38  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 12:39 PM
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Halifax council finally deciding on contentious condo tower
Project proposed almost six years ago
By AMY PUGSLEY FRASER City Hall Reporter
Tue. May 13 - 7:58 AM

After almost six years, a downtown Halifax tower and condominium project proposed for the Brewery Market area will come before regional council tonight.

The $30-million, 21-storey condominium project, called the Alexander and proposed for the south side of Halkirk’s brewery property, is on the agenda for the meeting at city hall.

In the past three weeks, the proposed development, including the renovation of Keith Hall, the 1860s-era mansion built for beer baron Alexander Keith, has received differing opinions from three bodies that advise council on planning issues.

Those opinions include a vote of confidence from city planning staff, a noncommittal vote from the downtown district planning advisory committee and a veto from the city’s heritage advisory committee.

A member of the heritage advisory committee said he was surprised that the committee turned it down because "everyone had mostly good things to say" about the proposal.

"I think everybody generally liked the plan, but most people have a problem with the tower, the height of the tower," Mark Pothier said in a recent interview.

The development would add value to the area, Mr. Pothier said.

"I felt the tower was already behind the Maritime Centre."

An owner of Greenwood Lane said he was disappointed that the proposal received a bad review from council’s heritage advisory committee.

"It’s interesting that this project was endorsed by (the) heritage advisory committee the last time we went to them, and the tower is now lower and it’s a much more improved design in our opinion," Bill Greenwood said recently.

The company has spent a lot of time developing its plans for the Alexander, with the support of municipal planning staff, Mr. Greenwood said.

The first application for the development was made in the spring of 2002, he said.

"We’ve been at it for some time," he said.

Part of the application calls for the restoration of Keith Hall, which he calls "a gem."

"It’s a spectacular property and we want to bring it back to its original grandeur. But for us to do that, we need in the millions of dollars to restore that building. So we need the Alexander project to support that initiative."

Councillors will debate the merits of the three reports and decide what course to chart.

If they decide to go ahead, a public hearing will be set before any decision is made.

( apugsley@herald.ca)
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  #39  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 12:46 PM
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Well this should be interesting to see if this gets approved tonight and makes it to the next round.

I like the revised drawings, nice project.
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  #40  
Old Posted May 13, 2008, 4:25 PM
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Heh..? The HAC decided AGAINST this one this time, even though it was shortened and improved in various ways? I guess the members might have changed since 2003 or so but it's hard to imagine how a process can be less fair than that. I am amazed that the developers have been willing to put up with this absurd process.

The original torpedoing of the 27 storey brewery tower was part of the reason behind forcing larger downtown projects to go to regional council. Let's hope they make the right decision. This would be a very good development that would make that part of town feel much more complete.
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