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Go Back   SkyscraperPage Forum > Regional Sections > Canada > Ontario > SSP: Local Ottawa-Gatineau > Downtown & City of Ottawa

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  #1  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 1:55 AM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is offline
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267 O’Connor (SOHO Centretown?) | 27 fl x 2 | Proposed

Developer proposes twin, 27-storey towers for Centretown
MATTHEW PEARSON More from Matthew Pearson
Published on: May 27, 2014Last Updated: May 27, 2014 7:48 PM EDT



Mastercraft Starwood is proposing this pair of 27 storey condo towers for Centretown.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-...for-centretown

A pair of 27-storey condominium towers proposed for Centretown will be the first test of a city policy demanding that extra tall buildings there be “true civic or national landmarks.”

The policy, which is contained in the year-old Centretown Community Design Plan, allows for consideration of building heights in excess of established limits at several key locations along major streets like O’Connor and Metcalfe in two possible situations — either the proposed building makes a significant and exceptional contribution to the public realm or it creates a publicly accessible space that consists of a minimum of 40 per cent of the subject area’s property.

One such site is 267 O’Connor St., where developer Mastercraft Starwood would like to demolish an existing six-storey medical office building and replace it with two condo towers and a new green space at the corner of O’Connor and Gilmour streets, which is currently a parking lot.

The area calls for buildings no taller than nine storeys.

The developer is asking for triple that in order to construct a total of 504 residential units, including four townhouses on Gilmour, and some ground-retail on O’Connor. There would be 309 underground parking spots.

Mastercraft Starwood envisions buildings featuring strong podium elements, a concave shape and a “skybridge” joining the two towers at the 27th storey. A rendering of the proposed development shows a modern-looking structure clad in glass, not unlike the kind of buildings that dominate the waterfronts in Toronto and Vancouver.

To satisfy the tall landmark building policies, the developer proposes a “generous amount of publicly accessible open space” that will be framed by the two towers but be designed in such a way that the public feels welcome.

The open space would consist of 1,374 square metres and feature seating, trees, vegetation and flower beds.

The city should approve the proposal because it is in an area with existing infrastructure, is close to rapid transit and cycling lanes, and respects the character of Centretown through setbacks and a “human-scaled” podium, the developer says.

The proposal also helps to meet Ottawa’s intensification targets without putting pressure on established low-rise neighbourhoods.

As for the tall landmark building exemption, the developer says it meets the city’s requirements because it won’t require the demolition of a heritage building. But it will provide the new open space along O’Connor.

In this case, the space in question would occupy 38 per cent of the site, meeting the “general intent” of the policy, which requires 40 per cent.

The city is seeking public comments on the proposal until June 26. The planning committee won’t consider the application until late summer.

mpearson@ottawacitizen.com
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  #2  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:00 AM
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rocketphish rocketphish is offline
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Wow, is that ever.... unimpressive.
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  #3  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:03 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterloowarrior View Post

I'm glad I get to see what the renderings look like. It looks like they're at opposite corners of the property while leaving the corner on O'Connor and Gilmour for the outdoor space. I don't get what they mean by "concave shape".

While the skywalks or rooftop be accessible to the public? I like it, and am glad Mastercraft are the ones building it. I hope it goes through and we see it built soon. I'll go photograph the site this week and take a posterity photo of the building.

Is the site plan up yet, or is this just an initial rendering released to the media?
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  #4  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:07 AM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Is this the site of the Medical Arts Building? I love that building, and many do - it is unique in Ottawa.

As for the design and the height of this...meh.
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  #5  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:14 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Is this the site of the Medical Arts Building? I love that building, and many do - it is unique in Ottawa.

As for the design and the height of this...meh.
No. MAB is on Metcalfe and Nepean; this site is O'Connor and Gilmour (I hyperlinked to the location in my above post). The Medical Arts Building, another gorgeous Noffke creation, has heritage designation and can't be demolished. Right here.

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  #6  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:16 AM
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waterloowarrior waterloowarrior is offline
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Originally Posted by S-Man View Post
Is this the site of the Medical Arts Building? I love that building, and many do - it is unique in Ottawa.

As for the design and the height of this...meh.
This is "The Doctor's Building" at O'Connor and MacLaren/Gilmour and the parking lot beside it



here is another article
http://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/n...retown-towers/

architect is Page and Steele
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  #7  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:20 AM
citydwlr citydwlr is online now
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I don't understand how this falls under "landmark building"...

Disappointing. I had high hopes for this one based on one of the articles from a few weeks ago that hinted at something really impressive. I wasn't expecting two rectangular prisms hugging (or choking, you decide) each other...

And what's the deal with the giant "SOHO" name at the top of all of their buildings?!
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  #8  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:22 AM
drawarc drawarc is offline
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Looks a bit tacky with that Soho sign. Want to see more renderings.
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  #9  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:27 AM
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rocketphish rocketphish is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waterloowarrior View Post
‘Skylink’ to top landmark Centretown towers

Twin, 27-storey skyscrapers first to capitalize on tall buildings clause

Ottawa East News, Apr 23, 2014
By Laura Mueller


Two curved towers attached by Ottawa’s highest pedestrian walkway could be coming to O'Connor Street.

Mastercraft Starwood, developer of the “Soho” condo buildings, is proposing the first “landmark” building since the creation of a policy allowing buildings up to 27 storeys in Centretown.

There are only three sites in the neighbourhood that could qualify for extra height in exchange for amped-up design standards and a public park covering 40 per cent of the lot. Mastercraft Starwood’s 0.4-hectare site at 267 O’Connor St. bounded by Gilmour and McLaren streets is one of them.

Architect Gianni Ria from Page and Steele in Toronto has designed two, 27-storey concave glass towers with a small, 750-square metre floorplate.

The towers will rise in two phases: the first at the northeast corner of the site, which is currently a surface parking lot. The tower would sit atop a curved, three-storey podium that’s 1.5 metres wider than the tower. Four townhomes facing Gilmour Street are planning for that podium.

The second tower would take the place of the existing medical building at the northwest corner of the site. Its identical podium would house a single, 370-square metre retail unit. The three-storey podium levels will be clad in limestone to help the buildings fit into Centretown’s heritage streetscape, Ria said.

Once the second tower is built – within the next decade, Ria said, a “skylink” pedestrian walkway will be added to connect the two towers.

“We were looking for iconic buildings,” Ria said.

The two towers would hold a total of 500 residential units.

The city’s policy also calls for interesting articulation at the top of the building and Ria said he has designed a unique topper to house the mechanical functions, as well as spiraling balconies that culminate at the top of the towers.

But the key feature isn’t the towers – it’s the promise of new “open space” – a public park/square at the corner of O’Connor and Gilmour. The rare opportunity to create new gathering spaces and to green Centretown was what drove the creation of the controversial tall landmark buildings clause contained in the community design plan for Centretown.

The issue divided residents when a final version of the plan was debated in 2013. The Centretown Citizens Community Association board even took the unheard-of step of partnering with representatives from the development industry – led by FoTenn consultants partner Ted Fobert – to draft an alternate policy aimed at creating green spaces downtown.

Now, Fobert is guiding Mastercraft Starwood through the development application process for its landmark building.

The park would be built as part of the first phase of development and take up 40 per cent of the lot, as the city’s policy requires, Fobert said. That would eventually be reduced to 38 per cent when the second tower is built. There would be views from the park to art inside the open glass lobby of the first building, Fobert said.

Where Fobert and the city are at odds is the ownership of the park. A last-minute change to the tall landmark buildings clause requires the open space to be deeded to the city, but Mastercraft Starwood would rather keep ownership of the parkland and pay to maintain the landscaping. The developer also wants to build a four-level parking garage under the park, which might not jive with the city’s ownership of that piece of land, Fobert said.

Mastercraft Starwood is proposing to give the city a permanent surface access agreement as a compromise to make the park “public.”

Somerset Coun. Diane Holmes wasn’t enthused about the half measure. During an April 15 Centretown Citizens Community Association meeting, she bemoaned the proposal’s failure to meet both the 40 per cent provision for public open space and the 20-metre tower separation distance.

The policy calls for the buildings to be separated by 20 metres and even with the curved, concave design, the two towers are only between 15 and 18 metres apart, Fobert said.

“I think it comes very close to meeting the intent of the tall landmark buildings clause,” he said. “It will be a very distinctive building in the skyline.”

The developer also wants to make sure the park, which is being designed by noted Montreal landscape designer Claude Cormier, is well-maintained, Ria said.

Cormier is also designing a unique feature for a hard-surface parking, drop-off and pedestrian area. They’re calling it the “carpet” and the mosaic of hard materials will resemble something similar Cormier designed for the entrance to the Four Seasons hotel in Toronto.

“It’s pretty cool,” Fobert said. “It’s a parking areas in association with the open space. The vehicular space becomes a patterned material ... it pedestrianizes it and creates an open space.”

There would be room for about four visitor vehicles in unmarked spaces on the “carpet,” Ria said.

The developer is prepping to submit the rezoning application to the city in the next couple of weeks, Fobert said.

Given the controversy when the tall landmark buildings clause was drafted, Fobert said there is bound to be “mixed reaction” to the proposal. He anticipates more Centretown residents will be opposed to the two towers than in favour.

Representatives from Mastercraft Starwood’s team are expected to present the proposal to the Centretown community association’s planning committee in early May.

http://www.ottawacommunitynews.com/n...retown-towers/
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  #10  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:28 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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Originally Posted by drawarc View Post
Looks a bit tacky with that Soho sign. Want to see more renderings.
There sign is a bit tacky, almost as though they want to brand this part of Centretown as SoHo.

The skybridge with text eminds me of Concord CityPlace in Toronto.

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  #11  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:31 AM
citydwlr citydwlr is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defishel View Post
The skybridge with text eminds me of Concord CityPlace in Toronto.

Same architecture firm (Page+Steele)
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  #12  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:34 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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Originally Posted by citydwlr View Post
Same architecture firm (Page+Steele)
Ha! No kidding? No wonder I thought of Concord, then. haha
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  #13  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:43 AM
S-Man S-Man is offline
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Ah- don't know why I had a brain fart on the location. Thanks for the map!
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  #14  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 2:53 AM
drawarc drawarc is offline
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Page+Steele also designed Minto Metropole.
http://www.cpci.ca/en/about_us/proje...eptember_2004/
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  #15  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 3:20 AM
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Jamaican-Phoenix Jamaican-Phoenix is offline
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Literally my reaction:

"Eww."
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Franky: Ajldub, name calling is what they do when good arguments can't be found - don't sink to their level. Claiming the thread is "boring" is also a way to try to discredit a thread that doesn't match their particular bias.
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  #16  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 4:56 AM
defishel defishel is offline
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As for my opinion on the design.

I'd like to see a better rendering with more angles to get a better idea of what they plan. The buildings look like generic glass buildings, instead of anything truly like a landmark; I was expecting two towers curving away from each other, with a connection across the very top. However, I like the idea of skybridge connecting the top (and hopefully public access to the top.

The SoHo name across is a bit tacky, but it's not a completely new concept. Many old buildings have their names carved into stone or cement above their entrances, so SoHo doing the same with their buildings is no different (though this looks a lot like brand advertising).

I'd like to see them modify their design to be truly unique and a true landmark. Not to say I don't like it, but I was expecting more.

Last edited by defishel; May 28, 2014 at 2:31 PM.
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  #17  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 11:35 AM
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Minus the gigantic Soho sign, I think it's an attractive proposal.
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  #18  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
EdFromOttawa EdFromOttawa is offline
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Looks great to me and completely and utterly different from what Ottawa has currently which is a huge plus in my books.

To those complaining about the look being 'too generic'...it's Ottawa people, baby steps.
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  #19  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 1:14 PM
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I'm left asking myself: so, since architects (and their clients, paying for their time) know that they're going through 2-3 rounds of Design Review Panel anyway, are they spending almost no time on the details of their initial proposals? No point putting a lot of effort and cost into the first set(s) drawings, since we're going to re-do them a couple of times, anyway? I look at this one, the Domicile proposal at City Centre, and few other recent initial proposals, and the first thing I think of is "first draft, now edit and refine," which is presumably the first thing a senior partner would (should?) be saying, too... Have we now outsourced* that function important setp in the design process to the design review panel?

* or, perhaps "insourced" it from the private to the public sector? I'm not sure how the costs of the Design Review Panel are borne; what say those of you who deal more regularly with City Hall?
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  #20  
Old Posted May 28, 2014, 1:45 PM
teej1984 teej1984 is online now
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Doesn't one of the tall proposals on Preston/Dow's Lake have a similar balcony design?

Page+Steele have done some great hotels actually, so there may be hope still for a better design (they did the new Toronto Delta and the Ritz-Carleton).
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