Posted: Apr 3, 2012, 2:04 AM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Okay so this may be a bit long but heres a letter about the building I came across.
I like how they talk about keep eyes on the plaza 24/7 so it will always seem like a safe place to be.
SURREY CENTRE MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT
Advisory Design Panel - Written Brief
Our proposal for a 47 storey tower includes the following features and uses:
• An iconic building that anchors the downtown skyline and will set the tone for the quality and architectural experimentation of future growth in Downtown Surrey.
• A top quality, full-service, 160-room hotel component that will compliment the social, institutional and business aspects of Downtown Surrey.
• Ground floor retail that will animate the civic plaza and the hotel lobby focused on an upscale restaurant. The hotel lobby will be located adjacent to the restaurant and each will compliment the respective uses. A branded coffee shop also is proposed for the plaza to further serve business and social crowds;
• A modest office component of approximately 50,000 sq. ft. will provide an opportunity for a high-value ‘shared office’ concept for a variety of office users that will particularly value transit, hotel amenities and the adjacent library and City Hall.
• A housing component dominating the top floors that will serve the needs of the City’s residents and complement the Central City Skytrain station and provide high-quality housing options.
• A first-class, branded fitness facility will be established as a shared amenity for both the residential owners and hotel guests as well as providing membership opportunities for the needs of adjacent users, including the hundreds of employees in the civic centre.
The mix of uses is important to activate the desire of the City to create a dynamic downtown and set the precedent for creative use in Surrey.
The Civic Plaza is the heart of the city centre, a space that invites both individuals and the community to gather. The original vision of the City of Surrey to create a new downtown, anchored by its landmark buildings and a new civic plaza, is becoming a reality. The avant garde Public Library building defines the western edge of the plaza and reinforces its public focus. Along the northern edge the new City Hall beautifully responds with complimentary massing and geometry, serving as a formal portal to the plaza, and using glass and light to create an architectural form maker that is a unique expression of local government.
The opportunity on the eastern edge is to introduce an intense blend of uses that will bring city life to both the internal Market Street and Civic Plaza, and serve as an economic generator for the city centre. As a microcosm of urban living, the proposal envisions a vibrant mix of uses including street level retail and restaurant space, with residential, office and a hotel above.
The building is located on the site to permit the plaza space to connect to the street corner on the south east, an important desire line and open space link to the civic plaza. The building has a strong orthogonal response to the city grid on the north and east, and erodes on the south and west to define the open space and subtly respond to the geometry and building orientation of the public library across the plaza.
The Library and City Hall buildings are relatively low, but iconic building masses. Our proposed mixed-use building is a vertically expressed mass, which acts as a landmark, and as an axial building anchoring the northern end of the view corridors and public open spaces forming a ramblas through the downtown core. It is intended as a counterpoint to the existing Central City Tower at the southern end.
The building massing is generated as a contextual response to the adjacent library and city hall, as well as an expression of the building’s uses. The podium and office create a strong base to the building, subdivided into two apparent masses with the eastern facade oriented on the city grid and the western facade parallel to the library. The connected residential and hotel towers hover above the two lower masses, away from the more public plaza interface on the west and south, and the sky-train guide-way on the east. The building steps inward at the south facade to provide for visual and physical pedestrian connection from the plaza to City Parkway and Surrey Central Skytrain Station. The space below accommodates the restaurant outdoor seating, with a south and west facing interface to the plaza, and appropriate presence on the public street corner. The top of the residential tower steps back at a roof-top level with an element to tie the two filigree shearwalls together providing shading and shelter to shared residential amenity space.
FORM AND CHARACTER
The building creates a complimentary expression to the adjacent library and city hall buildings. The library is a building characterized by simple wall planes, angled to create a dynamic quality to the mass, and articulated with a pattern of punched openings with the interest and quality of filigree. The City Hall building carries on the language of wall planes and roof planes, with a very strong folded roof plane as the dominant mass, but dissolves the wall planes to openly express its public function. Both of these public buildings are large, simple, singular building masses which are appropriate to their significance.
In order to reinforce this essential quality, by contrast the proposed mixed-use building is broken down into a collection of masses assembled in composition. This is also more appropriate for a multi-use building, and will allow it to comfortably occupy its position on the plaza without competing with the library and city hall. The various massing components also express the building’s functions, allow for a variety of differing floor-plate requirements, and allow for appropriate proximity or separation from the public realm at grade. The disparate components are connected by a series of externalized shearwalls that also allow the upper storey to incorporate weather protected residential outdoor space at an appropriate distance from the plaza and guide-way below. As a counterpoint to the strong geometric masses of the podium, hotel, office, and residential uses, the structural concrete shearwall is punctured by a arrangement of openings, creating the building's own filigree pattern.
MATERIALS AND FINISHES
The vision for the building is to create a more commercial rather than residential character due to its civic precinct location, achieved through the extensive use of glazed exterior wall planes of curtain wall, contrasted with exposed structural concrete shearwalls and recessed open space to amplify the surface quality of the glass skin. The concept of ‘filigree shearwalls’ in the massing, rendered in glass with its highly transparent quality will bring a dynamic quality to the building and create a lasting architectural expression for the city centre, while respecting the prominence of the other public building and open space elements of the civic core.
PEDESTRIAN AND VEHICULAR ACCESS
The building is organized to create a combined hotel, office and residential lobby on the west side of the building on Market Street. By combining the three lobbies into once continuous space, social interaction is heightened and enhanced. Passenger vehicle access to underground parking is proposed to be through the underground parkade shared by the Library, City Hall, and future building at the southwest corner of 104th Avenue and City Parkway. Small delivery vans will also use this underground route to the shipping and receiving area. Goods receiving access will be located at grade on the north side of the building and will be connected by freight elevator to an underground shipping & receiving, recycling sorting area, and goods storage area.
Private vehicle parking for residents will be provided in the underground structure beneath the building and will be access directly by elevators from the residential tower floors. A limited quantity of residential visitor, hotel, commercial and office parking will be provided under the building in the portion of the parkade contiguous with the City Hall and Library parkade. An agreement is being entered into to use a number of parking stalls in the larger City Hall and Library to satisfy residential visitor, hotel, commercial and office parking demand. Due to the different occupancy types and time of day use patterns of the hotel, office, commercial and residential, peak parking demand for each use is offset throughout the day requiring less aggregate parking spaces. That factor combined with the immediate proximity of Surrey Central Skytrain Station and transit bus loop will have a significant impact on parking demand.
One of the main motivating factors for choosing a mixed-use building program is to animate the plaza. Many unsuccessful civic centre plazas suffer from under use after, and even during business hours, leading to a perception of under-populated and un-welcoming hardscapes. To prevent this outcome the commercial uses and lobbies are concentrated on the ground plane, primarily facing west to the plaza but also having a presence on all four building facades. By activating all sides of the building, no quadrant is left without light and surveillance.
The 24 hour a day, 365 day a year nature of the hotel business also enhances a sense of safety, with personnel looking out onto the plaza and to the shared lobby space at all times. By gathering the hotel, office and residential lobbies together into one larger social space the design seeks to foster greater interaction, familiarity with fellow building occupants, and a sense of community and personal ownership over space. Beyond the shared social spaces, electronic access control measures and separate banks of elevators for hotel, office and residential uses will create the physical separation necessary for privacy and protection.
The design team has set a very high goal with its Sustainability Strategies; human thermal comfort levels equivalent to a mechanically air conditioned building but using natural ventilation. Towards this end we will be providing natural ventilation for all spaces. Energy will be recovered with individual Heat Recovery Ventilators for each residential unit and pair of hotel rooms with the exhaust air being expelled at the top of the building by stack effect.
Radiant in-floor hydronic heating and cooling will be used instead of industry standard electric resistance heating. Heat sources for the hydronic system will be at first priority exchanging heat within the building itself, then the geo-exchange field under our project, the geo-exchange field under the adjacent City Hall parkade, heat recovered from the sewage outflow from our building, conventional natural gas boilers, heat gained off our Co-generation emergency electricity generator, and finally tapping any extra heat from the rooftop solar panels for domestic hot water temperature boosting.
Raised access floor in office floorspace will allow for underfloor supply plenum and displacement ventilation.
Landscaping strategies will also play an important part in the building's overall sustainability. Stormwater will be detained on-site through green roofs, rooftop gardens, and bio-swales along City Parkway in order to reduce impact on city stormwater infrastructure. The aforementioned rooftop gardens will includeurban agriculture in the form of rooftop community garden, hotel rooftop herb and produce garden.
Finally, the project will be providing one or more Car-Share vehicles.
The landscape design is based on the concept of connections, just as the larger building is focused on social connections and synergies of uses.
The landscape design will connect to the larger green-spaces within the city by engaging both the green-way under the Skytrain guideway and the bicycle route on 103rd Avenue.
The design is also intended as a counterpoint to the more hardscaped plaza where hundreds of people are expected to gather at community and city events. The scale of the design is much finer grained, intended to provide spaces for social interaction on a more intimate level.
The landscape design seeks to connect to the different ecosystems within British Columbia due to the inherent nature of our tall building. The landscape design will feature coastal lower-mainland species at the base of the building and as the building rises, incorporate native species appropriate to more alpine conditions at higher elevations.