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Dmajackson Jul 4, 2008 12:43 AM

[Halifax] The Roy Halifax | 71 m | 22 fl | Completed
I figured its about time to crete a thread for this proposal. Some facts:

HRM Case #: 01172
Location: Barrington @ Sackville @ Granville
Current use: commercial
Proposed use: Office with ground floor retail on Barrington and Granville
Facade: brick, stone and glass
Height: 71m
Viewplane: NO

Looking at the black and whte renderings on the plan sheet it doesn't look to bad. They're putting in brick on Barrington to match the existing buildings i guess. On the water side its glass. They're at least saving the Roy Building facade which is generous of them. So far I'm pro but I'm holding my official decision until color renderings are available.

someone123 Jul 4, 2008 1:01 AM

I actually like this building a fair bit now. The addition is broken up and set back from Barrington Street and the Granville side of the facade looks like an interesting glass curtain wall.

The only big downside is the implied loss of the two small buildings on Sackville Street. One is quite attractive but the other is covered in red corrugated metal and is of little heritage value.

I'm getting pretty excited about all of these projects. The city will be so much more impressive if they're completed, but the reality is that ground hasn't even been broken for United Gulf yet...

terrynorthend Jul 4, 2008 2:04 AM

Interesting..I guess those two tall blocks in the last renderings represent the UG towers. I guess they are optimistic that they can get approval too.. I think they will be in for a rough ride though..

Hey, I hope this building doesn't interfere with my view from Citadel Hill- of the UG towers Lol!!

Jonovision Jul 4, 2008 2:14 AM

I'm still unsure about this building. The wavy glass facade looks very interesting, but the other side I'm not too sure on. I'll have to wait to see the coloured renderings as well. The density works with UG and the Centennial building, but I'm still hesitant about that height on Barrington. Although I do like the the tower is set back.

I also don't like how they haven't addressed the roof line at all. All new buildings should have some sort of crown, or at least an extension of the facade to hide all the mechanical crap.

Architype Jul 4, 2008 5:19 AM

This sounds like an interesting development. Is this outside the heritage area, or does that not apply here? Are there any renderings?

someone123 Jul 4, 2008 6:43 AM

There is no officially designated heritage district along Barrington yet. That is no doubt part of the reason why this is now being proposed.

I personally do not think the roofline is that important. The rendering shows a plain box on top, sure, but it will be difficult or impossible to see that from street level anywhere on Barrington given the 200+ foot height compared to 30-40 foot street widths. You'd see the rooftop from the Citadel but it is no worse than any number of other buildings downtown. Overall I think that is a minor issue.

One thing I do wonder is how they'd handle the Sackville/Granville facade. It looks like they are adding one more storefront on Granville along with basically a copy of 1/2 of one existing side of the building. I wonder if it is realistic to attempt to blend in an addition so seamlessly.

Takeo Jul 4, 2008 9:40 AM

This design doesn't do much for me. I think they should go back to the drawing board. Putting anything on top of the Roy Building is a difficult design problem given it's shape and proportions... but I'm sure they could do better than this. As for the wave wall... looks more like cake decorating to me than architecture.

Spitfire75 Jul 4, 2008 2:08 PM

The half glass/half brick (or whatever that might be) tower looks pretty weird.
I think they should use the same material for the whole thing.

keninhalifax Jul 8, 2008 4:24 PM

Are we looking to revitalize our downtown or are we looking to turn it into a wasteland of second-rate facades and unruly wind tunnels? The poor Roy Building.

Dmajackson Jul 9, 2008 4:13 AM

Public Information Meeting today (July 9th) @7pm @ City Hall.

Jonovision Jul 9, 2008 4:16 AM

I'll be there.

Jonovision Jul 10, 2008 2:24 AM

I was there tonight. It was interesting. I'll admit that the coloured renders made it look a lot better. But the general consensus in the room(aside for the usual naysayers) was that it's a good project. People want the Roy building preserved and refurbished to the best of its ability. But almost everyone commented on the Barrington Street facade. They all said it should be glass like the Granville side. They all thought (as I do) that the brick tower on top would not contribute to the Roy building, but instead overshadow and mock it. We shall see what happens with this one down the road.

Haliguy Jul 10, 2008 2:43 AM

I was there for a while tonight. I thought it was overall very constructive. Each had their own opinion on what should be done with building, but all agreed that something has to be done with the building and nobody seemed to be out right against it.

I agree the upper tower should be glass all the way around. It doesn't look right to have one side glass and the other brick.

spaustin Jul 10, 2008 3:16 AM

I was there too and I was surprised that people there were talking compromise to a large extent. Maybe its a trust thing? (forgive the pun) Starfish simply has more credibility in preserving heritage than most of the developers out there. After attending the meeting I find that my feelings on this one are much more mixed then they were. I'm really not thrilled about losing the Roy, but if the neglect is too severe and the economics aren't there then maybe it, sadly, has to go. Right now they're talking bulldozing it absolutely flat and then rebuilding a replica. The facades won't be saved. I would feel a little better if they put some extra bucks into it and preserved the Barrington Street facade. I also think that they should really consider not knocking those two buildings down on the corner of Sackville and Granville. Streatching the Roy's style over where it never was seems silly. Why not keep the facade of those buildings and then incorporate something else above them on that corner? Extending a new Roy over them just feels like they didn't know what else to do.

In the bigger picture, if we can't save the Roy what does that say about the rest of Barrington? The Roy may be a little rough but it's in better condition than some of the others like the Green Lantern Building and the Pacific Building. If we let it go then what does that mean for the rest? A heritage district consisting of rebuilt facades seems pretty hollow and if that's where things end up going I think it would be a real loss for the city.

someone123 Jul 10, 2008 3:21 AM

As I mentioned earlier I really don't think the upper part will be very visible at street level and right now the Roy Building itself is not visible at all except at street level around Barrington because of other nearby buildings of similar or taller height. One could argue that the Barrington Street facade of the tower is unattractive, and I agree that a full glass facade would look better, but I don't think arguments about it "cheapening" the Roy Building are reasonable because it will be impossible see the two together.

As for wind tunnels, that is something that must be assessed for each individual building. It is definitely not the case that a tall building must generate negative wind effects. In fact, they often make the street more sheltered.

Takeo Jul 10, 2008 10:48 AM

According to the article in the Herald this morning, the plan is to completely demolish the Roy building and build an exact replica using as much salvaged material as possible?! Umm... that seems kind of ridiculous to me. What's the point of blowing it up and then rebuilding it? It's not like it's a great piece of architecture to begin with. I'm all for saving these historic buildings... 100%... but blowing it up and building a replica doesn't count... in my books. If you're going to blow it up... why not just start from scratch and build a completely newly designed building?

And the tower on top... visible or not... is dull and awkward. There's nothing interesting about it. It's a uniform red brick box. They tried to add interest to the back by taking their box and putting some wavy glass "icing" on it but doesn't work for me. I'd say go back to the drawing board. Restore the building a design an interesting, modern, contrasting addition.

Rico Rommheim Jul 10, 2008 10:50 AM

Halifax has a lot going on these days, is there a compilation thread or something, or could someone post a list of all the tall projects?

Takeo Jul 10, 2008 10:55 AM

For reference... here is the architect's rendering from the Herald article. Reminds me of the old Halifax Infirmary or the Lord Nelson Hotel... kind of a "block of cheese" approach:

Takeo Jul 10, 2008 11:59 AM

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.

sdm Jul 10, 2008 2:33 PM


Originally Posted by Rico Rommheim (Post 3664267)
Halifax has a lot going on these days, is there a compilation thread or something, or could someone post a list of all the tall projects?

Its all due to a rush of getting development agreements grandfathered before HRM by Design is past. There should be a compilation thread however as it would be interesting to see the current and future developments grouped together.

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