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  #381  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2020, 5:39 PM
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It will be interesting to see what the result is for the design competition for the new art gallery.

Perhaps the results would be better if Develop NS started off these parcels with something similar. Then again, there was a design process for the Ralston site before any developer has been chosen and I find the results pretty uninspired, although it's possible that a developer will improve on them.

If you look at waterfront districts in northern European cities like Rotterdam there are many Cunard-scale buildings that look much nicer. Also many buildings that use higher quality finishes like masonry but in a modern style and they don't look sloppy (uneven, seams visible).
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  #382  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2020, 1:29 PM
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I think this is on Develop NS, to the extent it's an issue. I'm sure Southwest wants the public space to be nice too but their prime concern is selling or renting space so they will tend to focus on interiors and private amenities and then curb appeal to some degree...
I agree - but it's still disappointing to me that this feels so lacklustre.

[QUOTE=someone123;9047330... If you look at Curve/Pavilion and Maple they don't really offer exceptional public spaces, and people were happy to have the Annandale passageway...[/QUOTE]
I think the Maple responds to its urban setting pretty well - and I don't think the same level of "exceptional" public space needs to be provided everywhere throughout the city. Same goes for Pavilion/Curve: I think the retail presence at street level is good and the wide sidewalks and planters on South Park provide a nice relationship with the Public Gardens. the Annandale passageway is fine - good for what and where it is - but I don't think it needs to be the same standard as what ought to be at the waterfront.

Arguably, the public spaces at Curve/Pavilion appear nicer than what I think is proposed for the Cunard Block, so who pushed for the level of design on South Park St./Annandale?

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... I should also mention I don't think the waterfront actually has a shortage of open outdoor spaces. It has a surplus of dead zones and parking lots. If you look around downtown, much of it is fine with a small park or square every few blocks. I think the waterfront should have some space like that but that it should still be basically proportional to the number of nearby residents and businesses or amount of overall traffic. The boardwalk itself already serves as one large pedestrian-friendly space so it provides a good baseline. If the Cunard lot specifically offered 0 public space I don't think that would be a significant problem. There is a big public space right next door in front of the NSP building. How it relates to Lower Water Street and ties it through to the boardwalk is much more important...
I don't think I would have initially shared your opinion that Cunard Block doesn't need to provide any public space at all, but it's something you've made me think more about. I guess I had just assumed we (Haligonians) would want a string of publicly occupiable space along the boardwalk - of varying sizes and uses, and hopefully with some sort of thought given to providing some weather/sun protection and infrastructure for buskers, hot dog stands, and other ephemera that should accompany a well-used public space. I agree with you that the boardwalk itself is a large pedestrian-friendly space, however, my personal opinion is that the harbour is important to the psyche of Halifax (if the IS such a thing) and that we ought to celebrate this and enhance it as much as possible with every single development that happens there. I feel like the boardwalk could be even better if it had a series of small, medium, and large gathering spaces along it with a variety of programmed and unprogrammed uses.

One thing I hadn't considered until I read your response is whether new space here would be overkill. I don't know that I have a good idea whether it WOULD be overkill or just bare minimum (or perhaps somewhere in between).

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Halifax has the same problem with the Commons where there's an abstract principle of this land being public space which somehow has morphed into it in practical terms being a mix of vague sports fields, hospital buildings, and parkades.
Ugh - I find the commons underwhelming. There really should be a kick-ass design there that reflects some of the current thinking about parks, recreation, and public life. Mont Royale and Central Park showcase/d what was en vogue at the time, and perhaps we could treat the Commons as more than just leftover space in the core and really be strategic about how it's used and by whom.

Thanks for the thought-starters.
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  #383  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2020, 4:08 PM
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
Ugh - I find the commons underwhelming. There really should be a kick-ass design there that reflects some of the current thinking about parks, recreation, and public life. Mont Royale and Central Park showcase/d what was en vogue at the time, and perhaps we could treat the Commons as more than just leftover space in the core and really be strategic about how it's used and by whom.

Thanks for the thought-starters.
I agree that the commons are a bit lacklustre, but the DT Halifax park network is a bit different In the sense that each park fills a particular niche. Central Park has a combination of sports fields, gardens and nature, essentially combining point pleasant, the public gardens and commons into one large park. It therefore makes sense that the commons focuses on sports facilities, otherwise it would intrude on the role of other DT parks. We’ve seen incremental improvements like the oval and paths along north park st., but there are a lot of underused or derelict spaces. What the commons really needs is up-to-date market analysis of what sports facilities are in demand, and a bit of “placemaking” along all pathways, similar to or better than what’s along north park st.
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  #384  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2020, 4:55 PM
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It will be interesting to see what the result is for the design competition for the new art gallery.
Well, here they are:

https://artgalleryofnovascotia.ca/ar...edium=referral

Impressions moved to the Waterfront Arts District thread.

Last edited by Keith P.; Sep 21, 2020 at 8:38 PM.
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  #385  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2020, 4:14 PM
JonHiseler JonHiseler is offline
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https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/nova-...ncil-1.5744086

"Regional council approved a motion supporting the 16-storey building if the width of the tower is decreased and changes are made to the design at the ground level along Lower Water Street."
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  #386  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2020, 6:14 PM
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I watched most of the proceedings. It was long and complicated but I'm happy the appeal was approved by council. I would have preferred they didn't slip in the motion afterwards and forced the developer back to the drawing board but this should at least be an improvement and I think the developer would still be required to come back through the DRC with their new plan.
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  #387  
Old Posted Sep 30, 2020, 8:36 PM
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Why is this one only 16 floors? Arbtirary HRM by Design limit? I wonder if allowing more height would have changed the economics a bit and potentially allowed for underground parking and/or a thinner upper tower portion.
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  #388  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2020, 6:00 PM
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Why is this one only 16 floors? Arbtirary HRM by Design limit? I wonder if allowing more height would have changed the economics a bit and potentially allowed for underground parking and/or a thinner upper tower portion.
I think there is a bylaw in there that talks about how high you are allowed to build relative to the distance from the waters edge and 16 floors would be the maxium for this site because of the way the marina/inlet is situated.
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  #389  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2020, 6:48 PM
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I watched most of the proceedings. It was long and complicated but I'm happy the appeal was approved by council. I would have preferred they didn't slip in the motion afterwards and forced the developer back to the drawing board but this should at least be an improvement and I think the developer would still be required to come back through the DRC with their new plan.
I don't think this is right. I think Council granted site plan approval with two conditions. Remove the terraced portion of the tower that exceeds the max width and fix lower water street. If they do that they can get a permit tomorrow for the building.
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  #390  
Old Posted Oct 1, 2020, 8:25 PM
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I think there is a bylaw in there that talks about how high you are allowed to build relative to the distance from the waters edge and 16 floors would be the maxium for this site because of the way the marina/inlet is situated.
I think these blanket height restrictions end up hurting the city. But then again it's hard to say how the city would add some limited exceptions for narrow towers without having a huge proliferation of them. In Vancouver there's a notion of focal points in the skyline that have higher height limits on a very small land area.

There should also be exemptions in the viewplane rules for certain decorative elements similar to what existed on the NFB building but could not be rebuilt. It looks unnatural and unappealing to have the exact shape of the viewplanes and ramparts limit carved out of all the buildings.

These aren't huge make-or-break issues and I think the current rules are pretty good overall but these tweaks could bring incremental improvement.
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