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View Poll Results: Vote for your favourite design!
TorontoDrew 1 5.00%
koops65 1 5.00%
urbandreamer 8 40.00%
dleung 5 25.00%
ericmacm 5 25.00%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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  #41  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 4:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koops65 View Post
Why the sudden fixation on height limits? There were none in Toronto, although there should have been, and there were none in Winnipeg either, so why here?
This is true. We didn't impose any on the last two, so it seems bizarre to suddenly start imposing them here. I do feel that for this site I would instinctually want to go shorter than my last two entries to fit the landscape better, but something like this should ultimately be up to the designer.

This competition, at its root, is for fun. This was the intention when we started. There is nothing remotely fun about having to abide by the city design manual when you don't actually have to. I would say that most of us on this forum fundamentally disagree with the presence of height restrictions, so why should we make ourselves worry about them when designing for fun?

If I wanted to be designing low or mid-rise residential blocks, that's what I would have been doing for my last two entries.
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  #42  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 5:36 AM
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I always design a building based on city guidelines. For the Winnipeg competition I looked at the site history, context, recently constructed buildings nearby, market conditions, future population projections, rules and regulations. For me the fun in designing is working within the same constraints architects and developers consider. (When I started my fantasy renderings on UT 7 years ago I didn't consider these constraints, but talking to architects and developers changed my approach.)

There are sites in Halifax where taller buildings are allowed. The Young and Robie area is one. Many waterfront sites are protected view cones from the Citadel and are in flood plains so height isn't going to be appropriate there either. Halifax is not Vancouver or Yonge and Eglinton.
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple
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  #43  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 6:37 AM
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If Halifax has a 32 storey tower nearby, approximately 100 metres tall, I think we could go a little bit taller here...
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  #44  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 5:21 PM
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I think we should, and that's what I'm going to do.

This site is in a really good spot being right next to Halifax Station, it would be a really good place for a high-end landmark office complex.
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  #45  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 5:25 PM
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It's true that Fenwick would NEVER be permitted today, but I don't see an issue with people disagreeing with the limitations and presenting a proposal that you feel fits the context and considers concerns such as shadowing as long as you can justify your decisions. After all, the competition is about ideas and presenting what you feel is a good vision for the site isn't it? Adhering to the limits is in large part presenting someone else's vision. Personally, I'm more averse to a proposal that severely conflicts with needs or demand levels than with regulations.
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  #46  
Old Posted May 18, 2020, 9:49 PM
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There's actually a 30 storey building under construction next to this Halifax site, across Almon Street (Richmond Yards). 7177 Quinpool Road is also 32 storeys U/C and then in Bayers Lake there's one under construction that's something like 28. The tallest approved tower for King's Wharf is 36 I think. Halifax has downtown height limits due to the Citadel. In the future it's easy to imagine areas like the North End with taller buildings than downtown.
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  #47  
Old Posted May 19, 2020, 5:31 AM
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^Exactly. Halifax's Centre Plan actively encourages tall buildings at Young and Robie. 30 minutes in Sketchup gets me 6000-10000 housing units on this site including a new public park and plenty of retail/office space:
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple
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  #48  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:07 AM
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So there seems to be no consensus about a location or the rules...
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  #49  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:10 AM
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1075 Barrington Street/Superstore site has a maximum height restriction of 22m. The streetwall must be setback 4m from Cornwallis Park (Hollis Street), 21.5m max streetwall height, building setback 15m from the railway line with a 1.8m wall between the property and the rail line. The ground floor commercial can't be taken up by one large tenant--Halifax planning has strict rules -- for this site it's roughly 12 CRU along the Barrington streetwall.

I have a few different approaches in mind. Remember it's the first three storeys that matter from a pedestrian pov and arguably the hardest to design right.
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple

Last edited by urbandreamer; May 20, 2020 at 3:23 AM.
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  #50  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:22 AM
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I'm confused, are we doing the large site with the sorting facility, or the small site by the railway tracks? It has not been made clear at this point since there has been so much jumping around.
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  #51  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:27 AM
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I think it's your choice: either the one or the other. There's height restrictions in place for the Young & Robie site depending on the street you're on (generally the closer to the arena the lower the height.) HRM has plans for a 27 storey height limit in the area -- Dartmouth otoh does have taller buildings planned for one specific site but these heights will be rolled back to within the new limit after 2029.

I have plans for both sites it's just down to time/energy. 21 June 2020 deadline ok?
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple
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  #52  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:28 AM
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The Superstore site is fine, but I'm still not happy about those height restrictions.
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  #53  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 3:36 AM
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Height restrictions are fine ... I wish Toronto would impose them because they keep properties more affordable and help the city grow faster from an aesthetic/infill pov. I'd rather have 10km of six storey buildings forming a dense commercial strip than 500m of 100 storey towers surrounded by single family housing.
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple
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  #54  
Old Posted May 20, 2020, 11:49 PM
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The proposals are definitely much stronger this time around and it was hard to choose a winner. I suppose I would place my main considerations into three categories with each receiving a rating from 1 to 10. I honestly didn't know which one would win until after I considered all the categories thinking them thoroughly through and did the math.

The categories:

A) "Aesthetics" would include originality of concept, the sophistication of the design, treatments such as lighting/material choices, plus any surrounding landscaping
B) Contextual fit: relation to surrounding buildings and streetscapes, layout of the site, appropriate scale. It would also consider the proposed uses in terms of their function in relation to the site/city.
C) Quality of presentation - renderings offering detail and clarity with attention to aesthetic quality of the imagery. With a real project this may be less important as the focus should be on its actual characteristics, with imaginary projects that really only consist of a series of images the renderings are kind of a big deal.

Eric proposal:
A: Aesthetics: I find it clean and attractive with the highlight being the shape of the office tower along with the strong sense of verticality created the horizontal lines on the facade. The glass also looks amazing. Dark, mirrored curtain wall has been a feature of many office buildings over the decades but when done right it never really gets old. The residential buildings are nice but definitely the weaker part of the project. Their facade treatment is attractive but reminiscent of several recent development such as Vancouver house and Yonge and Rich. I would prefer that they didn't overshadow the office tower with their size and allowed it to be the landmark. 7/10

B) Contextual fit: I love that the office building takes the shape of the streets while one of the lowrise structures is curved. Also a great job on preserving and integrating the theatre. There would need to be some wind and snow mitigating measure with the unobstructed glass wall dropping right down to the sidewalk. In a city known for its wind this project would be a problem. The project didn't stray from the expected in terms of it being a mix of office and residential. Both are large for the size of the city, but not implausible if there was a boom. 9/10

C) Quality of presentation With 19 different high quality renderings and a huge variety of angles the presentation is impeccable. The properties of the facade materials really shine through as does the greenery of the site. The colour scheme for the sky and background buildings is also well chosen and adds to the overall beauty. 10/10

Final average: 8.67/10



For the Koops proposal

A) Aesthetics: While both towers are attractive (and quite unique) the office tower has the stronger design. It would probably be a good idea to have 10 story bridge sections and 5 story cut-outs rather than the opposite because there is so much lost space and I don't think it would adversely affect the appearance. I particularly enjoy the lighting which would allow this development to be a landmark and a spectacle both day and night. The obelisk unfortunately feels very out of place in its current iteration and veers the project from striking and dramatic into kitschy and campy. If it's to be kept it should be in a sleek, modern finish rather than the brick. Also, it seems odd to have a observation desk in the obelisk rather than in one of the - much taller - towers. 7/10.

B) Contextual fit: There are a few helpful nods to the setting such as the residential building being curved in relation to the site and the office building straddling the lowrise. However, the buildings are extremely tall compared to the existing highrise stock and don't need to be as tall to function as effective landmarks. As is, they overpower the rest of the city and cram incredible amounts of density onto a small area. They would suffer from far more extreme wind issues than the Eric proposal. The buildings are both implausibly tall for the city. I love when people use imagination but outside-the-box thinking is best used in imagining new possibilities to match a site rather than to disconnect the site/context from the proposal. 6/10.

C) Quality of presentation The images are large and manage to convey most of the essential information. I did enjoy looking at them but they lack the realism and polish of some of the others. It's hard to discern the texture of facade material and on the ground to be bury maps or satellite imagery or something which reduces the attractiveness. Also, with unconventional building forms it can help to see an interior cross section. 6/10

Final average: 6.33

urbandreamer

A) Aesthetics: This proposal stands out as being the most realistic in its scale and concept with the variety of smaller buildings and nothing particularly large. The creativity is clearly strong with a variety of completely different styles and uses. It seems to be the only proposal straying away from the standard office/residential combo as it also incorporates a hotel and arts school (although some also incorporate the theatre as homage to the site). The star of the proposal is the ♥WPG school although the hotel building also stands out because of its colour. The school has the perfect modernist design for such a function and could make for a cool landmark. The other buildings are quite conventional despite a few having a wedge shape. Unfortunately, none of the buildings really benefit from their close proximity to one another.

The lofts, apartments, and condo buildings look less interesting and are overshadowed design-wise by the ♥WPG school and the Elite hotel, while the latter two seem crowded and overshadowed physically by their larger peers. I wish the lofts and the apartments has been shorter. Perhaps 8-10 stories. However, all the buildings are attractive individually. It isn't clear if the signs on the roofs are actually part of the design or just labels for the benefit of the rendering (seeing as they're also on the streets) but it would be fun if they were, at least for the shorter buildings that would be frequently seen from higher buildings above. 7/10

B) Contextual fit: The buildings are a perfect scale for the city and site, and the grounds seems very cozy and pedestrian friendly. There would be issues with wind for the taller buildings since there's nothing that would stop wind that hits the top of the buildings being channeled straight down to the street (one of the biggest issues with wind). I like that the streets layout was altered to make for the best "campus style" development and the form of most of the buildings make subtle references to the surrounding cityscape. 9/10

C) Quality of presentation: The information is presented in a fairly clear and detailed manner in terms of the buildings and their relationship to each other. It's also easy to get a sense of the building facade materials and colours as they're presented in an appealing way. I also love the renderings showing the perspective looking into the passageways between buildings as this helps to give a strong sense of immersion. However there's little detail on the landscaping, street furniture, etc. which is an odd omission considering how important the spaces between the buildings seems to be. it's rather striking to compare this to some of the other proposals where there are trees, shrubbery, grass, etc. in addition to paved streets and the outlines of surrounding buildings in the vicinity which are missing in all but one image which is abruptly different in style from the others. 8/10

Final average: 8/10

dleung

Aesthetics: The main building has an unconventional form despite featuring a neo-futurist design language that currently dominates high-end office development. I 'm interested by the idea of preserving public space on the ground by making the tower top-heavy as this definitely is an efficient use of land. Unfortunately I don't find the intention of not overpowering the smaller scale structures to be very successful. It's just not easy for a lowrise not to be overpowered by having a huge, bulky mass looming above it, especially when paired with the "teetering jenga tower" effect this creates. Yet it's an undeniable landmark that would instantly transform the skyline and even the general image of the city. I like that the main tower is allowed to be the star without competition from other elements of the proposal, and I also enjoy the exterior lighting, the airy lobby, and the clean simplicity of the landscaping and site layout.

That being said, the actual design of the tower just isn't my personal taste (although i don't hate it; perhaps it would grow on me!). The effect of having 6 different offset boxes sort of stacked one above the other just feels bulky and disjointed. I'd prefer if the transition upward from the smaller to the larger floor plates be smoother, perhaps expanding out with curves similar to the absolute towers or something rather than abrupt overhangs. Now that actually would be reminiscent of a tornado! 8/10

Contextual fit: While large for Winnipeg, it isn't implausibly large. This is also the only one of the projects that seriously addressed wind abatement with horizontal exterior fins on every floor. I really appreciate the desire to maintain public space and the space is treated well. However, it is inevitably going to be cold, barren and windswept for large chunks of the year making me question its practicality. 9/10

Quality of presentation: The large number of clear, detailed and beautifully designed renderings is extremely well done. I appreciate the inclusion of both day and night as well as a cross section which is very important for structures with unconventional forms. This is also the only proposal to include a rendering from inside which really helps to provide a sense of vivid realism. I also appreciate the amount of detail offered by the write-up. 10/10

Final Average 9/10

And it appears Andrew won't be participating this time around despite being included in the poll so I guess the ship sails without him.
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  #55  
Old Posted May 21, 2020, 12:23 AM
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Thanks. I was going to custom design my own street furniture but ran out of time: beautiful weather for drives, health issues, family to take care of. I prefer not to render in neighbouring contextual buildings as I'd rather focus on raw creativity. Street furniture inspired by the music biz would be interesting here: drum shaped garbage bins, guitar-shaped lamps, a giant piano as the public sculpture, on the theatre's blank wall facing Smith St historical photos of the Walker Theatre and area would be appropriate. At the corner of Smith and Donald, a giant statue of Donald A Smith.

Here's another view of Walker Lofts - the low rise podium building on Donald Street
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple

Last edited by urbandreamer; May 21, 2020 at 1:06 AM.
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  #56  
Old Posted May 21, 2020, 1:51 AM
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Thanks Nouvellecosse, that was a more thorough explanation than what some of my profs gave for our studio grades back in the day lol. I expected to do worse given the target audience, but was still curious as to everyone's specific rationales.

The point about the plaza's suitability to the climate is well made. In hindsight, I think something like the Sony Centre in Berlin would've been perfect for this site.

I rather keep the "tornado" part fairly abstract and not too literal though. If I had time I would have actually made it less randomized, not more. Though in this case, outward-sloping perimeter columns would've been the more practical structural solution and would've forced the smoother tornado you are looking for haha.
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  #57  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 4:06 AM
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So is there any consensus about the site and details? I'd like to start designing but I don't want to waste time working on the wrong location...

So far I think we're leaning towards the Superstore site at 1075 Barrington in Halifax, with a 22 metre height limit... anything else?
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  #58  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 4:16 PM
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I do not appreciate the lack of consistency and organization with the rules for this round. The site has changed back and forth (it's still unclear which one we are actually doing), and height limits have been continuously changed as well, and still remain unclear. As of yet, there is still no consensus and no clearly defined set of rules.

I have wasted time working on both sites, before the height limits have been implemented. Can we please have a clear and organized set of rules and guidelines?
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  #59  
Old Posted May 23, 2020, 4:44 PM
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You guys need to elect a competition administrator since you don't seem to be having much luck with consensus building. Since Andrew doesn't seem to be competing anymore, perhaps he'd be up to the task.
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  #60  
Old Posted May 26, 2020, 5:27 PM
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I fail to see what's so confusing about what we're doing.

1) Google is your friend. It led me to http://centreplan.ca/ which told me the blue highlighted area on the Windsor plot can be redeveloped but is still under the old Halifax plan
The corner of Windsor and Young north of the Halifax Forum is contaminated lands belonging to the military base: apparently it was used for battery storage so is unsuitable for development.

2) https://www.halifax.ca/about-halifax...ifax-plan-area tells me specific height limits for these areas not included in centreplan

3) while you don't control the height, setbacks (25 metres between towers for example as shown in my building massing), FAR, or unit mix it's up to you to decide how it all looks, greenspace, road layouts

4) site history is fascinating: there used to be car race track here in the 1930s-50s. It's somewhat connected to the Halifax Explosion/train station site if you're willing to read about it.

I haven't begun anything yet ... cottage country distractions ha.

(Some of you say "but there was no height limit imposed on previous competitions" ... except there was ... it's all based on your understanding of the site and planning rules.)
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I'd rather be homeless than live in a condo...but I do like watching attractive ones get built...like Woodwards, 42 in Waterloo, and anything by Daoust/Saucier+Perrotte/Nomade/aA/Teeple

Last edited by urbandreamer; May 26, 2020 at 5:40 PM.
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