July 4, 2018
10 des Oblats Avenue | Formal Review | Hobin Architecture; Regional Group; Novatech Planning & Engineering.
- The Panel strongly agrees that the Grande Allée leading to the Deschâtelets Building is the key element of the master plan for the Greystone Village, creating a moment in the city to celebrate. Making the Grand Allée work as a unique, and important public space is crucial.
- The Panel is of the opinion that the proposed buildings must appear as background buildings which are handsome, and relatable to the heritage building, and which frame the Grand Allée, from Main Street to its terminus.
Architectural Style and Heritage Character
- The Panel has some concerns that the proposed industrial architectural language detracts from the experience of the Grande Allée and its terminus at the Edifice Deschâtelets. It is the Panel’s opinion that the façade treatments along the Grande Allée should subtly relate to the heritage building.
- These facades should be part of a narrative that leads to the Edifice Deschâtelets, while allowing the heritage building to remain the focal point.
- The Panel suggests that a symmetry of height would likely better frame the Grande Allée, and the Panel has some concerns, in terms of relatability with the heritage context, with the proposed height of nine stories for Building 2B.
- The Panel suggests reconsidering the vertical element at the corner of Building 2B to avoid creating a visual distraction from the heritage building.
- The Panel suggests repetitive windows which are more vertical in expression, rather than wide, would architecturally relate Building 2A and 2B to the heritage building.
- One suggestion from the Panel is to incorporate more stone into the two buildings, particularly closer to the heritage building.
- The Panel suggests that the architectural expression at the base of Building 2A could, through materials or design elements, provide some visual clues that the Edifice Deschâtelets is behind.
- The Panel suggests reducing the architectural contrast between Buildings 2A and 2B, and instead establish a stronger dialogue between the two buildings.
Parking and Commercial Use
- The Panel feels that more of the proposed parking area should be landscaped.
- Entrances and service oriented space that relates to Building 2A and 2B could be located adjacent to this landscaped area.
- Consider additional on-street parking spaces on des Oblats Avenue, and add entrances to commercial units, so that the street becomes part of the public realm with parking and shopping.
- Considering that grocery stores typically have one principle entrance, it may be preferable to have some smaller scale retail along des Oblats in order to create a more active public realm.
1705 Carling Avenue | Formal Review | rla / architecture; The Founders Residences Westboro.
- The Panel is supportive and appreciative of the project, as it represents a development on Carling Avenue of an appropriate scale and density. The Panel sees opportunity for improvements with some alterations to the architectural expression, a slight shifting of the building’s geometry, and a more cohesive relationship between the proposed park and the private landscape.
- The Panel suggests adjusting the geometry of the mass of the building to better correspond to the site. Consider moving away from the orthogonal T shape.
- The building appears long along Carling Avenue, look for ways to break up this massing, and refine the architectural expression to avoid an appliqué or pastiche appearance. The Panel suggests taking cues from the existing apartment buildings to the east, and establishing a datum line relating to their rooflines.
- The Panel has some concerns that the public portion of the building feels compressed. Increase the height of the base of the building to better integrate into the commercial context of Carling Avenue.
- Consider applying more balance to the design of the building. The Panel suggests integrating the mechanical penthouse into the centre, and to look at better related the west elevation and the east elevation.
- One suggestion is to add a unit on the west side of the 7th Floor, and apply a similar design, massing and use of materials to both the east and west wings.
- Refine the corners of the building by moving the top balconies to the side façades.
- The Panel suggests carrying across the glass treatment on the penthouse level, with continuous glass balconies, and adding balconies to the corner units, on the side façades.
Landscape and Park
- The Panel suggests clarifying the parking, landscape and park areas on the site by adjusting the angle of the T-shape building to assure that negative space is married more logically to the site.
- A less orthogonal approach to the floorplate could allow for more weight to be given to the landscape elements, particularly on the west side of the site.
- Amplifying the landscape elements is encouraged by the Panel as it makes for stronger experiences for the residences. When considering the rear of the site, ensure there is visually a sense of ‘space beyond’ which, in addition to an important physical link into the established residential neighbourhood to the north, will provide psychological benefits to the residents.
- The Panel is of the opinion that the proposed park must be accessible for both the public and residents, and there should be fluid circulation through the park.
- Consider modifying the parking area to ensure there is harmony with the proposed park.
Parking, Ramp and Drop-off
- The Panel suggests that the drop-off area on Carling Avenue is redesigned to ensure that pedestrian flow along the sidewalk is not inhibited.
- The Panel is concerned that the relationship between the loading, parking garage ramps, and the parking area is tight. Consider ways to reorient the ramp in order to simplify loading.
- The Panel strongly suggests ensuring that the sidewalk along Carling Avenue is continuous through the layby.
- Consider revising the roundabout, as the Panel has some concerns about its functionality.
July 5, 2018
800 Eagleson Road | Formal Review | Monteyne Architecture Works Inc.; Ironclad Developments Ltd.
- The Panel is appreciative of some of the changes to the building design which attempt to limit the impact of the massing, particularly along Fernbank Road. The Panel is however concerned that there are now too many architectural elements that result in a less coherent architectural expression.
- The Panel believes that the building’s capacity within a six-storey framework has been maximized, leaving very little left for important interior and exterior amenity. While the Panel recognizes the realities of the low cost rental market, the Panel feels that the proposal is too tight for the site, and that some give is required in terms of the provision of surface parking, the size of the building, relationship to the streets, or the amenity area, in order to ensure appropriate development.
- The Panel appreciates the initiative to capture storm water, but suggests the implementation of more sustainability features would improve the long term functionality, and marketability of the project.
- The Panel feels that the articulation of the building could use some revision and that more order is needed in terms of the architectural expression of the building. Consider wrapping the corner element at Fernbank and Eagleson and introducing a corner edge typology that speaks to the intersection.
- The Panel suggests that a flat roof expression may best articulate the modern architectural aspirations represented by the building’s elevations.
- Given the overall expression, one panel member was reminded of 1920s and 1930s apartment building design would be a good architectural inspiration for this project.
- Consider delinking the box lined with red from roof the cornice line.
- Further study of the bris soleil element and truss-like diagonal columns at grade is required.
- Study window sizes to ensure appropriate proportions.
- It is the opinion of the Panel that the extensive use of colour is architecturally distracting from other elements of the building. Limiting the use of colour to the entrance canopy will result in a more urban building. A white and grey palette could enhance the play of shadows.
- The Panel suggests considering a four and six storey volumetric variation, with two floors of concrete. This will allow for a reduced floorplate, more options to break up the massing, an opportunity for more underground parking, and more amenity space.
- Another option offered by a member of the Panel is to approach the development as two buildings – one fronting Fernbank, the other Eagleson - joined by common amenity space centred at the intersection.
- The Panel is of the opinion that the proposed configuration of the building is not ideal, but if it must remain, the Panel strongly suggests breaking down the massing of the façade along Fernbank.
- The Panel finds the red colour accents distracting and unnecessary. If red is used as a colour accent it should be restrained and directed to highlight certain features such as the main entrance canopy.
Grade Related Units
- As an urban building’s integration is dependent on its interface with the public realm, the Panel feels strongly that the four foot wall along Fernbank, does not relate well to the ditch between the sidewalk and the building.
- It is important for grade related units to directly access the ground with front entrances, paths and sidewalks. The Panel is concerned with the aspiration to urbanize the site yet still maintain elements of rural infrastructure, such as the drainage ditch condition that cuts off the building from the public realm.
Parking and Drop Off
- Overall the Panel has concerns with many aspects of the site plan, including the tightness of the sidewalk in relationship to the building, the drop-off configuration, and inability for a vehicular turn-around.
- The Panel finds the drop off area does not work well. Given the configuration, there will be a need for vehicles to back out a considerable distance which is not sufficient for services, taxi, moving trucks, and emergency vehicles, as examples. Establish a loop to ensure graceful vehicular movement to and from the main entrance.
- Another suggestion from the Panel is to establish a main entrance to the building with a second service entrance which could be used for moving and service delivery, etc.
- The residual area of the lot beyond the building envelope is taken up by parking, with landscape pockets that are not embedded on the plan. The Panel feels this approach to landscaping the property has resulted in the building feeling like an island on the site.
- The Panel suggests moving the parking to a more reasonable distance from the building edge in order to create a more livable environment.
- The Panel suggests adding a second level of underground parking to both create more parking, and to locate the buildings mechanical equipment. This would free up surface area for landscape and amenity.
- The Panel is very concerned with the minimal amenity within the apartment suites. The windows of the units are also quite small which could result in a lack of light within the apartment units.
- The Panel suggests more landscape buffers from the streets, and the establishment of things like courtyards, in order to increase livability of the development, and to make the apartments more marketable.
- Study the bicycle access as it conflicts with adjacent balconies.
- Given that there are two and three bedroom units proposed, the Panel is of the opinion that outdoor shared amenity space for the gathering of family and friends for BBQs, etc. is essential.
2140 Baseline | Formal Review | API Development Consultants; Fabiani Architect LTD; Baseline Constellation Partnership Inc. (Theberge Homes & Mastercraft Starwood).
- The Panel sees this intersection as an important one, particularly with the proximity to various City facilities. The Panel also recognizes that the configuration of the site makes for a complicated development but is concerned with the fit of the proposed development on this site and in particular the relationship with the west lot line. The panel is always mindful of not exporting the obligations of a particular site to its adjacent properties. Returning to the Panel for another review is important, as the concerns from the Panel regarding the current proposal are fundamental.
- The Panel is concerned that the mass of the building is too large, and the impact of the sheer face of the building is too great. The Panel suggests re-examining this massing approach to the development which has placed everything on the same plane with an excessively wide building.
- One suggestion from the Panel is to contemplate two bar buildings that intersect at the corner with some dynamism.
- The Panel also suggests potentially breaking up the mass by varying the heights of the two wings.
- Another approach suggested by the Panel is to design a point tower on a four to five storey podium, to allow for more articulation of the massing.
- In order to improve the architectural expression of the building, the Panel suggests that the design should reinforce the corner, and wrap around on each side, to make a bolder statement. Perhaps choosing one of the façades to emphasize, and the other to not emphasize, will also improve the overall expression.
- The Panel suggests adding glass at the corner in order to help break the mass.
- Considering the replicability of this development on adjacent property, the Panel suggests pulling in the building at least 11.5 metres from the adjacent property line.
- The Panel is pleased with the cornice design and is appreciative of the use of glass across the penthouse levels, where interior amenity is proposed and will likely be well lit. Consider stepping back the top levels to improve proportions and provide relief from the impact of the overall massing of the building.
- It is the opinion of the Panel that the use of appliqué materials should be avoided, and more architectural articulation is required in order to successfully break down the mass of the building.
- Dark materials are concerning to the Panel, with respect their long term sustainability.
- The use of Efus is strongly discouraged by the Panel. Metal panels are preferable.
- A suggestion from the Panel is to bring the white banding up another floor in order to provide a more appropriate at grade retail condition. The current design appears squat, and the Panel prefers a stronger base expression.
- Avoid a step-up to the retail units, and ensure that retail entrances meet the elevation of the street (particularly on Baseline). Eliminate the requirement for a plinth.
- The Panel is concerned with the lack of functionality of the retail space. ‘Back of house’ retail requirements appear to be absent form the plan. The Panel suggests that the side of the building where retail space will be entered needs to be clarified.
- The Panel sees much potential with the proposal to locate amenity area at the penthouse level. Coordinate programming with architectural elements that result in a lighter expression. Make the penthouse a well-lit beacon, and allow the design of the top of the building influence massing expression below.
- The Panel suggests introducing rooftop amenity space to the building. One suggestion is the establishment of an outdoor terrace to the south side of the building, perhaps on the rooftop of a café space.
10 Cope Drive | Formal Review | | Taggart Realty Management; Hobin Architecture; Fotenn Planning + Design.
- The Panel appreciates the general approach to the development, with the larger box store to the north of the site, with smaller retail pads transitioning to the established residential neighbourhoods to the south.
- Overall, the Panel finds that the composition of the buildings, and the connections through the site, are good. There are however opportunities to improve the architecture of the proposed supermarket, and increase the amount and the effectiveness of the landscape.
- With respect to the orientation of the buildings, the Panel offers various approaches on how to most effectively respond to the existing context:
- One suggestion is to turn the buildings and any adjacent terrace space toward the the street in order to strongly relate to Eagleson Road, thus avoiding the sense of ‘backs toward the street’, sunk below the street grade. The goal of this approach is to activate the street.
- An alternative recommendation from the Panel is to establish an inward looking development which functions as a community hub. The development should better respond to the grade changes through landscape enhancements. This approach responds to the existing context along Eagleson, where it is mostly backyard fences along the street.
- The Panel suggests flipping the larger and smaller retail pads along Eagleson Drive, and add an additional pad to the right of the ‘right-in, right-out’ access ,in order to improve the street relationship.
- The Panel suggests adding landscape interest to the development by amplifying the grade change and considering the views toward the supermarket from the trail, and the road. Rooftop landscape would add interest to the buildings which will appear as half submerged from different vantage points.
- Break down the grading to two or three levels and add a slope to the opposite side of the lot in order to achieve the best landscape results.
- The Panel recommends reducing the provided parking spaces, and add soft landscaping in their place. The landscape on the site should be an overlay as opposed to being a residual condition where there is no parking.
- Another suggestion is to remove the parking next to Pad C, and add a walkway. Widen this landscape strip and add trees, creating an allée of trees which helps to break up the retail complex.
- The Panel suggests creating a median between the street and the sidewalk along Eagleson in order to establish a stronger edge, and create a better landscape within the public realm.
- Consider adding trees along the perimeter of the site to further enhance the public realm.
- To establish a seamless relationship between the retail environment and the existing trail, the Panel recommends studying the removal of the loading area to the south of the site in order to establish patios and storefronts directly facing the trail.
- The Panel suggests improving the architectural expression of the supermarket by using high quality building materials, and by adding a vitrine that would be visible from the intersection. This will have marketing value, and will help to animate the corner of Cope and Eagleson.
- The panel suggests adding an outdoor patio space to be used by the clients of the proposed café, which is internal to the supermarket.
- The Panel suggests installing solar panels and adding greenery to the roof of the supermarket (perhaps a garden). Plants from the rooftop could spill over the building, adding texture and a vigor to the landscape of the larger site.
339 Cumberland | Formal Review | Planning By People (Chris Jalkotzy)
- The Panel recognizes the passion and research that has gone into this project, and appreciates the aspirations of developing a mid-size building that responds to the market opportunities for the ‘missing middle’. On another site, the Panel believes that the approach presented could be very successful, however the Panel is concerned with the livability implications of an excessive floorplate, where the 19 unit building relies on a rear window light-well, and the inclusion of windows that face directly onto adjacent properties.
- The Panel agrees that the scale from the streetscape is generally appropriate, however, given the constraints of the lots size, a more conventional approach is likely required. Perhaps expanding on the typology that exists in the immediate context, could result in a much improved proposal. One suggestion from the Panel is to instead pursue a stacked townhouse development, as this would allow for some rear yard setback and a better quality of life for residents.
- The Panel suggests a simplified approach to the treatment of the elevation and the fenestration patterns. The window patterns, and the placement of materials seems arbitrary, making the building architecturally incoherent.
- The Panel recognizes that the proposal will result in a unique building on the corner, but feels the current design expression does not fit into the existing neighbourhood context.
- Consider using more masonry to relate better to the surrounding character.
Livability of Units
- The Panel has concerns with the complexity of the unit layout has resulted in negative implications on the livability of the suites, which are quite small.
- In order to fully analyze this proposal, the Panel requires unit floor plans, because what is shown indicates awkward interior spaces.
- The Panel is particularly concerned with the rear corner units, where there is a reliance on the adjacent property to maintain a setback in order for the units to be livable.
- The Panel feels strongly that the light well at the rear is problematic and that revisions to the design approach is required to eliminate the need for this feature.
- The Panel has concerns with some units, particularly on the northeast corner showing minimal glazing. There appears to be only one small window in a studio unit.
- There are concerns from some Panel members that the the plans do not meet minimum standards of the Ontario Building Code.