89 Richmond Road | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning Amendment, and a Site Plan to construct a six-storey mixed-use building. | DSWL; rla / architecture; SAAISH Inc.; Fotenn Planning + Design.
- The Panel is supportive of the narrative behind the partie, however finds there are opportunities to better translate the concept into the architectural expression. The Panel acknowledges the challenge of elegantly integrating the commercial floors with the residential floors above, but believes improvements can be made to the front façade.
- The Panel has concerns with the tightness of the site relative to the proposed volume and programmatic goals of the building. It is the opinion of the Panel that four stories is the appropriate height for this property, unless the top two floors are designed with effective sculpting that does not exacerbate the urban canyon condition that currently exists on this block.
- Consider scoping the program to reduce the size of the building, as the proposed model for redevelopment results in a massing that is oppressive on the street and affects the quality of life for residents within this building, as well as those in the residential building to the west.
- The Panel also notes some impacts toward the existing low-rise dwellings to the rear, and has some minor concerns with respect to site functionality.
Massing and Replicability
- The Panel finds that the proposed development is too dense and results in the overbuilding of the lot. The six-storey massing is precedent setting, and the Panel has concerns that the narrow frontage, and lack of depth of the lot creates issues for this site with respect to garbage pickup, loading, etc. that are not reasonably accommodated on this property, as they are on other much larger sites nearby.
- The Panel des not find the proposal replicable on similar sites within this context, and recommends taking steps to reduce the proposed massing.
- The current design leads t quality of life issues for residents of this building, where windows on the west side of the building directly face the existing residential building. The same quality of life issues are exported externally to the sites to the east and west of the building.
- Although it is the Panel’s opinion that a four storey building is more appropriate on this site, and easier to construct, the Panel does believe a six storey building may be possible with sculpting of the top two floors, and a reduction of the unit count within the residential portion.
- One suggestin is to reduce the residential component to two units per floor, creating some breathing room, while ensuring windows have access to views.
- Carve int the building at the sides so that the bedrooms on both sides of the building have windows that face the front or rear.
- The Panel has concerns about the impacts of the rear canopies on the low-rise properties to the north.
- The Panel suggests that the volumes need to be broken down in order to avoid contributing to the ‘canyon effect’ on this section of Richmond Road.
- The Panel suggests that the front façade requires some work to better demarcate between the commercial uses on the first two floors and the residential uses above. There is a lack or coordination as the base of the building feels lighter while the top is heavier.
- Pick up n the two storey datum line established by the condo building to the west, and the cornice of the building to the east.
- Simple, deep punched frames will help t differentiate the residential use from the spa below.
- The Panel is appreciative of the inspiration for the openings, and the idea of marrying the residential and commercial openings. However, the Panel suggests bringing the Juliette balcony guards in so that they do not protrude outward from the wall.
- The Panel recommends setting back the upper floors on east and west, sculpting the upper floors to provide massing relief, and thereby reducing the area of blank wall along the east façade.
- The Panel suggests that the curtain-wall should lap the slab edges, and feels strongly that this should not be value engineered out of this project.
- Given the narrow width of the façade, the Panel suggests reconsidering the residential entrance. The current approach is to hide the residential entrance from the spa entrance, and keep this entry secondary - perhaps there can be a shared entrance instead.
Zen Garden and Functionality
- The Panel expresses some concern with the fact that the zen garden will be walled off and in shadow most of the time. The Panel also sees the zen garden as acting more as a light-well than a garden as people can only walk along the paved section, as the skylights limit the area of use.
- One idea from a Panel member is to set the building back and bring the zen garden to the front, potentially with an indoor / outdoor component. This will make the garden visible from the street, and might attract customers to the spa.
- The Panel expressed some issues with the functionality of garbage on this tight site.
- The Panel highlighted a potential conflict with the location of bike storage and the lower level entrance to the spa, as bikes can be quite muddy many times of the year.
Algonquin College – 1385 Woodroffe Avenue | Formal Review | Site Plan to permit the construction of a recreational and administrative facility on Algonquin College’s campus | HOK Architects Corporation; Algonquin College.
- The Panel is concerned with how this proposed building fits into the future campus context. Fundamentally, the Panel believes that the adjacent ‘North Service Road’ should be viewed as an important campus street, rather than a service road. Therefore, the Panel strongly believes that some major aspects of the design require revisiting, and in particular the Panel suggests studying other loading options to ensure that the building’s interface with the street is not dominated by loading activities.
- The Panel is concerned with the proposed pedestrian bridge location, as there is a missed opportunity to use the bridge to define the public spaces below. Generally, the Panel believes that public spaces created by this building need clearer definition across the site.
- The Panel suggests that the area along the southern edge of the building, along the parking area, needs significant landscape refinement.
- The Panel appreciates the vision as set out by the campus master plan, which is a document of high quality showing commendable aspirations. The Panel recommends improving the architectural expression of the building to reflect the standards expressed in the campus master plan.
Relationship to Street
- The Panel believes there is an opportunity to engage the building in a more appropriate way with the adjacent street. Given the width of the road, the Panel suggests aspiring to elevate ‘North Service Road’ to become a dynamic campus street, as opposed to treating this road as a service road.
- It is the Panel’s opinion that the loading dock requires relocation as it is across from the entrance to the residence building. The current location significantly compromises the views from the residence building, and precludes the activation of the streetscape in this part of the campus.
- The Panel suggests either re-lcated, or tightening and pushing back the loading area so that it is not such a dominate feature.
- Cnsider shifting the building further east, moving the stairs, and then moving the loading area to the northeast corner of the building. This allows the introduction of glazing along the street.
- In rder to better relate this building to the Student Commons Building next door, consider swapping the location of the fitness area with the student life and amenity space, and creating an entrance to the building that brings people into this space and faces the entrance to the Student Commons Building. Establish an east-west spine in the building’s floor plan that reinforces this new entrance.
- The Panel suggests carefully considering the quality of the materials that will frame the street.
Public Spaces and Landscape
- The Panel suggests investing in the landscape along the south of the building. Ideally, eliminate one row of parking and increase the soft landscaping in this location, creating a double row of trees between the sidewalk and parking lot, rather than planting the trees next to the building.
- Revisit the master plan to consider a more systematic approach to the open space network. The Panel suggests that the space between this proposed building and the Student Commons Building has the opportunity to become an important campus commons.
- The Panel recommends further rationalization of the angles of the paths and building angles. The proposed scheme has no central quad or clear gathering space, the overhead passage does not follow the ground paths, and the entrance walkway does not match up with the base of the building. Organize these elements for improved wayfinding.
- The Panel recommends squaring the building at the northwest corner in order to better shape the public spaces, and the overhead passage.
- The Panel suggests locating the overhead pedestrian link to help achieve objectives relating to framing the public space below, rather than fragmenting or cutting through the space.
- The Panel suggests working on improving the relationship between the indoor and outdoor spaces in order to promote wayfinding on the site.
- The Panel suggests further study is required on how the proposed paths, and the larger campus path network, connect people to the transit station to the north.
- The Panel is concerned with the northeast blank wall, as there is no room for vegetation. Revise this area and add climbing vines and evergreens to ensure that it is not a dead corner.
- The Panel suggests considering Indigenous place making concepts for the proposed greenspace that can become a focal point of campus.
- Consider integrating the sloped swale as an amenity feature rather than simply an engineering element.
- The Panel appreciates the handsome lines of the building but recommends adding more colour. The warm tones seen in the campus master plan illustrations should be reference. Considering this is a student building, the Panel suggests enlivening the architecture and avoiding somber greys and blacks as much as possible.
- Lightening the building will allw the play of shadows to be more noticeable.
- The use f dark materials has a very detrimental impact on heat gain, and can discolour very quickly. For this reason, the colour palette is also a very important consideration as it relates to sustainability.
- The Panel suggests more study on how to engage the building architecturally with the Student Commons Building next door. This is particularly pertinent on the left side of the building, where the proposed pedestrian plaza separates the buildings.
- The Panel supports the prominent glass element of the building, but suggests adding more windows on the voids, and introducing vertical windows along the gym walls, as well as clearstorey windows at grade to allow pedestrians to look down into the gym.
- The Panel agrees with the use of wood for sun-shading devices as it adds more life to the building, however, suggests lightening up the canopy to avoid a fortress appearance.
Zibi, Block 211 – 3 Booth Street | Formal Review | Site Plan to permit an eight-storey office building on Chaudière Island as part of the Zibi master plan | KPMB Architects; Windmill; DREAM Ontario 211 LP; Adamson Associates Architects; CSW.
- The Panel unanimously supports the project and is very pleased with the response to the previous comments from the Panel. The Panel is of the opinion that the parti is strong and further clarified, and the proposed development fits nicely with the DNA of the Zibi Master Plan.
- The Panel finds the architectural design articulates the original ideas of relating the street and to the water quite well. The brick portion of the building is well grounded and acts like a crust, while the glass portion is softer and appears to float.
- In support of the architectural approach and massing, the Panel’s larger concern is how this building can relate to Chaudière East Private, and more specifically how the proposal can facilitate changing the character of this street to something special. The Panel finds this critical given the north-south connection through the building.
- The Panel understands that the cladding material for the mechanical loft penthouse is still to be determined, but suggests a treatment that is light and complements the architectural expression from both short and long views.
- Cnsider aligning the mechanical penthouse with the reveal, and resolve it as a T shape in the elevation. Alternatively, it can work as a free shape, similar to what is proposed.
- Along Chaudière Private East, the Panel suggests exploring aligning the brick volume with the glass volume.
- The Panel is appreciative of the interpretation of the shadow and cornice lines from across the street. In addition, the Panel finds the reveals on the corners to be very successful, as well as the 9-inch reveals around the windows.
- The Panel finds the move to bring the red and black bricks into the building positive, and enhances the legibility of the parti from within the link.
- The Panel suggests bringing the brick up as far as the metal cornice, and extending the cladding from the lighter building onto the reveal.
Public Realm Considerations
- It is the opinion of the Panel that the master plan document is a living document that can respond in time to an evolving context. The Panel believes that the proposed building fits well with the DNA of the master plan document.
- The Panel recmmends setting back the future Building 213 from Booth Street to ensure views from Booth Street toward this proposed building when travelling north from Ottawa to Gatineau.
- Als recommended is a straight edge form for Building 213 in order to define the public space along Zaida Eddy Private, and relate the future public realm context along Zaida Eddy to this proposed building.
- The Panel suggests extending the woonerf across Chaudière East Private, which would help establish a precinct, and greatly improve the connection between the building and Union Park.
Amenity and Landscape
- The Panel is supportive of the subtle yet elegant changes of the paving treatment along the north end of the site.
- The Panel sees great potential for indoor and outdoor wayfinding, the integration of public art, and the planting of indigenous grasses within the development.
- The Panel suggests landscaping the roof of the building, providing a canopy, and an exterior bar. This will provide opportunities for people to take advantage of fantastic views of city skylines, the Chaudière Falls, and the Gatineau hills.
- The Panel recommends that further study of the street tree planting is required, including the possible alignment of the trees to frame a continuous linear walking promenade. The study should consider the pedestrian experience on both Booth and Eddy.