353-357 Gardner Street | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Rosaline J. Hill Architects; Paquette Planning Assoc.
- The panel is of the opinion that the proportionality and scale of the building on the site works well.
- The Panel recommends giving some additional consideration to the base, middle, top legibility of the building.
- The Panel is generally supportive of the approach to the site plan in terms of the entrances to the building and their placement.
- The Panel recommends studying the ground floor layout, including integrating the lively activity of the neighbourhood.
- The details on the design of the planters along the McArthur façade are important and the Panel suggests that they be clad in a way to tie into the base of the building.
- The Panel has some concerns with the accessibility of the site and emphasizes the need for the main entrance to be fully and easily accessible.
Built Form and Architecture
- The treatment and articulation of the façade along McArthur is positive. This could be even further empathized by:
- intrducing a slight differentiation of the upper floor, which could be achieved by capping the corner element; and
- using a larger cursing of materiality such as an Arriscraft stone and a defined base that would help with the overall scale.
- Consider introducing a slight stepback above the second or third storey.
- The distribution of colour needs some additional consideration in terms of the legibility and the use of lighter colours on less prominent parts of the building, such as the Gardner façade.
- The Panel raised some concerns with the intention to match the colour of the adjacent building on Gardner. The relationship between the two needs some additional study.
- The approach to ‘tucking in’ the mechanical penthouse should be further studied to ensure that the penthouse is not visible from a distance.
- The size of the windows should be studied further. There appears to be too many small, narrow windows.
Zibi block 206 and 207 | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application (for 206 and 207) and Zoning By-law Amendment (for 206 only) | Windmill Development Group; Dream Unlimited Corp.; Kohn Partnership Architects Inc.; Teeple Architects
- The Panel is extremely concerned by the increase in height of this proposal and how it deviates from the outcomes of the built form plan as developed by the Joint Design Review Panel with the National Capital Commission.
- The Panel has specific recommendations related to built form and materiality, and has some concerns with the lack of soft landscaping.
- Fundamentally, the Panel believes the most appropriate built form for the site would be a cluster of mid-rise buildings and that, due to the visual prominence of the site in relation to the Capital Symbols, any tower consideration should conform to the built form guidance as outlines in the masterplan.
Site Plan and Landscaping
- The nature and uses of the site have changed significantly with the introduction of a mixed-use neighbourhood and the Panel has concerns with the industrial heritage rationale justifying the lack of proposed trees. The Panel recognizes the history of the industrial site and the need to reflect this history in the design; however, with the evolution of the site from industrial to a mixed-use residential area, the landscape intent should also evolve.
- The Panel recommends that the wind impact and the solar exposure be further studied.
- The Panel indicates that the ground level treatment of the development is not fully resolved, including the elevations and the proposed uses as they relate to the surrounding public realm.
- The Panel indicates that the DNA of development on the Island, as envisioned through the masterplan process, is a cluster of mid-rise buildings that work together to serve as a backdrop to the National Capital landscape, and not be in competition with National Symbols. To this end, the Panel has significant concerns about height creep. The height should be reduced to conform to the heights in the developed JDRP built form plan as approved by Council.
- The Panel supports framing the public realm with the podium and the mid-rise building.
- There is a suggestion to design a stepped slab building for this site. Though not ideal, this would be one way of bringing down the height while maintaining some gross floor area.
Architecture and Materiality
- The Panel appreciates the elegance of the architectural expression.
- With respect to the two buildings, the Panel is supportive of the distinct designs; however, suggests that the colouration and weathering of the metal panels for the office building be further studied to ensure that the material reflects the design intent.
- For Block 206, with respect to colour, consider a different hue which is a bit warmer and softer than the stark white, to create a quieter expression with a material combination that blends in with the background.
- The Panel has expressed some concerns about the North façade treatment. The base of the building appears very heavy.
320 Mcrae Street and 315 Tweedsmuir Avenue | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | GWL Realty Advisors Inc.; NEUF Architect(e)s; James B. Lennox & Assoc.; FOTENN Planning & Design
- The Panel appreciates the changes to the design from the previous comments; however, the Panel still has some lingering concerns with respect to the bulkiness of the tower with respect to the floor plate and materiality.
- The Panel strongly recommends that the applicant work closely with the City to preserve the existing trees and introduce new street trees along the McRae Ave and Scott Street frontages.
With respect to overall mass of the tower:
- The proposed floor plate is still in excess of what the City’s High-Rise Design Guidelines require and the Panel requests that the applicant explore ways of slimming down the bulkiness of the tower expression.
- The building could benefit from increased stepbacks, especially along the Scott Street façade. Introducing greater stepbacks will also improve some microclimate issues.
- Greater vertical articulation could be achieved by opening up the space above the top floor balconies to the sky, so that the silhouette of the building begins to be sculpted at the top.
- There is a suggestion to further articulate the façade of the tower to reduce its perceived bulkiness.
- One option to create a more slender tower appearance would be to remove all of the solid vertical elements from the corners. Another option would be to introduce balconies at the corners to lighten the appearance of the tower.
With respect to the residential units facing McRae:
- Provide a public realm connection at ground level between the tower and the townhouses, preferably one that provides for vehicular movement, but at the very least a pedestrian connection midblock. The corridor connection at grade could be relocated to the second storey to allow a passageway all the way from Tweedsmuir to McRae. This would provide flexibility to everybody – both drivers and pedestrians.
- For the four-storey built form, there is an opportunity to treat this more as a series of individual townhouses. This could be achieved by increasing the vertical expression between the units and slightly stepping back the upper floors, so that the perceived façade at street level is more reflective of a pedestrian friendly scale of two or three storeys with a fourth-floor terrace.
- Further study of the materiality of the tower is needed to help to break down the mass.
- The corners of the tower could be lightened by creating a larger scale, more predominant window pattern and avoiding smaller windows, which make the tower appear larger.
- For the residential units facing McRae, the Panel recommends that a brick material is more appropriate to reflect the residential use.
- The Panel recommends that the relationship between the private realm (ground floor terraces) and the public realm on McRae Ave be further studied. A clear separation needs to be provided between the sidewalk and the terraces.
- The Panel recommends that the ground level of the townhouses should be no more than six steps (1.5 meters) above the street.
- As McRae Ave is a residential street, it should be lined with street trees.
- The Panel strongly encourages the applicant to work with the City to maintain the existing trees and introduce street trees along the Scott Street frontage.
- Further study of the ground floor retail along each frontage should be undertaken to determine feasibility.
- The Panel recommends the building be set back from the proposed park.
1705 Carling Avenue | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment, and Site Plan Control Application | Claridge Homes; NEUF Architect(e)s; Novatech; James B. Lennox & Assoc.; FOTENN Planning & Design
- The Panel is concerned with this car-dominated site plan and recommends more emphasis be placed on the pedestrian in the design of the site.
- The Panel recommends that height should be shifted away from the low-rise residential uses to the north, specifically the residential uses along Tilbury. The tower should be located on Carling, with a mid-rise building at the back.
- The Panel recommends that active uses and connections be introduced along the Carling façade.
- There are some concerns regarding the proximity to the neighbouring properties both to the north as well as to the east and west.
- The setbacks are minimal to the adjacent sites to the east and west and future development of those sites will impact the livability of those facing units.
- Any entrances facing Carling Avenue should connect to the street.
- There is a concern with the amount of space dedicated to the vehicle and bisecting the site with the vehicular access.
- There is also a concern that the vehicular access route negatively impacts the potential of the amenity space to connect through to Carling Avenue. This may limit the potential to animate the amenity space.
- The amenity space at the rear of the property doesn’t appear to be connected to the buildings. The tower is surrounded by a parking lot and driveway. It would be an improvement if the amenity space was extended to the base of the tower for ease of access and improved views from the units.
- There is a concern with the lack of amenities on site, particularly for senior residents.
- The Panel appreciates the scale of the podium, however the applicant should consider calibrating the height of the podium to respond to the adjacent low-rise apartment buildings.
- The tower should be located as far away from Tilbury as possible to mitigate the impacts to the low-rise residential neighbourhood to the north. With the tower fronting onto Carling Avenue, the mid-rise building can be located behind the tower and provide the transition from the tower to the low-rise residential neighbourhood.
- The Panel recommends that the tower could also be further sculpted, and its bulkiness reduced.
- The Carling façade needs further study and more animation along this façade needs to be introduced. The entrances should be brought closer to Carling Avenue and direct pedestrian access from the units to Carling should be provided.
- The pattern of the darker and lighter colours should be more consistent.
- Avid having changes of materials in the same plane.
- The pdium expression should be consistently one colour and address Carling Avenue.
- There is some concern with the blank facades. This needs to be further studied.