715 Mikinak Road | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application and Minor Variance | Ottawa Community Housing; IBI Group
- The Panel thanked the proponents for their submission and noted that the project is evolving in a positive direction. The Panel recommended continued refinement to create a precedent setting project.
- The Panel supports the use of colour in the architectural expression. It is recommended however, that its deployment continue to be refined to emphasize the storyline that is beginning to emerge and the hierarchy of spaces.
- The Panel believes that the landscape treatment should continue to be refined, with emphasis on the pedestrian experience. Vehicular functions should be contained to the greatest extent possible.
- The project’s sustainability initiatives and social infrastructure are strongly supported.
- The Panel recognizes that the colour and texture of the façade treatment are important to the project but is concerned that there is not enough discipline in the deployment of colour. The areas of quiet relief from the bright colours are appreciated, although the grey shown on the renderings appears very dark. The black parapet is also very strong and detracts from the overall façade treatment.
- The Panel suggests focusing colour to the shutter and blinder elements, so that they’re treated more as “colour flashes” and that the design consider the use of colour to help support the hierarchy of the spaces, such as entrances and gathering areas.
- The Panel recommends developing a stronger interpretive approach to the translation of the quilt storyline and potential Algonquin themes. The Panel cautions however, that an Indigenous designer should be consulted to ensure the authenticity of the approach.
- The Panel suggests that amenity areas be further buffered from the parking areas with planting.
- The Panel recommends increasing the amount of publicly accessible open spaces and soft landscape areas. Pedestrian amenities should be integrated with the active entrance areas and places where residents and visitors will naturally meet and gather.
- The proponent should consider reinforcing the relationship between interior and exterior spaces by connecting lobby spaces more directly with amenity areas.
- It was suggested that the proposed open space should have a ‘heart’ that captures the spirit of the place.
- The Panel strongly recommends moving the garbage storage areas and transformers away from key exterior amenity spaces. Garbage storage should be located within the buildings or located away from pedestrian priority spaces and appropriately screened.
- The Panel is concerned with the proposed layout of the surface parking, that creates dead-end lanes. The Panel recommends creating a planting buffer to screen the parking lot from the proposed amenity area.
- The Panel recommends that parking be reorganized by orienting the travel lanes parallel with the amenity area. This would also create a natural internal drop off along the edge of the amenity area. Opportunities to integrate underground parking should also be explored.
- The Panel recommends further study of the at-grade units and their relationship to the street. They should provide for an outdoor space that is appropriately screened from the street.
Sustainability and Social Inclusion
- The Panel commends the sustainability initiatives of the project and suggests that reorienting surface parking as discussed could provide an additional opportunity to integrate bioswales.
- The Panel recognizes that the involvement of Indigenous communities in this project is important and recommends that the design process include Indigenous representation.
Montreal – Blair Road transit priority corridor environmental assessment study | Formal Review | Environmental Assessment Study | City of Ottawa; Parsons
- The Panel thanked the proponent for their presentation and recognized the challenges and variables needed to be considered when undertaking a street redevelopment.
- The Panel noted some inconsistencies between the proposed cross-sections and the renderings that could be improved upon. The placemaking toolkit is supported, but the Panel believes the toolkit could be expanded and considered early in the design process.
- The Panel notes that the cross-sections appear too suburban; four lanes of traffic, a median and two turning lanes at an intersection are not characteristic of an urban street. In particular, the section east of St-Laurent up to the Aviation Parkway intersection might have a denser street fabric than what the renderings show.
- A streetscape treatment is needed to define the curb, cycle track, street, and sidewalk. The Panel believes a 2.5-meter boulevard on Montreal Road is too wide, unless it includes street tree planting, and recommends resizing the curb to 1 meter, which is sufficient to accommodate streetlights.
- Consider removing the 2-metre shoulder on Blair Road and relocate the streetlights to that location. Consider having a separate trench for utilities to not interfere with tree roots and have the utility trench next to the property line.
- The Panel notes that the cycle track's adjacency to the sidewalk might create a conflict between cyclists and pedestrians. Ensure that there is an adequate buffer to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from crossing each other's paths. The buffer could accommodate benches and provide enough soil volume for trees.
- Consider having the sidewalk as close as possible to the property line.
- The Panel appreciates the placemaking toolkit and encourages the proponent to expand the design elements to reflect site specific characteristics at the urban nodes and gateways.
- Use a contemporary language and palette and consider expanding the toolkit to include design elements such as bicycle racks and bus shelters to foster placemaking.
- There is an opportunity for public art; the Panel recommends that the proponent integrate public art in the planning of the street design such that there is a dedicated area where it can be easily viewed and celebrated, rather than coming in as an after thought.
- Public art should reflect the history and context of the neighbourhood. It should speak to the local context to foster a sense of community pride and ownership. The community's involvement will be paramount for the success of the public art program for the corridor.
- The Panel notes the relationship between pedestrians and cyclists should be further studied as the proposed seating areas at intersections may be difficult and dangerous to access due to pedestrians needing to cross the cycle track. The inclusion of indicators to slow down cyclists at these crossings is recommended.
- Commercial and residential areas should have different landscape design treatments. Consider incorporating hard landscaping for commercial areas with structure cells for street trees.
- Study the evolution of this stretch of Montreal Road to reveal opportunities to tell the stories about the history of the community.
- Bury the hydro lines where possible and consider the location of utility transformers within the design of the street.
- The Panel recommends retaining a landscape architect or an arborist to ensure the survival of trees and design excellence.
- The Panel encourages the proponent to continue exploring sustainability and resilience ideas; the integration of LIDS and street trees is appreciated.
100 Bayshore Drive | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | KS Bayshore Inc; Hobin Architecture; Kingsett Capital; Lashley + Associates Corporation; WSP
- The Panel thanked the proponent for their presentation and for addressing the previous recommendations.
- The Panel recommended continuing to evolve the mechanical penthouses to integrate them into the towers and to lighten the tower expression, potentially by removing colour and/or simplifying materials.
- The Panel generally supported the base expression, especially the materiality, but expressed some concerns with its south edge treatment and the openness of the parking garage.
- The Panel recommended considering more active programming around the base of the building, with less emphasis placed on the functionality of the space and more greening of the site, as well as the reduction of surface parking.
- The Panel expressed concerns with the roof trellises and their legibility from the street. It is felt that the steel trellises make the building appear top-heavy and would be better “tucked in” to reduce their prominence where the building meets the sky.
- The Panel recommended improving the integration of the mechanical penthouses by strengthening the design.
- The Panel noted that the architecture of the tower could have a quieter expression. There was a preference for vertical openings instead of both vertical and square openings.
- The Panel recommended integrating the pillar articulations to break up the length of the south façade.
- Concerns were expressed regarding the darkness of materials. It is recommended that the proponent consider lightening the overall tower expression.
- The Panel noted that there is a greater opportunity to have a more pedestrian-friendly space around the base, especially along Woodridge Crescent. More public programming and retail could be considered by relocating the bike room to the south side of the building.
- The Panel favours the use of terracotta and Corten steel and suggests that those materials be contained to the base expression.
- The Panel cautioned that an open-air parking garage creates a strong requirement for direct air ventilation and will be highly visible. It is recommended that a more closed façade be considered for garage screening to reduce the impact of headlights and taillights as cars manoeuvre. Similar treatment should be used all around.
- There was also a suggestion to consider mechanically venting the parking garage to achieve the objectives mentioned above.
Landscape Public Realm
- The Panel recommended reducing or eliminating the at-grade parking and introducing more greenery at the plaza to soften its edges. There was a suggestion to introduce more seating areas and areas of respite around the building.
- The proponents should consider reducing the number of entrances by combining the service entrances and relocating the east tower entrance to expand the tree canopy at the plaza. It was also suggested that at-grade parking be shifted to the west so that cars do not dominate the core area and it remains a plaza.
- The Panel suggested reducing the use of asphalt on the driveway to ensure the continuity of the sidewalk.
- There was a suggestion to introduce more public uses, such as a café, at the north-east corner to improve the building’s relationship to the street.
- The multi-use pathway has been well-integrated, but the Panel noted that there are further opportunities for greenery along the path. The proponent should consider a lush landscape treatment within the site that could bleed across the edge.
- The Panel noted the open space south of the site should incorporate CPTED principles, including adequate lighting, to ensure the space is safe and welcoming and there are no dark entrances.
- The sustainability elements are appreciated, but the proponents are encouraged to look beyond building features, for example, by considering terraces, permeable pavers, etc.
108 Nepean Street & 257 Lisgar Street | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment | rla / architecture; Fotenn Planning + Design; Taggart Reality Management; Glenview Homes
- The Panel thanked the proponent for the presentation; the design approach and parti concept are appreciated.
- The Panel expressed support for the proposed massing and the tower and podium expression, but the Panel notes some issues remain and need to be addressed.
- The Panel also expressed concerns with the landscape and the activation of the public realm. The Panel noted the proponent should re-examine the landscape plan to improve and increase activity level in the public realm.
- The Panel supported the activation of the edge adjacent to the existing Taggart property.
Massing and Articulation
- The Panel appreciated the tower and podium typology and the relationship of the tower form to the public realm that gives the impression that the tower is “reaching out its elbows”. The Panel suggested reducing the floor plate slightly so as not to overwhelm the public realm below.
- The 6-storey podium on Nepean Street is appreciated. However, the Panel recommended lowering the podium to 2 – 3 storeys on the south side and bringing the tower down to provide more separation distance between the lots.
- It is understood that the banding approach on the balconies resonates with the building to the south, but the Panel cautioned that this approach might diminish the corner. Wrapping the treatment on that corner around the edge would prevent the south elevation from appearing like a back alley.
- There was a suggestion to move the mechanical penthouse east on the building to align with the corner edge to create a feature.
- The Panel recommended the public realm treatment be simplified and urbanized. The proponent should consider the Right of Way on Nepean Street and design a public realm that is welcoming to pedestrians; a 1.8-metre clearway does not provide sufficient width for a sidewalk, especially if light poles, planters, and snow storage are to be considered within that dimension.
- The Panel cautioned that planters and trees would have difficulty flourishing as they appear to be too close to the building. There was a suggestion to provide greater setback along Nepean Street and O’Connor Street to provide more room for trees to grow.
- There was a suggestion to use soil cells to ensure trees thrive in an area with limited greenery.
- The Panel believes that retaining the existing trees would be beneficial and should be considered.
- The site provides a great opportunity to create a POPS at the corner that would enhance urban life. The corner at King and Charlotte in Toronto, and the POPS outside of Farm Boy on Metcalfe Street, were cited as precedents. These spaces are well used and contribute to a successful public realm.
- The POPS space should have a two-storey height and include the mezzanine as part of the commercial space.
- Consider removing the diagonal sidewalk patterning at the corner as it appears out of place. Maintain the public sidewalk adjacent to the site as a clear and legible thoroughfare rather than expressing it as an extension of the site’s design.
- The Panel suggests using a vertical screen for greening the ramp access to mitigate its presence and to give the appearance that the building is sitting in a landscape.
- The Panel appreciated the rich red brick material, but the predominant grey tones in the palette appear to flatten the tower's massing.
- The Panel recommended the use of a curtain wall treatment to finesse the patterned glass in the panelling and the use of a window wall treatment behind the balconies.
- The Panel believes the glass element would be a stronger design expression if it were on the northwest corner.
- The Panel commended the proponent for burying the hydro lines, and support was expressed for the bicycle approach.
- There is an opportunity to implement sustainability measures on rooftops and terraces.
- From a safety perspective, consider adding more lighting on the street and on the side and back of the building.
1330 to 1346 Bank Street | Formal Review | Official Plan and Zoning By-law Amendment, and Site Plan Control Application | Cushman & Wakefield; Hobin Architecture
- The Panel thanked the proponent for the changes made to date, and support was expressed for this project.
- The Panel recommended simplifying some of the articulation and the overall tower expression. It is recommended that one element of the façade expression be chosen and applied to all sides to create continuity.
- The Panel noted that the courtyard should emphasize the pedestrian experience, by creating spaces that pedestrians and vehicles can share.
- The Panel recommended removing parking from the Bank Street edge and exploring the potential for retail uses at the corner.
- The Panel appreciates the tower sculpting and noted it is an improvement to the previous design iteration. It was suggested that one design aesthetic be chosen and applied to both towers to emphasize the sculpting, terracing, and the buildings’ 3-dimensional quality and to distinguish them from the proposed tower across the street. It was also suggested that the amount of dark material be reduced.
- The Panel expressed some concern for the stepping of the plate sizes and the overall effect of potentially making the towers appear bulkier. A slenderer tower-to-podium relationship was suggested.
- The Panel noted that the plaza is an important pedestrian space and recommended a uniform treatment that is not asphalt, so that it appears less vehicular oriented.
- There was a suggestion to remove the turning circle and allow movement to occur through the site instead.
- The proponent should incorporate a vehicular drop-off integrated with a landscape that creates a comprehensive design approach. Explore additional programming opportunities to animate the area fronting on the plaza with retail that can spill into the space and relocate the garbage and recycling areas.
- If a bus stop exists or is planned next to the site, it should be integrated into the proposal.
- The Panel recommended increasing the landscape area at the entrance on Bank Street by removing parking spaces on the south side of the north building, to create a more pedestrian-friendly treatment of the public realm.
- The Panel suggests enhancing sustainability, introducing more trees and white or green roofs, reducing asphalt, and considering stormwater management techniques.