395 Terminal Avenue Formal Review
The Panel is surprised and disappointed that every comment made during the pre-consultation review was disregarded by the applicant. In the future, the Panel hopes that recommendations are not disregarded in such a confrontational manner.
Relation to the Public Realm
- The Panel notes that this building does not have the ingredients to contribute to a pedestrian friendly environment and will likely encourage car movement as a result.
- The Panel questioned whether Terminal Avenue could become an “urban” and pedestrian-friendly street if buildings like this were replicated as the area develops.
- The Panel recommends that the building be pushed back from Terminal Avenue so that, rather than only the three isolated trees proposed, a continuous row of trees along the street can be planted and, given adequate growing space, encourage a tree lined avenue consistent with the approved Master Plan drawings.
- The Panel stressed the need for a more friendly and variable ground plane. The Panel noted that there does not necessarily have to be retail at grade but there is a need to create opportunities for something different and more interesting
- The Panel noted that prior comments regarding industrial heritage were intended to inspire the applicant to create a sense of place and to use this heritage as a catalyst to respond to existing opportunities on the site.
- As this building is highly visible and sets a precedent for future development; the applicant has a responsibility and opportunity to set the tone for future development. However, the Panel noted that the proposal will set an unfortunate precedent in this significant location, and added that the proposal does not respond to the Master Plan for the area. Given this, the Panel recommends that the back of the building, which will be very visible from the Ottawa Train Station and its entry approach road, be filtered from views through the planting of a screen of coniferous trees at the back of the site.
- The Panel also recommends that the colonnade across only part of the front of the building be continued as a consistent base to the building to act as an interface between the building and the street. This might also help the building to better terminate the axis of the future, very formal pedestrian plaza proposed by the Master Plan immediately south of the site.
- The Panel would like to see what sustainable features have been incorporated into the project; the applicant is requested to indicate what points of LEED certification are being incorporated.
- The Panel notes the opportunity for more progressive thinking and more environmentally responsive site treatments. The amount of on-site asphalt needs to be reduced and on-site rain water capture and treatment should be pursued. Bio-swales and bio-filters should be examined.
- The Panel also notes the need to green the parking lot by planting trees with adequate growing space.
- The Panel noted that arguments about carbon footprint with regard to underground and surface parking need to be substantiated with numbers.
- The Panel commends the applicant for aiming for LEED gold; however, notes that LEED extends beyond the building envelope and encourages the applicant to think of the green opportunities related to the entire site.
- The Panel noted that there are simple changes that would improve the landscape without affecting the square footage of the building; such changes should be pursued as they can make a significant qualitative contribution to the site.
- The Panel noted that the transformers stick out beyond the face of the building and recommends that these be properly screened from view.
- The Panel recommends that the applicant re-examine the site plan in order to improve the site landscaping.
- The comments made during the pre-consultation review, in particular with regards to parking and landscaping, should be addressed. The zoning for the site is flexible enough to address the prior recommendations.
Lansdowne Park Information Session and Public Pre-consultation
- Robert Webster declared a conflict of interest and withdrew from the Panel session.
- Robert Martin explained his relationship to this project. Through discussion with the Panel, it was agreed that he has no direct conflict of interest unless zoning discussions are brought before the Panel. In a situation where zoning is discussed, Robert Martin will not contribute.
A number of PowerPoint presentations were made in order to explain the project context, stadium design, urban park design and mixed-use centre design to the Panel.
- The Panel appreciates the presentations and has found them to be very helpful in understanding the large volume of material that was provided.
- The Panel stated that to provide recommendations, several more pieces of information are required. This information needs to be much more precise than the notional information presented at this first review. In addition, the Panel will require sufficient time to review and understand the material, given the amount of work previously undertaken for the different aspects of the site and the number of key recommendations made for how the designs, and particularly the public realm, should progress.
For the next meeting with the Panel, the Lansdowne team is requested to provide:
- A diagram of the zoning envelope of the site as per the Council approved zoning
- A diagram that clearly shows the vehicular circulation routes on site, the location of above grade parking, and the footprint of below grade parking. As well the panel wanted to better understand the access points to and from the site in relation to site traffic circulation, as well as their function (primary, service etc.) Considering number of seats at the stadium traffic circulation is an important issue that should be resolved at the beginning of the planning process.
- Information on on-site traffic calming; the Panel notes that there appears to be a contradiction between statements in the design documents and circulation routes shown on drawings
- Plans and cross sections through all of the public and semi-public spaces of the mixed use area – streets, courtyards, mews, plazas etc. Cross sections should also show the spaces in relation to the surrounding buildings on site - in particular the inner retail pavilions - and on Holmwood Avenue. The Panel notes that the different spaces should have different characters; the plans and cross sections, or other drawings, should clearly explain what is being proposed.
- Sun / shadow studies that explain how the spaces will feel, at the pedestrian level, at different times of year
- Axonometric drawings
- Grading information; in particular, information that explains the relationship of the Aberdeen Pavilion to Bank Street
- The PFS document on public realm standards; this will direct the development of the public streets and spaces and should form part of the Panel’s review.
- A plan that integrates the work of the two landscape architecture consultants for the mixed use and park areas of the site
- More design development of the public realm; the Panel is concerned that the information provided to date is not tangible, and that the planting presently indicated along the streets and public spaces sometimes appears discontinuous and fragmented. This should include information that clearly explains the different detailed aspects of the public realm such as lighting, planters, surface treatments and level differences, street furniture etc.
- Drawings and diagrams which detail the relationship to the surrounding community. These should include drawings that show distant views and relationship to the surrounding neighbourhoods. The Panel would specifically like to see the site’s relationship to Bank Street and Holmwood Avenue.