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2013

January 10, 2013

1047 Canadian Shield Avenue, Building C

  • Formal Review
  • Site Plan Control Application
  • Alcaide Webster Architects; Lepin; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.

General Comments

  • The Panel does not support the current scheme proposal because:
    • The corner of Canadian Shield Avenue and Great Lakes Avenue is not yet being addressed properly, architecturally or through the landscape treatment
    • The iteration of the base, middle, and top of the building is confusing; and
    • The building inadequately addresses Great Lakes Avenue and Building G.
  • The Panel thanks the applicant for the itemized response to the Panel’s recommendations at the pre-consultation meeting; however, the Panel is also disappointed by the applicant’s lack of adequate design response to the Panel’s recommendations.
  • The Panel requests that the applicant return for a second Formal Review. At a second Formal Review, the applicant is expected to address the Panel’s recommendations by resolving the building design issues and responding to the landscape treatment recommendations. 

Site Layout and Corner Treatment

  • Move Building C closer to the corner of Canadian Shield Avenue and Great Lakes Avenue, and realign the end of the building so that it is parallel to Great Lakes. This will create a stronger street edge, a stronger corner presence, and a more active streetscape.
  • Relocate the proposed landscaped area toward the interior courtyard area and its connection to Great Lakes. The proposed landscaped area is a nice design however its character belongs to the semi private interior area rather than the corner of the two municipal streets. 
  • Improve the relationship between Building C and Building G by separating the buildings more than the minimal 12m proposed. Currently there is inadequate distance between the two buildings and little public realm contributions. Currently, the windows facing each respective building will look directly onto each other, reducing the tenants’ privacy.
  • Expose and design the corners of both Buildings C and G in a more prominent way.
  • The Panel appreciates that the applicant has followed the recommendation to make the front of Building G parallel to Great Lakes Avenue; this move is positive and will significantly improve the streetscape. However, the Panel further recommends that the entire building be made parallel to Great Lakes Avenue, rather than just adjusting the west façade.
  • The applicant should consider animating the corner by creating a public amenity within the corner of the proposed building that is clearly visible from both streets, such as a shop/cafe, or gym. Greater visibility and more activity at the corner will help draw people into the space and feel comfortable there. Furthermore, it will offer a connection into the interior landscaped open space. The current blank walls with undefined fenestration do not adequately address the intersection of the two main streets and creates an uninviting space.
  • The applicant should be clear about the design intensions of the small courtyard at the corner and level the space to be the same grade as the sidewalk. There is currently spatial and ownership ambiguity. The sunken space will read as a private space and will not be universally accessible. If steps are provided, also provide a ramp for those who cannot use the stairs. The change in grade and lack of public use in the building will make it difficult for both the public and for private residents to be comfortable and easily use the space. 

Building Architecture

  • Clarify the design of the base, middle, and top of the building as distinct parts. The Panel recognizes that it is challenging to create meaningful variation between each of the buildings in this development; however, the attempt in the newest iteration of Building C to make it different through the architectural gestures on the façade only serves to confuse what should be distinct elements in the building (base, middle, top).These present gestures appear arbitrary and are not significant enough to make the building distinct from the other buildings. One such gesture is the ski-sloped roof, which the Panel does not find successful.
  • Provide a more consistent design approach to all facades of the building. The shift from a neoclassical approach to more contemporary idioms, like the change in balcony treatment, reads poorly.
  • The Panel encourages the applicant to provide the architect with enough flexibility to consider how each block could respond to the unique opportunities of this site. Take advantage of the key corners, especially the “flat-iron” angle at Canadian Shield and Great Lakes.
  • Create a more porous, accessible and visible ground level to the building. Each revision to the scheme should further fortify the ground level; otherwise this will create social issues. The Panel recommends that the City step in and ensure this is addressed.
  • Create grade-accessible, front door access to the units along Canadian Shield to keep eyes-on-the-street. 

Interior Courtyard Landscape Treatment

  • Provide a comprehensive landscape plan for the entire site and more detail on the central interior courtyard. The Panel has not yet received a landscape plan for this main courtyard area. The interior landscape treatment has not changed in response to Panel’s earlier recommendations.
  • Study the desire lines and where people will naturally walk across the interior courtyard. People will take the shortest distance to get from A to B, and the current pathway design does not properly accommodate this.
  • Provide assurances to the City and the Panel that the proposed trees along the pathways will in fact be planted and survive. There is a concern that other factors, such as the development of the underground garage structure, will prevent adequate tree growth.

199 Slater Street

  • Formal Review
  • Site Plan Control Application
  • Richard Chmiel Architect & Associates; Broccolini Construction; Fotenn Planning & Urban Design

*Dorota Grudniewicz declared a conflict of interest and did not comment during the recommendation period for this specific application 

General Comments

  • The Panel supports the new design approach and finds the building beautiful.
  • The Panel appreciates the applicant’s response to the earlier Panel recommendations.
  • The Panel encourages the applicant to submit 1:50 scale elevations of the ground floor to the City, which illustrate the proposed materiality. Also, provide the City with information about how the building’s soffits will be clad. 

Above-Grade Parking Garage

  • The Panel does not support the above ground parking as a concept. However, given the site constraints and mix of uses and the elegantly gridded building design, the Panel considers this an acceptable exception. The Panel acknowledges that raising the parking garage to the 3rd and 4th floors is also an improvement to the façade.
  • The Panel offers the following varied options to improve the façade of the above-grade parking which, in the drawings presented, continues to be visible from the street, especially at night:
    • Explore opportunities to add depth to the parking garage’s front plane, to create a more animated façade facing Slater St.
    • Consider treating the façade of the above-grade parking garage as an art piece. The exterior of the building could offer an art showcase. A backlit screen could be used to further animate public art, or a specialized exterior lighting could be provided that could be activated on an ongoing or temporary basis.
    • At night, consider lighting the garage with a lantern design that produces ‘art walls’.
    • Consider using a screen of metal mesh, possibly gridded to be compatible with the building’s design, to help conceal the parking from the street. 
    • Investigate indirect lighting to illuminate the parking garage’s screen from street level. The effect of the parking on the building at night and any interior lighting is a concern. Avoid the fluorescent glow from interior lighting which makes parked cars visible. 

Floor Layout and Surrounding Context

  • Investigate the significant overlook and adjacency issues that result from the zero lot line condition to the west. How the units are laid out and their orientation will be integral to the quality of life of the people inside the hotel and the condo units.
  • Consider combining Unit B2 with Unit C5 to allow for Unit B2 to face in two directions. Currently, Unit B2 faces only west, and there is concern about the long-term possibility of a negative impact to adjoining tenants’ quality of life if the Telus site is redeveloped into similar higher density development. 

Sustainability Features

  • Explore providing more sustainability features and shading devices that would work well with the grid pattern of the façade design.
  • Consider ways to deal with the effects of the building’s north/south orientation. The southern sun exposure will create significant heat gain issues and require measures to ameliorate this. 

Ground Floor Use and Landscape

  • Consider relocating the planters, which are currently proposed in the narrow arcade between the columns, to inside the building. Slater Street suffers from a mean, narrow public realm and the planters further restrict the area unnecessarily. 
  • Reconsider the decision to no longer offer retail on the ground floor. There will be a loss of animation with the loss of retail.
  • Consider designing a series of glass doors for the restaurant that can open up onto the street, to help engage people passing by. 

February 7th, 2013

No formal reviews.

March 7th, 2013

215 MCLEOD STREET

General Comments

  • The Panel supports the project and commends the applicant on improving the design since the pre-consultation and on adding stone and glass materiality.
  • The Panel recommends that the applicant:
    • Incorporate a row of trees in front of the proposal and landscape treatment and offer more to the public realm;
    • Remove the lay-by because it causes security issues and takes space away from potential tree-planting;
    • Provide a ramp into the site that can be entered from a location beside the stairs;
    • Provide more visual interest at the back wall;
    • Work to develop the symbolic gate to be more abstract.

Landscape, Streetscape and Context

  • Introduce planters or some landscape feature that will soften the street edge condition.
  • Explore ways to break-up the foreground. Consider using a different paving pattern or incorporating up-lit benches
  • The Panel encourages the applicant to engage in conversations with the City about improving the landscape across from the embassy. McLeod Street is a wide, active street; with more care and street trees it could develop into a more attractive, ceremonial route.
  • Respect and contribute to the public realm. It is important that street trees be introduced in front of this building.

Architecture and Symbolism

  • The Panel commends the applicant on a striking piece of architecture. This will be a landmark building in the Nation’s Capital.  Much of the appealing effect will come through in the details, such as masonry and glass.
  • Consider developing the upper floors to be a more solid massing-element to more accurately reflect the ziggurat designs.
  • Develop the symbolism of the Gate of Ishtar to be less literal. Although graphically interesting, the symbolism associated with the Gates of Ishtar is military-related; reconsider if this is the message you want to send on an embassy.
  • Consider using a plainer stone in the gateway feature to help it blend-in better with the rest of the design.
  • Consider breaking the orthogonal geometry of the entry gateway to better reflect the folds on the upper floors.
  • Provide some visual interest on the back of the building (north elevation). If the site to the north of this ever develops, there will be a poor relationship between this building and that development. A blank wall is not acceptable. Explore adding texture or pattern to the wall. Explore the possibility of adding a side light or glass block into the stairwell.

Lay-by and Ramp

  • The Panel recommends that the applicant remove the lay-by.
    • The Panel has serious security concerns with regard to the presence of the lay-by in front of the embassy. The Panel recommends that the applicant speak to the City and the RCMP about this issue.
    • The lay-by removes the possibility of streetscaping and landscaping.
    • The lay-by obstructs the view of the building.
  • Relocate the entrance to the ramp to be immediately adjacent to the stair and create a U-shaped ramp to the entrance of the building. The U-shaped ramp will help with the security situation and visually soften the front of the building.
  • Consider integrating plantings down the middle of a U-shaped ramp.
  • Ensure the ramp meets building code requirements; it currently looks as though it should be narrowed.
  • Ensure the ramp is heat traced in the winter to remove ice for safety purposes.

April 4, 2013

333 Huntmar Drive 

General Comments

  • The Panel is pleased with the completeness of the presentation package sent out in advance of the meeting. It reflected a comprehensive proposal, especially with regards to materials and lighting.
  • The Panel especially appreciates the proponent’s responsiveness to issues brought up in previous meetings. In particular, the Panel is pleased with:
    • The number of elevations that were provided in the submission and the fact that they show and label materiality very clearly;
    • The landscaping and entry treatment and the attention that has gone into them;
    • The attention that has been given to lighting.
    • The Panel is pleased with the amount of sun access into the site and the attention that has been given to the levels of protection from the rain and snow provided by the overhangs.
    • The applicant should consider the demographics of the users of the naturalized area. There may be concerns of accessibility, especially for an older demographic.
    • The applicant should consider the long-term maintenance and sustainability of the development.

Parking Lots and Service Areas

  • There are concerns with the parking lot to the south-west. It is directly adjacent to the valley and is the most disconnected from the other parking areas. The applicant should investigate integrating the parking lot with the valley edge condition through the introduction of larger planting islands and the use of native plant material.
  • There are concerns over the long-term sustainability of trees in the parking lot. The trees won’t grow well in the parking lot and will likely die prematurely. Instead of planting trees at the ends of each parking aisle, consider grouping trees and/or creating larger bands of linear plantings that conceptually link with the natural area. Ensure that these plantings have adequate amounts of soil for their survival.
  • Remove the formal lines of tree planting in the valley to create a stronger differentiation between the naturalized feature and the formalized tableland plantings. A woonerf treatment should be considered for the road adjacent to the play area.
  • The entry to the service area should be reduced as much as possible and the plaza space planting screen should be increased in size.

Connectivity

  • The Panel asks that the applicant elaborate on how the proposal will connect to other nearby neighbourhoods. Specifically, it would be beneficial to demonstrate that there has been some consideration given to how the site will connect to the proposed residential development to the north-east. Consider the creation of a plaza or entry feature in the north-east corner to provide pedestrian connections from the neighbourhood.
  • Improving the circulation through the site would be greatly appreciated. The internal street network needs to be addressed in greater depth. The current mall layout does not have enough of a hierarchy of streets and internal spaces. The Panel recommends that the applicant considers the possibility of combining the two plazas in the street network (the one with the reflective pool and the one with the fireplace). Combining them will create a central space that would be identifiable and become a gathering place in the middle of the mall.
  • North-South connectivity needs to be strengthened. In particular, the Panel recommends that the north-south axis extending north from the bridge should be extended directly though the site to create a street through the mall. Currently, there is a building on the northern edge preventing this from occurring. The space taken for a central axial circulation route could be justified by building covered parking that could be converted to retail space in the future. Doing so would make the development more urban.
  • The main pedestrian entrance in the middle of the northern edge should be given more importance through the use of glazing to enhance the view of the internal plazas.
  • The development is somewhat fortress-like. Better integration of the natural area may help reduce this effect.

Food Court

  • The food court is the most delightful feature and should be linked to an entrance and the natural feature of the storm water pond in some way. Moving the food court to the south side of the mall would give patrons a view of the natural feature rather than the parking lot. It would also be possible to create synergies between the food court and the play area.

Signage and Lighting

  • The vertical signage is capped by horizontal elements. The vertical signage would have more architectural character if it retained its verticality.
  • The Panel recommends the applicant provide a uniformity package for stores and wayfinding.
  • The Panel recommends the applicant address dark sky objectives.

May 2, 2013

333 King Edward (Théâtre la Nouvelle Scène) 

General Comments

  • The Panel is in full support of the project and would like to applaud the proponent on the elegance of the scheme and the clarity, simplicity and strength of the proposed design.
  • The Panel appreciates the changes made since the last presentation, especially the improvements to the street façade, and the clarity of the simple, clean submission package. The layering is very clear and impactful.
  • The issues identified in the previous presentation with regard to advertising have been addressed.
  • Ensure that there is good drainage for melting snow and sufficient water provided to vegetation in the courtyard.
  • The Panel appreciates the urban analysis supporting the proposed development. 

Context

  • The proposal is extremely compatible with the eclectic context of King Edward Ave.
  • The building picks up on the rhythm of the street very well and sets a good precedent for future development in this area.
  • It will also be important to ensure that the scale and grain of future development on the adjacent sites is compatible with the design.

Signage

  • The integration of the signage into the facade works well. The staff planner should consider if this will need a signage variance.
  • Similarly, it will be important that the client always continues to use a quality of signage appropriate to the nature of this design.  

Materiality

  • The use of wood in the detailing of the front façade is warm and clever.
  • The precast concrete on the sides of the building may not be resistant enough to graffiti and necessary pressure cleaning. The applicant should consider a material such as ribbed concrete that is more naturally resistant to graffiti.
  • The Panel has concerns that the expensive materials being used will exceed the project budget and that the quality will ultimately be reduced by value engineering.

The elegant, rather minimalist approach inevitably places an emphasis on the need for a  high quality of detailing and materials, which the consultants can clearly provide. /b>

  • Le Comité craint sérieusement que la présence d’une zone d’arrêt en face de l’ambassade entraîne des problèmes de sécurité. Le Comité recommande que le requérant discute de cette question avec la Ville et la GRC.
  • La zone d’arrêt empêche tout aménagement de rue et paysager.
  • La zone d’arrêt obstrue la vue de l’édifice.
  • Déplacer l’accès à la rampe juste à côté de l’escalier et aménager une rampe en U menant à l’entrée de l’édifice. La rampe en forme de U sera plus sécuritaire et rendra la façade de l’édifice plus esthétique.
  • Envisager de planter de la végétation dans le creux décrit par la rampe en U.
  • Veiller à ce que la rampe soit conforme aux exigences du code du bâtiment; actuellement, elle semble être trop large. Installer un revêtement chauffant pour éviter le dépôt de glace sur la rampe par mesure de sécurité.

985 Great Lakes Ave. & 1203 Maritime Way

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to thank the applicants for their comprehensive presentation on the landscape architecture plans for the central courtyard.
  • There have been many positive changes since the last presentation, especially the removal of the parkade access from Great Lakes Ave, which are greatly appreciated.
  • There remain, however, concerns over the handling of the facades of the buildings and their materiality.

Built Form

  • The Panel would like to reiterate its recommendation that units at grade level along Maritime Way should be directly connected to the street by private entrances.
  • The Panel is pleased with the relocation of the previous parking access on Great Lakes Ave. The Panel notes that access to the duplicate parking garages between Buildings D and A should be narrowed to the absolute minimum, otherwise the space between the two buildings will be dominated by vehicular access and hard paving. Pinching vehicular apertures and adding garden walls and as much landscape as possible for screening will also help to reduce the impact of double garage door openings on Maritime Way.
  • The Panel appreciates the strengthening of the base of the buildings from previous submissions. However, the main entrances still appear under-defined, particularly to Building G which should be further accentuated.
  • Because of the length of Building D, the massing would benefit greatly from experimenting with setbacks in plan, to avoid having it appear as a single extended slab.
  • The Panel recommends that the proponent seriously consider stepping back the top few floors of the Building D to better relate to the scale of Building A.

Façades

  • The Panel is pleased that the proponent is providing more balconies.
  • The corner treatment of Building D has been greatly improved. The proponent should also consider using more glass at this corner, simplifying its design and strengthening it as a vertical element.
  • The Panel recommends that the proponent further break-up the façade of Building D with varying window sizes and materials on the punched windows as well as changes in colour. More glass would also improve the elevation.

Materiality

  • The proposed change in materiality from brick to pre-cast concrete poses some major concerns. The brick helps provide a sense of scale and fares better in northern climate. The existing brick palette for the building blocks should be retained.
  • The Panel recommends utilizing more glass on the upper floors of the buildings.
  • The Panel recommends that the glass used in the corner treatment of Building D could be continued to the top of the building and crowned with an architectural feature. Glass features could also be used 2 – 3 times along the façade.
  • High quality materials are particularly important on the lower levels of the buildings. The proposed rustic stone treatment at the ground level should be lighter in colour and at least 2-3 storeys high on Building D. Similarly, any pre-cast panels should be no lower than 2-3 storeys from the ground.
  • High quality materials should be considered to help visually break up the large mass of the buildings.
  • When using pre-cast products on the façade, attention to detail is critical especially at the joints and the corners.

Landscaping

  • The Panel is pleased with the addition of the double row of street trees around the development. They are a great improvement to the site.
  • The ground level patios could be improved by allowing them the reach out into the natural space of Williams Court.
  • The Panel is pleased that the internal courtyard amenity has been provided, but feels that it could also benefit from its design and planting being more relaxed than the rather rigid pattern of trees proposed, to create more porosity and internal visibility.
  • There is concern regarding the soil volumes provided for planting trees. The Panel believes that deeper soil should be provided to accommodate larger trees in the courtyard. It is also concerned that adequate soil volumes have not been provided for the large trees lining the perimeter of the site.
  • If there is going to be public access to the courtyard, there should be some mechanism at every entrance that is uniformly recognizable.

1125-1149 Cyrville Rd. 

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to commend the applicant on a strong proposal and presentation.
  • The Panel appreciates that the proponent has provided a comprehensive landscape plan.
  • The Panel appreciates that high quality materials are being used.

Materiality

  • The Panel would like to commend the applicant on providing good attention to detail with the palette of materials used. It is especially pleased with the high-quality honeycomb material used on the main building.
  • The relationship between the two buildings in terms of materiality could be improved. The buildings should speak to each other; and using the same materials on both buildings would help to anchor the site.
  • There could be more continuity of materials and larger glass areas on all the buildings. Consider using the honeycomb cladding on the setback parts of the buildings and the garage.
  • Given that both the main building and the CPO building both front onto the main street of Cyrville, consider upgrades to the east and south facades of the CPO building.

Landscaping

  • The Panel is pleased with the provision of the courtyard, but also encourages the proponent to continue exploring opportunities with regards to its design and the purpose it will serve:
    • The space could potentially be used as a grand public entrance to the site or exhibition space.
    • Consider continuing the dynamic internal curve of the main building’s mezzanine into the courtyard, allowing it to flow into the surface design.
    • The Audi logo could be worked into the surface of the courtyard.
    • The trees between the sidewalk and the courtyard could be removed or pushed back so as to not obstruct the view of the space.
    • The three small trees could be replaced by one very large specimen in the centre of the space.
    • In what ways could the courtyard contribute to the larger community? The courtyard could serve a dual purpose, both as a space available for community outreach events and as advertising space.
    • The Panel is of the opinion that the courtyard should not function as a parking lot.
  • Be conscious of winter damage when designing the landscape. Adequate clearance and protection for trees is needed to protect them from snow plough damage.
  • The relocation of the main access now brings it through the courtyard space.  This therefore needs to be carefully handled and the paving materials demarcated, so that pedestrians can move comfortably through the public entrance and gathering space and that it is not dominated by vehicle movement and parking. 

Walkway

  • The five metre walkway needs to be treated as more of a landscaped public way. The fence needs to be moved over immediately beside the dealership parking, so that it does not separate the pathway from its landscaped edge. The proponent should include the trees and an adequate grass strip between the path and the dealership fence.

Streetscape

  • Cyrville Road is an important pedestrian route as it leads to a future LRT station. The Panel recommends incorporating a greater regularity of street trees as a continuous landscaping treatment along the edge of the site. Trees should be a species that is light in foliage density, with a raised canopy height and evenly spaced.

Other Considerations

  • The Panel appreciates that the lighting design does not spill out onto the landscape.
  • The Panel is pleased that the proponent has opted to include some underground parking. 

1475-1501 Carling Ave. 

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to thank the applicant for a good proposal and appreciates the modifications made in response to previous recommendations. In particular, the Panel appreciates the removal of the display cars from the front landscape area and the better integration of the existing building through the use of consistent cladding.
  • The Panel is pleased that the design has attempted to integrate the transit stop into the street landscaping.

Built Form

  • The Kirkwood façade of the Acura dealer needs more attention. It should be improved by extending the fritted glass around the corner of the jog in the eastern wall, considering a super graphic for the remaining part of the wall, adding dynamic lighting and/or creating a beacon. 
  • Consider what screening will be needed for the roof servicing and other elements which may be visible from the highway
  • The Panel is pleased that the buildings have been located to address the street.

Materiality

  • The Panel supports the use of bright, bold, playful colours on the Mini building, however there are concerns over the implications of the black cladding regarding heat gain during summer months.

Landscaping

  • There is concern that while trees are shown in front of the buildings in the perspective drawings they are not included on the landscape site plan and need to be added.
  • A greater continuity of street trees needs to be provided, in particular through the middle part of the site between the two buildings and at the southern end of the project.
  • Existing mature trees are being removed from the site to accommodate development. In response to this, additional replacement trees need to be better integrated into the landscape plan. Perhaps some can be used to mark the ends of the site and placed in front of the old service building. Light and high level canopy species should be used.
  • The possibility of street salt splashing onto the base of trees should be taken into consideration. This is damaging to trees, and they will need a good maintenance program.
  • The space between buildings is key. The Panel recommends improving the landscaping to the space between the two buildings to bridge the existing gap. The present rocks and the trees are insufficient. Colourful cubes reflecting the Mini building’s design or perhaps a trellis may help to achieve this. A perspective drawing showing the relationship between the two buildings needs to be provided. 
  • The proposed rocks are an improvement to bollards as a security measure. Consider a greater diversity in size, tone and spacing, and ensure high quality stone. They could also perhaps be lit at night. Alternatively, the proponent could replace the stones with a low stone wall.

 Lighting and Signage

  • Because the site is located on an isolated curve, the Panel would recommend using a dynamic lighting treatment to tie the space together. The lighting could have movement that is commensurate with the cars moving in front of it.
  • The lighting of the buildings is good, but the development should avoid any up-lighting without cut offs for night sky compliance. .
  • The signs for the site should be better integrated to reduce visual clutter.

June 6, 2013

999 Merivale Road

  • Formal Review
  • Zoning Amendment and Site Plan Control Application
  • Stephan Maisonneuve
  • Superior Construction Inc.
  • Don Brown
  • Susan D. Smith Architect

General Comments

  • The Panel supports the scale and size of this building and is pleased that a fabric building has been proposed for the site.
  • The landscape architecture improvements from the previous versions of the proposal are appreciated.
  • Generally, the geometry and materials of the building still need to be fine-tuned.
  • The Panel suggests that the northernmost corner of the building be further examined, given its high visibility from the street and to take advantage of the unique 'flat iron' shape of the site.
  • Materiality
  • The building materials should be split up into three levels: potentially a pre-cast base that wraps all the way around the building, a brick wall for 3 storeys, and a cornice on the upper floors.
  • The balconies should be made entirely of glass on the sides. Consider wrapping the corner with stone or brick on the back wall behind them. This will help to accentuate them and make them the primary expression of the corners.
  • There is concern that the stucco proposed will age poorly over time.
  • The current front façade is too busy. Design needs a simpler palette of materials that will withstand the test of time.
  • Articulation
  • The Panel recommends that the lantern stairwell be straightened, so that it is parallel with the façade of the building. This would be a cheaper option.
  • Rework the facade composition by regulating lines. Some of the lines seem to be arbitrary.
  • The main entrance needs to be refined. Further, the entrances to the ground floor units should read as front entrances rather than as patios. Separate entrances provide a better sense of ownership.
  • The Panel expressed disappointment that the northern pergola has been removed from previous plans.
  • Other Comments
  • The Panel notes that the fence surrounding the front yards has been replaced with a green wall. This may not be appropriate for such a busy street.
  • There may be issues present regarding ground level access to the garbage room.
  • The Panel expressed concerns regarding how easily accessible the barrier-free unit will be from the handicap parking space. Ideally there should be a direct and close connection between the barrier-free unit and the UA parking space.
  • The street trees should also be wrapped around the very visible north corner of the site (they are shown doing so in some renderings, but not in the landscaping plan).

July 4, 2013

19 Beechwood Avenue | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Minto Communities Inc.; TACT Architecture Inc.

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to commend the proponent on a beautiful presentation and an elegantly designed building.
  • The Panel appreciates the proponent's careful response to the UDRP's previous recommendations.
  • The site of the proposal is very visible and important for the community, and the building will set an important precedent for Beechwood Avenue.
  • The design has taken a sophisticated and craft-based approach to the architecture and has achieved a high quality of architectural expression. The quality that has been presented in the renderings must also be achieved when the building is built.

Transitions

  • The Panel acknowledges that measures have been taken at podium level to step down the building to the adjacent two/three-storey buildings along MacKay, but is still of the opinion that nine storeys is too much of a schism as a transition between the building and its much lower surroundings.

Building Corners / Facades

  • It is recommended that the north-east corner of the building located at MacKay Street and Beechwood Avenue receives additional attention. The transition between the two main facades appears a little thin and deserves to be simplified and/or strengthened.
  • The south-east corner along Beechwood should be better articulated. The geometry of the north-western corner could be applied, wrapping framed panels or a change in materials around the corner to better articulate it.
  • Currently, the south facade above the adjacent building reads as a very visible blank wall and may be left exposed for some years to come. Consequently, artwork or even contrasting lighting should be considered and discussed with the community / City.
  • To help avoid privacy issues at the interior corner of the building, some of the balconies could be shifted a few metres south in order to provide a better separation between the two adjoining units.

Materiality

  • The Panel supports the use of high quality materials and appreciates the subtleties in the design, such as the striations in the precast panel. The materials are robust and will likely age well, and contribute to the building fitting comfortably into the neighbourhood.


View Plane

  • The Panel expressed serious concern that the City should give more thought towards preserving the view plane of Parliament Hill from Beechwood Cemetery. Building behind an existing non-conforming building in the view plane sets a dangerous precedent. Buildings should not project into the view plane even if there are ones in front of them that do. By removing the problematic 9th storey penthouse, the obstruction of the view plane could be avoided.

2090 Scott Street | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | EJ Spa Corp.; COLE + Associates Architects Inc.; Patterson Group; Franzen Environmental

General Comments

  • The Panel welcomes a proposal that respects the City's design guidelines and the zoning by-laws. It would like to congratulate the proponent on a modest building that is an appropriate scale for the site and contributes to the neighbourhood as a whole.
  • The Panel would like to thank the proponent for considering the recommendation to include ground-level retail.

Building Massing and Orientation

  • The building is generally well-suited to the neighbourhood, but some design moves tend to detach it from its surroundings. The angles of the building along Churchill Avenue should be re-examined.
  • The facade on this side should reflect the angle of the street, as do the other adjacent buildings, and be made parallel with the street even if only the lower floor(s) (given the elevated hydro constraints).
  • he Churchill edge should be re examined to be more open and animated as much as possible. The massing could be accentuated and strengthened by not stepping back the top floor.

Materiality

  • The Panel recommends simplifying the materials as much as possible, as this would create a stronger architectural statement. A palette of three materials would be best, arranged in a 1-3-1 storey base-middle-top configuration, rather than having a two-storey base as proposed.

Building Articulation

  • The building is proposing both canvas and tectonic awnings. Choosing one or the other, rather than having both would be best.
  • The central architectural element may not be necessary. Removing it would provide the building with a more modern feel.
  • The Panel expressed disappointment that the northwest corner of the design was not emphasized more.
  • The northeast corner of the building could be better animated by providing additional plantings.

Building Configuration

  • The Panel recommends moving the interior stairwell on the west side of the building to the south side. This would help to resolve the narrow space between the washrooms the south wall and increase the building's useable / leasable area.
  • The exhaust intake should be moved from the front corner of the building to the back corner.
  • Given the site's proximity to transit, three levels of underground parking may not be necessary.
  • The Panel suggests that the centrally located entrance be made less prominent to simplify the façade.

Landscaping

  • On the north-east corner and east side of the building, consider sloping the grade up to the ground floor, rather than expressing an elevated edge in a different material, in order to connect the building more naturally with the surrounding grade. If this is not possible, then the building's materials should be continued downward to the base of the building.
  • The possibility of saving some of the trees indicated for removal should be investigated.
  • The Panel expressed concern regarding the street trees conflicting with the hydro lines.
  • The landscaping of the project should be re-examined prior to approval.

August 1, 2013

120 & 140 Hearst Way | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Broccolini – Franklin Empire Holdings; Rubin & Rotman Associates.

General Comments

  • The Panel appreciates the proponent's response from previous recommendations, especially with regards to reducing the visibility of the loading area.
  • Given the size and use of the building, the Panel also applauds the attempts that were made to break up the mass. The entrance is a significant gesture for this type of building and a step in the right direction.

Building Articulation

  • The Panel is mindful of the proponent's budgetary constraints, but is optimistic that there is a way of achieving a crisp, tightness of design that was shown in the precedents.
  • There were concerns raised with the columns at the main entrance. One possible resolution may be to try lightening up the fascia above the columns. This may have the effect that the columns are not supporting a heavy portion of the building, but rather are contributing to the thinness of the expression of the corner.
  • With regards to signage, the Panel would recommend integrating the large exterior signs into the facade of the building. As shown, they currently have a "tacked-on" appearance to them.
  • The Panel commented that the choice of colour of the building isn't ideal and recommends the addition of colourful accents to add visual interest or perhaps reconsidering the colour of the building entirely.
  • One recommendation was made to rework the 45-degree angle on the front facade. It was felt that the angle leads the eyes in a direction, but there is nothing more than a blank wall to retain interest. The angle should lead to a particular feature, such as a door.
  • Adding signage to the large, white, recessed portion of the wall next to the windows may help add further visual interest to the entrance area. This could possibly include a text which would state the history of the company or Franklin Empire's contribution to the industry.

Landscaping

  • The stronger landscape gesture on Hearst Way is an improvement on previous plans, especially with the inclusion of the storm water retention pond. That said, it was also the feeling of the Panel that the landscape plan was still largely unresolved, as it was noted that the landscaping was one of the best ways to improve warehouse-style buildings. Suggested improvements ranged from to considering integrating a small seating area for employees to planting additional evergreens.
  • The Panel recommends that the City work with the proponent to relax parking requirements to reflect actual anticipated levels of parking. The reclaimed space should be incorporated into the landscaping plan, possibly dedicated to the aforementioned employee seating area.
  • The snow storage area should reconsider the use of gravel, as it is aesthetically unappealing and may not be necessary.

September 5, 2013

Lansdowne Park Low rise Residential Air-Rights | Formal Review | Minto Communities Inc.; Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects

Robert Martin has declared a conflict of interest and has abstained from commenting on this project.

General Comments

  • The Panel strongly supports the proposal and feels that it sets a new standard for quality of design, especially in terms of the connections to retail and the variety, rhythm, and articulation of the architecture.
  • The small private zones that are created by the project appear sensibly worked out.
  • Consider rooftop patios to increase amenity space and to animate the roof level.

Balconies

  • To ensure that the undersides of the balconies do not detract from the aesthetic of the facades, the Panel recommends the use of high quality materials such as wood.
  • For the glass on the balconies consider the use of frit or sandblasting.

Landscaping

  • The trees on Holmwood Avenue need to be carefully selected to ensure that they thrive but don't block the facades of the buildings.

Impact of Cinema

  • While the townhouses should shield the retail buildings, the greater relative height of the rear of the cinema and its relationship to Holmwood Avenue may negatively affect the quality of the street (though it is understood that the cinema is not part of the architect's mandate). Rooftop patios may help to ameliorate this.

October 2 and 3, 2013

770 Somerset Street West and 13 Lebreton Street North | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | DCR Phoenix; Kathleen Willis Consulting; Dynar and Associates; Lennox and Associates; EXP Engineering; MMM Group; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design

General Comments

  • The Panel recognizes the complex nature of the site, but feels that the building as proposed is an overly complicated design, which needs to be simplified.
  • The Panel has some significant architectural concerns that were mentioned in the previous presentation. The building needs to be radically simplified, emphasizing base, middle and top with a strong corner element.
  • Due to the absence of the project architect of record, the Panel requests that the recommendations be sent to them directly and that he/she responds directly to the relevant comments in writing.
  • The Panel recommends that staff request that the proponent return for a second formal review with the UDRP, in which the project architect of record and landscape architect must be present.
  • The Panel asks that, when the proponent returns, they provide architectural sections and facades, and especially including resolution of the northwest, southwest and southeast corners of the building.

Architectural Design / Location

  • The building's design has been simplified since the last UDRP meeting, but it still needs to be bolder, simpler and more urban. Significant architectural concerns remain. A cleaner more resolved architecture is recommended, with a stronger base, a simpler mid section and top, and more emphasis on the architectural treatment of the corner.
  • The heavier mid-portion of the building in brick should be extended directly down, through or even behind the glass base to meet the grade.
  • The Panel recommends removing the linear metal panels from the upper levels. Their complicated treatment is overwrought, confuses the form of the building, and makes it unclear what the design is trying to express in this location.
  • The corner of the building at Somerset Street and LeBreton Street needs to be emphasized, to acknowledge that the building is located on an important street corner with a prominent change in grade. The corner should be celebrated with a bolder architectural statement and/or a recess to open up the public realm.
  • Adjacent landowners have historically built to directly relate to the angle of the street, and the busy sawtooth treatment of the main, mid portion of the building's facade does not fit the context. The Panel therefore recommends straightening the sawtooth facade and simplifying / continuing the brick material level across the sixth floor of the north elevation.

Public Realm

  • The northern edge of the building at grade, including the pedestrian realm in relation to the ground floor of the building, remains largely unresolved. The tight condition between the building and the gradient of the street needs to be resolved in a very clear way.
  • The Panel questions if the proposed planter is an appropriate treatment to the edge of the building, and it reduces the space available for pedestrians.

Building Functionality

  • The Panel has significant concerns regarding how the site plan and building will function. These include the tightness and logistics of loading and waste collection, as well as the feasibility of the proposed valet parking system.
  • It is recommended that bicycle storage be located inside the building to encourage healthy living. If left outside, consider providing a secondary entrance / exit next to the bike racks.

Landscaping

  • The Panel expressed concern that the openings provided for street trees will not be sufficient to ensure their survival. The size of the openings needs to be increased and adequate soil volumes must be provided.
  • The location of underground services needs to be shown in relation to the tree planting.
  • The street trees will also require proper maintenance for their survival in this north-facing location.

2233 Mer Bleue Road; Block 20 Chaperal | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Tamarack Homes; Taggart Construction; Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to thank the proponent for a very clear presentation of a clever scheme and an interesting design.
  • The Panel supports the level of intensification of the suburbs that this high density but low rise project is proposing.

Building Design

  • The proponent should investigate the possibility of providing larger balconies for the units, so that they fully cover the car ports beneath. Parked cars partially protruding from under the overhangs would detract from the elegance of the architecture.
  • The appearance of the ends of the buildings could be improved by using an additional contrast of materials. The house entrances and balconies of the end facades help to animate the street frontages, but these facades presently come across as rather bland in comparison to the liveliness of materials on the longer facades.

Public Realm

  • The contrast was noted between the pleasant prospects for the outward-orientated units, facing landscaped streets and spaces, and those for the units looking inward onto the central, untried, asphalt roadway.
  • The Panel expressed concern regarding the safety of pedestrians in the roadways, given the narrow widths and lack of sidewalks in most areas. Traffic calming techniques, such as the use of contrasting traffic pavers at the intersections, are recommended to encourage automobiles to slow down, especially when rounding corners.
  • The Panel recommends looking at the possibility of improving the quality and texture of the lanes by changing the materials. Replacing the materials in front of the residential units may help to improve walkability, safety, and unit sales.

Landscaping

  • The east-west lines of trees along the adjacent Boulevard could possibly include a double tree condition, to announce and frame the openings to the north-south connections / the crossings to the park.
  • The street trees need to be reinforced with additional lower planting / screening elements, to help improve the privacy of units facing Brian Coburn Boulevard and its landscaping.

137 & 141 George Street & 321 Dalhousie Street | Formal Review | Zoning Amendment & Site Plan Control Application | Claridge Homes; NEUF Architect(e)s; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design

General Comments

  • The Panel feels that the proposal is a major over-development of the site and does not make enough of an effort to fit into the context of the ByWard Market.
  • The Panel also expressed disappointment that the key recommendations from the pre-consultation with the UDRP have not been properly responded to.
  • The building designs strongly favour the proponent's interests at the expense of what is good for the City of Ottawa and the ByWard Market. A better balance needs to be achieved, that provides a proper response of the building to the built form of the area.
  • This is an intervention in the ByWard Market Heritage Conservation District, and as such, should exhibit greater sensitivity to the existing context.
  • The proposal is unsatisfactory in its current form and many site plan issues have been left unresolved. The Panel requests that staff encourage the proponent to return for another formal review with the UDRP, with building elevations as well as a built form that better responds to Panel comments and to the context.

Massing

  • The Panel feels that the proposed massing for the residential tower needs to be reduced.
  • The "L" shape of the building will provide great views for the tenants, but at the expense of the pedestrian realm and adjacent development rights. The massing should be more subservient to its context.
  • The residential tower should step down at its north (York Street) end so that it is clearly separated from the mass of the hotel, and not form a continuous high wall, in views from the heart of the Market, especially along York Street.
  • The 22 storeys and zero lot line of the residential tower creates inappropriate facing distances between the building and potential development on the lot to the east. One possible solution that may help to address this would be to reconfigure units #01-06 in plan (shown on floors 4-18 of the floor plan of the eastern portion of the building) so that they are pushed westward and the building no longer forms an "L" shaped floor plate.
  • It is appreciated that the City has confirmed that the building heights in the pre-consult presentation conformed to the viewplane requirements. However, there appear to be some upper floor changes in this new presentation, combined with only schematic building sections, and it is requested that the City ensure that the buildings continue to conform to the height limits.

Public Realm

  • As the hotel is proposed directly to the lot line on Dalhousie Street, the Panel feels that it will present adjacency issues to the pedestrian realm. Given the pedestrian volumes in the ByWard Market and the importance of the public realm, it is recommended that the building be setback from the street.
  • Similarly, the Panel expressed concern regarding how the residential tower will work at the ground plane along George Street. The parking exit in particular is too close to the corner of Dalhousie Street and George Street and may present circulation issues.

Building Articulation / Materiality

  • Being on the edge of the ByWard Market, the proposed buildings will serve as a main backdrop to the low-rise built form of the Market, especially when viewed from George and York Streets. Because of this special relationship, the Panel feels that the facades of the buildings are inappropriately strong and over-assertive with stark-white patterning on the west facades. They should be designed as more neutral and beautiful backdrop buildings to the rest of the Market district.
  • The colour of brick proposed at the base of the residential tower is much lighter than the historical brick used in the ByWard Market. The building base should better match the tonality of the district and with a compatible tone / material used on the building above the base (rather than lighten the base in relation to the starkness of the tones above).

November 7, 2013

No formal reviews.

December 5, 2013

5734, 5754 Hazeldean Road & 2 Iber Road | Formal Review | Zoning By-Law Amendment & Site Plan Control Application | Huntington Properties; Barry Hobin & Associates Architects; FOTENN Planning & Urban Design

General Comments

  • The Panel would like to thank the proponent for a good presentation and for addressing many of the comments made during the pre-consultation with the UDRP. The scheme has been improved in several aspects since its last iteration.

Site Circulation

  • The grid structure underlying the plan has been largely improved since pre-consultation with the Panel. The east-west street is an enormous contribution to the plan and the proponent is encouraged to continue to strengthen its presence by making it a more pedestrian-friendly corridor.
  • A major concern of the Panel remains the loading space on Fringewood Avenue, which will detract significantly from the streetscape and the adjacent residential neighbourhood. A much improved street frontage is recommended.
  • The current width of the Hazeldean Road edge should be retained as illustrated in the new proposal, together with its pedestrian improvements, rather than be reduced by a turning lane as previously presented.
  • Investigate the possibility of a joint access with the neighbouring site to the north-east, rather than a separate north-south road.

Massing

  • To resolve the negative effects of the loading bay along Fringewood Avenue, the Panel recommends swapping the locations of Building A with Buildings B1 and B2, where the loading bays could more appropriately back onto the future gas station.
  • The Panel expressed concern that there will not be sufficient setback space between the buildings and Fringewood Avenue to support adequate landscaping. The buildings lining Fringewood should therefore be shifted to the east to permit this.
  • Investigate the possibility of rotating Buildings D and E, so that they face the east-west street. This would grant a greater sense of urbanity within the site.
  • There is a very good rationale to have the two, dotted-in "future" buildings facing Hazeldean Road developed over time and the Panel strongly recommends that the proponent build them.

Building Designs

  • The Panel is pleased with the contemporary palette and the quality of design of the individual buildings, which appear to be of a better quality than typical retail developments. The amount of windows appears to have been maximized, which is a strong point.
  • The corner building at the intersection of Fringewood Avenue and Hazeldean Road should receive a stronger corner expression than it currently has.
  • Consider integrating canopies into the buildings.

Landscaping

  • The proponent is missing an opportunity to better integrate the water course into the scheme, which would set the development apart for marketing purposes and create a unique experience. Most other retail sites do not have this opportunity. Having Building G back onto it is not advisable, and the edge should be opened up to allow it to become an amenity for the larger site.
  • The Panel advises that the proponent remove the trees scattered throughout the parking lot, which are not likely to survive and consolidate them along the east-west street to improve the street's character and its pedestrian experience. This could also be improved by integrating a patio and streetscape elements, such as lights, and benches.
  • The Panel is concerned with how well the numerous right-angle bends in the re-located watercourse will function, compared to the existing alignment and settlement pond. Engineering rather than landscape concerns appear to dominate its present design.