January 15, 2015
1125 CLAPP LANE | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Manotick Heritage Development Inc.; Nicholas Caragianis Architect; Holzman Consultants Inc.
- The Panel appreciates the thought process and the sophisticated approach to the design, however, believes that the proposal would be greatly improved by returning to a simpler design, similar to the competition-winning scheme, and improving some of the colour and materiality.
- The clock tower and corner turret have a civic or commercial feel to them, which is inappropriate for a building of this typology, and detracts from the overall elegance of the scheme. The Panel strongly recommends removing these elements from the proposal and returning towards the simpler volumes and proportions achieved in the competition-winning proposal.
- The Panel recommends reworking the portico, which comes across as over-scaled and too dramatic for a building in this location. Consider softening the entrance with a more vernacular design.
- Avoid having windows wrap around the corners of the bays. This reads as modern expression, which is at odds with the rest of the project.
- The Panel recommends exploring opportunities to simplify the roof of the project. Redesigning the dormer windows as real dormers with simple shed roofs rather than hip roofs is recommended.
- Consider redesigning the third floor bays in a similar fashion to the second floor. Remove the interior area and replicate the balcony condition.
- The garage entrance could be improved by including a similar canopy to the other two others on the Clapp Lane facade. This would also help maintain the rhythm that has been established along this frontage.
- Reconsider the green colour of the metal roof, which detracts from the facade and is not the right fit for this project. Explore alternate materials and colours such as an asphalt-shingled roof rather than metal.
- The brick chosen for the building should be a similar red to that of the Ayers building. The brown-coloured brick shown in the renderings gives the project too commercial a look.
- The significant grade change on the site poses a challenge to the project. Removing the turret may help deal with the grade differences and the need for retaining walls.
- Investigate opportunities to recess the garage door further into the building and change the slope of the ramp.
- The vegetation should be the dominant characteristic of the site, especially when approaching the site from the bridge. From this vantage point, the church steeple should be the only element that rises above the trees. How this effect can be preserved needs to be carefully considered in the proposal through tree selection.
- Setting the building back further on the lot and preserving the mature trees would help to maintain one of the character defining features. The lush tree lined street defines the entrance to the mill district and frames views as one comes across the bridge.
- The landscape plan being undertaken across from the site should strive to maintain as much of the existing tree cover as possible. Given the World Heritage designation, Parks Canada should be involved in reviewing the landscape plan and its impact on this important character defining sequence of views.
333 HUNTMAR DRIVE (TANGER OUTLET CENTRES PHASE 2) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | RIOCAN; Turner Fleischer; IBI Group Inc.; FOTENN Planning & Urban Design
- The Panel is pleased with the progression of the scheme and many of the moves that have been made, such as aligning the bridge and the hotel. It has evolved into quite a sophisticated plan and successful proposal.
- The Panel recommends breaking up the portion of parking lot east of the bridge into three distinct zones. The zones would be separated by landscaping strips and pedestrian pathways which connect to the trail in the north.
- Consider reorienting Restaurant 1 to a similar angle as the other buildings. This would help reinforce it as a terminus of the Huntmar Drive entrance and the east-west axis of the parking lot.
- The Panel appreciates the careful integration of the heritage elements into the site.
- North-South Axis / Forecourt to Hotel
- The Panel appreciates the proponent's efforts to align the bridge and north-south axis with the hotel, but recommends continuing to strengthen it as a visual and pedestrian connection. Shifting one of the restaurants closer to the bridge may also help to achieve this.
- The forecourt condition in front of the hotel seems fragmentary. Strengthen pedestrian pathways, reduce the amount of paving, and increase the amount landscaping in this area to make it feel more like a deliberately pedestrian space.
- In support of this, consider redesigning the intersection as a T-junction or more of an oval shape.
- The Panel is generally supportive of the architecture of the project, including the hotel, which has avoided having too formulaic an expression. However, the Panel suggests that the design of the hotel be elevated to aspire to the same liveliness that has been achieved by the restaurants.
- Continue to explore opportunities to improve the north elevation of the hotel. Consider locating an architectural feature directly on the axis of the bridge to reinforce its role as a visual terminus.
- Windows are recommended in the stairwells on the east end of the building to provide additional articulation and help the building read from a distance.
- The use of stucco, especially on the hotel is of concern. The Panel recommends the use of another material such as metal or aluminum panels.
Restaurant Building Designs
- Consider increasing the heights of the parapets of restaurants 5 and 6 on the Huntmar facade. This would help the buildings function as a sign / attractor to the development and also to screen the rooftop elements.
- The Panel expressed concern that insufficient soil volume has been included to ensure the survival of the trees in the parking lot. Grouping them in large pockets of soil may help.
- Explore the possibility of protruding the patios between the restaurants further towards the ravine.
- The planting buffer along the highway should be stronger. Improve this edge by using a better landscaping buffer, such as a double row of trees.
- The location of what appears to be a small hotel patio overlooking the Queensway should be reconsidered. Although it is south-facing, it may be too noisy to be appealing to patrons.
- The Panel appreciates the proponent having included night-time renderings of the development. Explore the possibility of lighting the facades from the outside, not just from the inside.
February 5, 2015
1034 MCGARRY TERRACE & 1117 LONGFIELDS DRIVE (TEGA HOMES MARKETPLACE) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Tega Homes; Open Plan Architects Inc.
- The Panel appreciates the proponent's changes to the scheme since their pre-consultation with the UDRP, which have helped it develop into an urban typology. This project will be an important contribution to the street, skyline, and to Barrhaven.
- The Panel feels that City staff should develop a master plan for the entire area. Many sites in the immediate vicinity of this project have the potential to be redeveloped and a greater plan showing the direction for such issues as the public realm strategy and pedestrian connections plan would be helpful.
- Based on the level of detail provided in the elevations, the Panel will restrict its comments on materiality to general comments. If City staff requires additional guidance on materiality, the proponent will need to be encouraged to return for a second formal review with the Panel.
Massing / Building Design
- Investigate the possibility of shifting the western tower to the corner of McGarry Terrace. This would help to increase the separation distance between the towers, strengthen the corner of the development, and open up the rooftop amenity space.
- Consider making the eastern tower a point tower and rotating it to an east-west orientation. This may improve its relationship with Longfields Drive and allow it to be setback from the corner parkette.
- The Panel recommends increasing the height of the two-storey podium element to create a five or six storey streetwall condition. Above the streetwall, set the remaining floors in the podium back. On top of the podium, provide a generous setback (minimum three metres) for the towers to help mitigate wind impacts at the street level.
- The podium should respond to the elevation change along the Marketplace frontage in a similar manner to what has been achieved on the west elevation. Split the podium on this facade into two separate elements to pick up on the grade change and help break up the uniformity of the street condition.
- Explore the possibility of using two separate materials for the two podiums along Marketplace Avenue to help differentiate them aesthetically.
- Because of the change in elevation, the treatment of the ground floor will be especially important. Consider the use of real stone, rather than manmade stone for the podium, which would give a richer finish to the streetscape.
Site Plan / Courtyard
- The Panel expressed concerns regarding the design of the internal courtyard of the development both from a functional and an aesthetic perspective. Competing traffic from the office, residential, retail units on the site may pose issues.
- The Panel strongly recommends introducing a connection, either a pedestrian pathway or a vehicular lane along the north edge of the site by reconfiguring the garage entry ramps.
- A vehicular lane would improve connections to adjacent streets, relieve traffic congestion at the midblock entrance, and give more opportunities as to how the servicing may function on the site.
- o If the connection took the form of a pedestrian pathway, it could be lined with residential units, which would be attractive for families.
- Consider improving the design of the courtyard space by treating it more as a piazza space, shared by both pedestrians and cars, and paved using a different material. Alternatively, the two islands could be consolidated with additional landscaping. In both scenarios, the space should be designed to create a welcoming visual terminus from Marketplace Avenue.
- The corner public square is an asset to the scheme, but will need to be carefully designed to ensure its success. Consider increasing its size slightly, so that it can easily be programmed as a café terrace. The quality of the design elements such as railings and fixed benches will need to be chosen carefully, so that the space is welcoming to pedestrians.
- City staff will need to confirm that the hydro infrastructure on the corner of Marketplace and McGarry will be removed as a part of the project. The poles and signal boxes have a negative impact on the streetscape.
- The landscaping on the site seems rather sparse. Consider wrapping the street trees around the midblock entrance towards the parking lot.
April 2, 2015
1900 BOULEVARD ST. JOSEPH | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Montfort Renaissance Inc.; Bernard Benoit Project Management Inc.; J.L. Richards & Assoc. Ltd.; James B. Lennox & Assoc. Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their presentation and for responding to the comments from the pre-consultation. The project has evolved quite nicely, and the building has been elegantly designed.
- The Panel is pleased with changes to the architecture, and will focus its comments to landscaping and site plan recommendations.
Landscape and Site Plan
- The angled entrance to the building is good, but the Panel recommends continuing to refine the design of the plaza. Explore ways of animating the space, by incorporating additional seating, or possibly by establishing a relationship with the dining area.
- The Panel recommends eliminating the strip of grass between the sidewalk and the entrance to improve the relationship between the plaza and the public realm.
- Reconsider the strip of sod along the front façade of the building. If street trees are not possible, then a screening or flowering plant may be more appropriate in this location.
- The Panel understands that there are certain restrictions on the proximity that trees can be to the building, however, urges the proponent to re-examine the possibility of locating a small tree on the east side of the parking entrance (where Karl Foerster grass is proposed).
- The west end of the property is evolving into an important entrance to the urban area. Investigate possibilities to enhance this corner of the site:
- Consider how the snow dump area may be programmed during summer months.
- Additional landscaping around the edges of the snow dump area may help to improve the relationship between the site and the intersection.
- Ornamental grasses likely will be insufficient in screening the parking lot at this corner. Consider a using a wooden trellis that picks up on the wood accents in the building.
- The green retaining wall is a strong addition to the proposal, however, the Panel expressed some concern regarding how it will fare in winter months. Consider integrating evergreen plants into it.
- The Panel has some concern with the location of the garbage bins. Currently, it will be terminating the view from the entrance to the parking lot. Consider shifting it slightly away from the entrance. Alternately, given the topography of the site, there may be opportunities to integrate the bins into the slope using a retaining wall.
245 RIDEAU STREET | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Claridge Homes; Neuf Architects; James B. Lennox & Assoc. Inc.; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design
- Given the scale of this project, the importance of the site, and the proximity to the ByWard Market Heritage District, the Panel believes that this project would benefit from additional design review by a subcommittee of the UDRP.
The slab typology is problematic and a significant departure from the previous scheme. Shadow impacts (especially on Cumberland and George Streets), wind impacts, and the interface between this project and future development on the LCBO site are serious concerns.
- Much effort has gone into differentiating the buildings through materiality, but the Panel urges the proponent to also explore possibilities of breaking up the towers by shifting and sculpting the massing.
- Consider shifting the extended-stay tower to the east, so that it becomes its own building and redesigning the student residence building as a point tower, rather than a slab. The point tower could sit on a section of elevated podium to make up for the loss in GFA.
- If it is not possible to break up the massing into three towers, there may be opportunities for smaller shifts to help sculpt the massing. The notch cut out of the extended-stay hotel building is an interesting architectural feature. Consider developing more of these interlocking gaps as a theme throughout the project to give it more visual variety.
- Outdoor spaces and entrances should also contribute to the erosion of the podium's mass. The recessed corners in the base of the building should be removed in favour of a consolidated publicly accessible open space on Rideau Street that acts as a sun pocket and seating area.
- There was a strong clarity in the previous scheme that is no longer present in the current proposal. The Panel recommends developing a design rationale for the design of the towers.
- The Panel recommends simplifying the pallet of material of the towers and avoiding having the materials jump between towers. The towers should be expressed as standalone elements.
- Consider a simple brick vocabulary for the extended-stay building.
- Explore opportunities to have the building materials better relate to the historic character of the ByWard Market district.
- The transparency of the glazing and noble materials proposed at the base of the building will be critical to making a positive contribution to the public realm. The proponent is urged to maintain these features in the design.
- The Panel is supportive of the scale of the podium, which mimics historic building heights along Rideau Street. The proponent should continue to build on this relationship by introducing a rhythm along the long Rideau façade that ties back to the historic buildings.
- The podium is currently quite massive and few entrances make it a difficult pedestrian condition. The Panel strongly recommends that the proposal make a stronger gesture to the public realm by providing a privately-owned, publicly-accessible open space at grade along Rideau Street. The rooftop amenity is quite nice, but makes no contribution to the public realm.
- The nature of how this open space functions will be important. A hard-surfaced, well landscaped piazza space would be most appropriate. It should also be animated with active uses, such as an outdoor café related to the grocery store within.
- The Panel supports the proposal to remove the traffic lane along Cumberland Street in exchange for a widened public realm.
May 7, 2015
1040 & 1050 SOMERSET STREET | Formal Reviews | Site Plan Control Applications | Claridge Homes; Roderick Lahey Architect Inc / architects Alliance; FOTENN Planning & Urban Design; James B. Lennox & Associates Inc.
- The Panel would like to thank the proponent and staff for coordinating the combination of the two projects into a single review session.
- The wind combined impacts of the development need to be carefully studied. The closeness of the towers and proximity to the rail corridor may make the proposed open spaces uncomfortable.
Relationship between the Proposals
- The Panel supports the architectural differentiation of the two towers, but recommends that they strive to establish a stronger dialogue between each other at grade through the podiums and the public realm. The landscaping of the two buildings should signal the entrance to the community.
- The public realms of the two projects do not sufficiently relate to each other. The Panel strongly recommends unifying the treatment, shape, and paving materials of the plazas of the two projects so that they are as consistent as possible.
- Explore opportunities for additional commonality between the two podiums as well. The height, materials, and strategic notching of the mass should help tie them together. Both podiums should seek a contemporary expression at the corner.
1040 Somerset Street
- The design of the building is quite elegant with good geometry. The success of the scheme is very reliant on the balconies, however. The frit on the balconies will be an important part of the composition and should be retained in the final architecture of the building.
- Flat iron buildings make the most of their promontory, so look for a very strong, simple vertical element in this location. The undulating balconies work well on the other facades with their proximity to the train tracks.
- The gap on the north facade helps accentuate the prominence of the prow, but continue to strengthen the verticality of this element by simplifying the undulation of the balconies on this facade and aligning and integrating the mechanical penthouse.
- The greatest concern that the Panel has with the proposal is the connection between the forecourt and the multi-use pathway (MUP). The renderings show the tables and chair spilling into the only public connection to the MUP. Lighting, permanent street furniture, and signage should be used to strongly signal to users that it is a public access point.
- Investigate the possibility of adjusting the grade of the plaza at the northeast corner of the building to improve the relationship with the bridge. The space should rise up and wrap around the corner of the building to the MUP.
- The scale and proportion of the plaza space cause it to feel quite cold and uninviting. Permanent street furniture, planters, wood elements, and low level lighting would make the space more inviting.
1050 Somerset Street
- Consider a more contemporary palette of materials for the base of the project, especially at the northwest corner. More glass at this corner would help the building relate to the podium of 1040 Somerset. Further south on Breezehill Avenue, the materiality of the east facade should transition to brick to retain its relationship with the school.
- The Panel recommends curving the rectilinear façade at the top of the building (on the west side) to differentiate it from the other sections of the tower.
- Explore the possibility of reorienting the tower to create a larger space at the rear of the lot to accommodate the day care. If the tower was rotated on a right angle and brought closer towards Somerset Street, it may only slightly cut into the office space, but would greatly improve the day care area.
- The Panel recommends simplifying and lightening the expression of the tower.
- The Panel stresses that the daycare and play area should be as pleasant an environment as possible. Consider how the space will be shaded and screened from the adjacent school.
- The proponent will need to carefully consider how garbage collection is handled to ensure that it does not affect the quality of the public realm.
595 INDUSTRIAL AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Ottawa Train Yards Inc.; David S. McRobie Architects Inc.; Holzman Consultants Inc.
- The Panel appreciates the efforts of the proponent to break up the rhythm of the building with materials and articulation.
- The brick pilasters on the front facade are a strong addition to the scheme. Consider using brick in the facade above the entrances, behind the signage. This would help strengthen the composition by giving the effect that the pilasters are supporting a more substantial panel for signage.
- The Panel recommends introducing additional transparency around the southwest corner of the building. This may require relocating the changing rooms.
- Explore the possibility of improving the facade treatment along Industrial Avenue by using a vitrine with a shadow box effect, rather than spandrel glass. The LCBO at King Edward Avenue was cited as a good precedent.
- The Panel recommends pulling the doors further south towards Industrial Avenue. The proponent confirmed that this may have been an error in the architectural renderings.
- Consider increasing the size of the canopies on the buildings.
- The Panel recommends exploring the use of a material other than stucco, such as metal panelling. .
Landscaping / Pedestrian Environment
- The treatment of the corner on the southwest of the building, where a bench and small area has been provided to accommodate patrons, is appreciated. Explore opportunities to build upon this by increasing the size of the space and activating it through an additional use. There is a good opportunity to link the space to the tenant by having it animated as a space for children, such as a small playground.
- Staggering the two buildings is good, however, it causes the skirt surrounding the buildings to get quite tight in places. The Panel recommends making more of a generous contribution to the pedestrian realm.
- The Panel strongly recommends that City Staff re-evaluate the possibility of having street trees, landscaping and lighting along Industrial Avenue. These elements will be critical to the success of the public realm in this area.
- The northwest corner of the proposal seems tight. The project would benefit from introducing a small node in this location.
160 HEARST WAY | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | David Johnston Architect Inc.
- The Panel supports the contemporary expression and modern simplicity of the project.
- The lightwell/stairwell is a strong gesture in the scheme, which is supported by the Panel. It successfully adds verticality to the proposal and highlights the entrance from the street.
- The proponent is encouraged to explore ways of amplifying the lightwell as an even stronger feature in the proposal:
- Consider increasing the transparency of the glazing to have the vibrancy of the orange material more visible.
- Extend the glazed plane of the stairwell to meet the orange portion by removing the vertical element with the three windows.
- The orange protrusion on the north facade forms a frame over a portion of the building with two differently sized vertical elements extending from grade to the roof line. On the south facade, consider treating the grey protrusion similarly by elevating it above the current roofline level, and having it return to grade at its east end to also create a frame.
- The Panel is mindful of the weight limitations of the site, however encourages the proponent to explore materials other than EIFS. The orange portion in particular would more successful in another lightweight material such as metal panels, phenolic wood, cement board, or Hardie board. These would be more attractive and more durable options.
- The Panel recommends designing the stormwater pond as more of a feature in the landscape plan. Consider a giving a more rustic appearance to better tie it to the history of the area.
- The pathway leading to the entrance of the building should be strengthened as a connection to the park system on the opposite side of the street. It could be designed as a curvilinear path over the sewer easement leading to the street.
374 MCARTHUR AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Force Majeure; CH2 Architecture Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for a good presentation and considers the proposal quite a handsome building. The feel and scale of the building are appropriate for the location and the project has a good relationship with its context.
- Consider CPTED principles for the portico/undercroft, as it may create an environment that is uncomfortable at certain times of the day / night. Ensure that the space is well lit.
- The Panel recommends redesigning the landscape at the front of the building to better respond to the retail frontage. It should feel more like an urban retail forecourt rather than a separated space.
- Investigate the possibility of locating the amenity space closer to the building, even if it means that the space is reduced in size.
- The fence on the property line will be quite prominent. Explore means of better integrating it.
- There appears to be a relationship between the neighbouring building's roofline and the brick accent below the fourth floor. There may be an opportunity to continue the datum line across the front facade to strengthen this relationship.
- Consider lightening the cornices.
- The Panel recommends simplifying the palette of materials chosen for the building. Less fragmentation and fewer materials would help improve the scheme. Ways in which this may be achieved include:
- Removing the stucco beneath the window and the band of stucco on the recessed plane.
- Reconsidering the stone column.
- The Panel recommends finding a substitution for stucco. A simple brick building with stone accents would work well. Siding in place of the stucco may also help the give the project a good neighbourhood feel.
- Consider the materials that will be chosen for the ceiling of the undercroft carefully. Without careful attention to detail, the materials on the rear facade of the building and the soffit may just meet at the edge and look flimsy. Recessed coves may help the edge resemble a beam that has been cut back.
166-170 PRESTON STREET | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Bob Woodman Architect & Assoc. Ltd.; P.H. Robinson Consulting
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their response to the previous UDRP comments. The project has come along quite nicely and has a cohesive vision.
- The balconies are a positive addition to the project but the Panel recommends redesigning the top of the northmost bay by either removing the projecting entirely or continuing it as a datum line down the blank side of the building. Currently that element seems unresolved.
- Consider adding additional texture to the blank wall on the north facade, as it will be quite visible until such a time as the neighbouring property is developed. The wall could be textured, patterned, or the cornice line of the fourth floor could be projected along the surface.
- The Panel recommends reconsidering the varying height of the parapet. It may work better as a continuous line.
- The framing elements around the entrances need further refinement. Treating them as grand entrances centred on the east and south facades detracts from the clarity and simplicity of the mixed use main street building typology.
- The Panel generally supports the use of red brick, however, its disposition seems fragmented. Consider strengthening the use of the red brick in the composition by exploring other areas where it may be appropriately integrated into the facade.
- The Panel recommends exploring alternatives to the stucco on the first four floors of the building. Masonry would be a preferable option.
- Consider eliminating the parking space at grade closest to the street and replacing it with a landscaping buffer to make the remaining three spaces less visible from Laurel Street.
June 4, 2015
1100 CANADIAN SHIELD AVENUE | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Homewood Suites; Woodman Architect & Assoc. Ltd.; Momentum Planning and Communications
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their presentation and their response to some of the direction given in the informal pre-consultation.
Building Design / Massing
- Consider lightening the cornices on the hotel and giving them more of a contemporary design.
- If possible, re-examine alternate massings on the site to help break up the facade. If the buildings were separated, the residential component could be pushed further north into the site, creating a forecourt along Canadian Shield Avenue.
- The exit stairwells of the residential building facing towards Campeau Drive read as an add-on to the building. Try to bring these back into the language of the rest of the residential building.
- There is a real opportunity for this project to make a strong public realm contribution by animating the streets, which it is currently not achieving. In time, more people will be living in this area and will benefit from an enlivened public realm.
- The ground level of the proposed development is critical and should have a stronger treatment through architecture and landscaping. The Panel recommends maximizing the number of connections to the residential grade related units. It is important to create front doors on the street for street animation and safety.
- There is an opportunity at the southeast corner of the building to make a stronger gesture towards the public realm. Consider the possibility of a small café or terrace in this location.
- The proponent needs to re-examine potential conflict areas between pedestrian and car access routes. The pedestrian route from Cordillera Street towards the central area in particular may have conflicts with the ramp to the parking garage. Safe shared spaces need to be created.
- The Panel appreciates the improved differentiation between the two buildings through the variation of the materials. Of the three options presented, the Panel favours the colour palette shown in "Option B."
- The use of stone and brick is supported, however, the Panel recommends continuing to explore ways of articulating the expanses of brick in the facade through additional changes in materials, banding, etc.
Campeau Drive Edge
- The Panel was disappointed to see that the project still does not have a presence on the Campeau Drive edge. It would have been an important improvement for the community.
- If the parking deck cannot be removed from the scheme, the surrounding landscaping must be carefully designed to mitigate the visual impacts of the exposed concrete. The Panel strongly recommends improving the screening of the deck through berming or through an integrated screening element, such as a trellis or an architectural feature.
- If they remain visible, the exposed concrete facades of the parking deck should be treated to prevent deterioration.
- The views of the project from Campeau need to be carefully studied to understand what the impact of the parking deck will be.
- The Panel appreciates the proponent's efforts to include a landscaped allée in the parking lot, but recommends developing a stronger relationship between it, the building, and the pool area. Consider designing it as more of a compact block-shaped landscape feature or as a plaza (rather than as a linear element) and shifting it south towards the buildings.
July 9, 2015
235 KING EDWARD AVENUE (formerly 364 St Patrick Street) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Manor Park Management; Woodman Architect & Assoc. Inc.; Momentum Planning and Communications Inc.
- The Panel is pleased that the landowner was able to acquire the neighbouring properties since the project was last at the UDRP. This is a pivotal site and the addition permits for a more complete building composition.
- The Panel recommends trying to simplify the overall composition of the building. Three or four major volumes should be created and each associated with a material. This building is visible from all four sides and creating strong gestures will help improve its clarity and readability as one moves around it.
- The previous scheme achieved an overall theme of simplicity, which should be reintegrated into the current proposal.
- The King Edward facade is composed of too many elements. A tripartite approach to the massing should reinforce the concept of a base, middle and top treatment. Strengthen the datum line at the 6th floor to help achieve this.
- The disjointed massing is largely a by-product of the internal corridor and unit layout. Consider reorienting the two units at the northwest corner of the upper floors towards King Edward, to create a line of seven or eight rooms, and have the corridor extend behind them. This would move the notch in the King Edward facade to St. Patrick, simplifying the primary facade and creating blockier elements. It would allow the building to sit on the northwest corner more solidly.
- The base of the building should be simplified to give more space to the pedestrian realm. The curved portion on the King Edward facade pinches the sidewalk and may cause issues with snow clearance and with introducing street trees. The Panel recommends simplifying the scheme and increasing room in the pedestrian realm by eliminating the curve.
Building Design and Materiality
- Explore the possibility of expressing the cornice line halfway up the building, especially on the north and west facades.
- The blank wall on the east facade will be quite visible. Consider wrapping the datum line and materials around the corner and across this facade.
- The proponent is encouraged to match the materials with the volumes of massing. Strive for a strong brick middle of the building and possibly a porcelain top.
- Consider exploring a lighter colour palette for the materials.
- The aperture to the parking lot should be reduced in width and reoriented to form a 90-degree angle with the street. With its current design, cars entering the parking lot will cross through the pedestrian realm at dangerous speeds. Placing a street tree on the east side of the driveway would also help to slow traffic down.
- On a street as significant as King Edward Avenue, the Panel recommends exploring a more permanent landscaping solution than movable planters.
NATIONAL ARTS CENTRE REJUVENATION PROJECT (53 Elgin Street) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | National Arts Centre; Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
- The Panel is appreciative of the changes that the proponent has made to the scheme, and would like to thank them for responding positively to the previous recommendations. This has evolved into a truly wonderful project that will be a beautiful addition to Confederation Boulevard and downtown Ottawa.
- The Panel recommends continuing to explore the rhythm of the mullions in the facades. A varied modulation similar to that of the ribs in the original precast of the building might work well if nuanced in the proposed glazed surfaces along Elgin Street.
- The perforated curtain wall caps have a nice aesthetic, but consider how they will perform. A similar system was used on the War Museum in Ottawa and proved problematic due to a whistling effect that was produced by the wind passing through them.
- The Panel appreciates the proponent's efforts to replicate the historic link between "town and crown," by aligning the main entrance to reflect the former relationship between the old Ottawa City Hall and the Parliamentary Buildings.
Tower / Lantern Element
- The tower/lantern element is a strong component to the scheme and a beautiful main entrance to the building. However, the Panel reiterated its previous recommendation for the tower to be taller than the rest of the building, even if only by a metre or two. By their very nature, towers should rise above the remainder of the structure.
- The sky-lit curtain wall, the illuminated LED mesh system, and the ornamental capping are fully supported on the tower element.
- The Panel commends and encourages the proponent's experimentation with the LED mesh as a means to display moving (and possibly live) images on the lantern element. This is an innovative method of simultaneously achieving a transparency and solidity to the beacon.
- The redesigned lay-by parking is quite successful. The Panel supports the proposed roll curbs, which also maintain the language of the rest of Elgin Street. The lay-by is at the same time obvious and seamless.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for the design enhancements made to Lawrence Frieman Lane. It has been greatly improved.
- The Panel is pleased to hear the NAC's ambition to eventually redesign the greenspace to the north of the building. The slope and the adjacent balconies lend this space to being a natural performance space, and there is potential for this to become an important outdoor space.
September 3, 2015
655-755 ANAND PRIVATE (formerly 1172 Walkley Road) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Manor Park Development; Woodman Architect & Associates Inc.; Momentum Planning and Communications Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for the changes made since the previous meeting. The scheme has improved, but there are still several key design elements which should be considered.
- The south tower is greatly improved since the last meeting and the Panel encourages the proponent to continue to strengthen its strong, simple, vertical expression. The corner piece on this tower will be the signature feature of the entire lot. Continue to emphasize it by having it extend beyond the cornice line, or by adding an ornamental roof top. The rounding of the corner could also be more forceful.
- The south building has achieved a good simple expression that reads well from a distance, however, the north building looks more confused. Consider simplifying the plan and make it more planar. A clean rectangular box expression could be more easily achieved by recessing the balconies on the western facade.
- The Panel reiterated its previous recommendation to improve the project by staggering the heights of the two buildings. The north tower should be lowered by two floors and the south tower raised by two floors to create at least a four-storey difference between the two.
- The lightness of the metal panels create a good contrast to the brick on the south building. However, the proponent should also be mindful that the light material will also be susceptible to weathering over time.
Base of Building
- The Panel still has concerns regarding the pedestrian experience on the west of the site. The greenspace will be a good amenity, but the relationship between it and the base of the building will create safety concerns. Consider the following:
- The condition created by the parking garage is a large part of the problem. The best way to improve the relationship between the base of the building and the open space would be to line the western facade with grade related units, or any way of encouraging more "eyes" on the space.
- It will also be important to find a way to have the stormwater pond and the pathway work together. More landscaping, trees, and lighting are needed.
- On Anand Private, the proponent should take care to have the paving surface of the sidewalk extend across the paved driveway entrance, not vice versa.
- From an aesthetic perspective, the parking podium could be greatly improved by tying the materiality to the towers more closely. The towers appear to be propped up on another element, but it would be helpful to have the two integrated. Consider using brick to tie it in, or using a landscaping element to screen it.
- Consider a slight podium condition on Anand Private.
807-825 MONTREAL ROAD | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Darwin Group; Chmiel Architects
- The Panel is generally in support of the project and proposed architecture, but recommends improving the pedestrian experience at grade and further mitigating overlook onto adjacent properties.
- The Panel supports the aesthetic of the architecture of the proposal. The detailing of the building is very strong and there is a nice elegance to the scheme.
- The rationale for the use of frit on the glazing is strong. The Panel recommends continuing to build upon this by extending the frit to the north facade to help soften the relationship between the building and its residential neighbours. Additional transparency on the Montreal facade would also work well.
- Consider additional verticality on the east facade of the building. Pronounced mullions would also help improve solar performance. Explore opportunities to further simplify the composition. Having the building ground itself at its corners by bringing the expression down to grade may help to achieve this. The Panel encourages the proponent to use stone in these locations.
- Investigate the possibility of eliminating the internal north-south corridor that exits from the Montreal facade. This would permit the retail to extend directly across the ground floor on the Montreal facade and give more flexibility in the retail spaces.
Pedestrian Experience / Patio area
- The Panel recommends improving the pedestrian experience on the west of the site. Shift the concrete walk connecting to Montreal Road towards the west so that it is aligned with the western edge of the building. Projecting the canopy above the entrance or providing additional refuge for pedestrians in this location may also help to make the path more welcoming.
- Continue to study the northern edge of the building and the condition that is created at grade for pedestrians. Is there any opportunity to better integrate this into the landscaping plan?
- The Panel recommends continuing to study the patio space at front of the building and the interstitial space that is created. Explore opportunities to extend the hardscaping as far towards the curb as possible and have more of a naturalized landscaping beyond that. The space should still be universally accessible.
- The Panel supports the proponent's landscape architecture strategy and the efforts to retain as many of the mature trees on the site as possible. This will help to knit the project into the community and mitigate potential overlook issues with neighbouring sites. The proponent will need to take care not to injure the trees during construction.
- Consider re-evaluating the aesthetic of the landscaping feature along Montreal Road. The 5 trees look orphaned. A more naturalistic approach may work better with the constraint of the overhead wires.
- Explore the possibility of improving the landscaping treatment along the western edge of the site to help define the driveway.
- The landscape buffer to the residential neighbourhood will be important in mitigating overlook issues from the building. Any opportunities to adjust the floor plan of the building to increase the amount of space dedicated to the buffer should be explored.
- Given that the underground parking extends below the buffer to the property line, the amount of soil may be problematic for some of the trees. Consider a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and try to incorporate species that grow quickly.
November 5, 2015
350 SPARKS STREET AND 137 BAY STREET | Formal Review | Zoning By-law Amendment and Site Plan Control Application | Morguard; WZMH Architects; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design
- The Panel thanks proponent for engaging in an informal pre-consultation and focused design review sessions with the Panel. The proposal has evolved nicely through the process and will be a good addition to downtown Ottawa.
- The Panel recommends modifying the cladding of the two towers to help differentiate them in some way. Consider adjusting the density of the cladding or the rhythm of the reveals on the buildings to help distinguish them from each other.
- The Panel recommends integrating the mechanical penthouse by extending the cladding of the residential building upward as a screening element. The cladding does not necessarily have to be an enclosed wall.
- Consider some additional volumetric articulation of the podium on Bay Street to improve views up the street. For example the garage doors should be pushed back into the facade to reduce their visibility and highlight the stone volume above.
- Explore opportunities to integrate an entrance to the hotel on the Queen Street side of the building. A sidewalk entrance to the building would help to animate the street and would likely improve connections to the planned LRT station.
- Consider additional verticality or a change in materiality to the mid-rise podium volume on Sparks Street to give it more visual interest.
- The analysis of how the proposal will fit into the greater context of the City is very strong.
- The natural materials as presented establish a very good relationship with the Memorial Building on Sparks Street. It is important that they remain in the scheme.
- The Place de Ville block is also currently being work on. Through that process, the Panel encourages City staff to examine how the two projects work together.
- The public realm has advanced through the process, but the Panel still has concerns. The private drop-off area is quite generous, but the public space on the outside of the site feels quite tight. The proponent is encouraged to explore ways in which the pedestrian spaces around the building such as at the south-west corner might be increased in size.
- The Panel recommends increasing the size of the POPS and avoiding cantilevering a portion of the building overtop of it. Explore possibilities to relocate the cantilever over the drop-off area rather than over the POPS.
- Consider reducing the size of the planter in the POPS in order to increase the usable size of the space and better open up views to the church and park.
- The drop-off area has been quite well-designed, however, based on experiences in other cities, the seamless spaces are proving to be problematic in terms of pedestrian safety. Consider distinguishing the pedestrian and vehicular spaces with a change of materiality.
- The vegetation along the sidewalk currently seems quite sparse for a site of this size. Investigate ways of integrating additional planters or street trees into the public realm.
- Consider incorporating vegetation on the street-side edge of the terrace, between the two towers, so that it would be visible from Bay Street.
December 2, 2015
ZIBI PHASE 1A (4 BOOTH STREET) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Windmill Developments; Barry J. Hobin & Assoc. Architects Inc.; FOTENN Planning and Urban Design
- The Panel supports the proposal and is pleased to see that the Zibi project is moving ahead.
- In future presentations, it would be beneficial to also receive an update on the status of the project on the Quebec side of the development.
- The choice of noble materials, which reference the history of the place and the use of glass to break up the volume, is successful. Consider continuing to build upon the theme of linking the project to the industrial heritage through materiality.
- The east and west facades of the proposal seem somewhat under-articulated and under-animated. Historically, the facades of the buildings wrapped around all sides. The Panel recommends wrapping retail, entrances, public uses and/or additional glazing along the flanking edges of the building to improve their relationship with the public realm.
- Consider carving out small public spaces with seating on the sides of buildings to give them more of a public function.
- Wrap the facades of the retail units around the corners of the building and draw them down towards the water, especially on the west facade.
- The retail units at grade seem quite shallow. As an alternative to the proposed scheme, if the entire ground floor of the building was retail, it would change the building’s relationship with the water and side streets and the kind of tenant that would be attracted.
- Consider simplifying the interface between the building and the water. The brick base is a strong good material for the south facade and breaking up the facade with the three white-coloured units (shown in the rendering on page 27) is unnecessary. The proponent confirmed that these elements have been removed from the latest iteration of the plan.
- The complexities of the roofline on the south facade detract from the upper floors connecting to the heritage of the site. Consider simplifying the roofline.
- The direction of the public realm is ambitious and appropriate for the development. The public square in particular is a strong addition to the scheme and the Panel is supportive of the refurbished materials, movable seating, historical references and the programmable nature of the space. The proponent’s analysis of size, scale and usage have struck a good balance in the final product.
- The privatization of the waterfront is of great concern to the Panel, as the public nature of the promenade was an important recommendation of the Joint Design Review Panel. The Panel appreciates the economic realities of selling units within this phase, but closing this connection to the public will set a dangerous precedent for the remainder of the project. It is critical that this space be an accessible and welcoming public connection.
- Achieving a comfortable separation between the private and public realms along the south side of the building is possible through additional landscaping that serves as a buffer, with planters lining the terraces and a widening of the walkway.
383 SLATER STREET (400 ALBERT) | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Broccolini Construction Inc.; IBI Architects Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for the changes that have been made to the project. The scheme has improved.
- The Panel supports the additional height in the project in exchange for the slimmer tower form. The proportions have greatly improved.
- Consider the cladding of the soffits and the undersides of balconies. A coating may help to maintain the white colour over time.
- The use of pre-cast rather than metal panelling is supported by the Panel. It will be important to have this remain in the scheme.
- The Panel expressed concerns regarding the loading and parking access being fully open in an urban setting.
- The Privately Owned Publicly Accessible Space (POPS) is a good addition to the plan and will be an important component of the site. The POPS design should include screening on the sides exposed to the parking lot. A diagonal pathway lined with seating, similar to the design of the existing park should also be considered.
- The Panel supports the streetscaping and landscaping plan, but a stronger greening strategy is recommended for Bay Street and at the corner of Bay and Slater Streets. The trees shown in the renderings (but not the landscape plan) help improve the important connection to Parliament Hill. At least one street tree at the corner would also be an improvement.
- Through the assembly of site, the Panel encourages the proponent to explore opportunities to implement a consolidated servicing system on the site for all the buildings. A public laneway or flipping the ramp and loading access may help avoid the need for garbage trucks backing up over sidewalks.
2 AND 10 WILDPINE COURT | Formal Review | Site Plan Control Application | Novatech Engineering; S.J. Lawrence Architect Inc.
- The Panel thanks the proponent for their presentation. The efforts to integrate the project architecturally into the context are appreciated.
- The Panel supports many of the gestures of the proposal, especially in terms of the articulation of the facade. However, the Panel suggests exploring ways of simplifying or calming the expression of the front facade. The columns may not be necessary, as there is already enough verticality in the expression.
- The Panel is mindful of the cost-effectiveness of EIFS, but encourages the proponent to consider a noble material as an alternative.
- Explore more traditional materials for the roof of the building such as shingles.
Landscaping / Public Realm
- There is an opportunity with this project to connect Stittsville Main Street and the trail by drawing on the naturalized aesthetic of the creek valley for inspiration in the treatment of the public realm.
- The small park on Stittsville Main Street would be of greater value to the community if it were designed as a naturalized space with seating, rather than a Victorian inspired space. It would serve as a trailhead to the trail system along the creek.
- The lay-by is a necessary component of the project, but the Panel recommends re-envisioning the relationship between it and the sidewalk. The public realm at the front of the property should incorporate the naturalized landscape, the pedestrian walkway and a driveway that passes through them. Consider a textured paving material or a permeable paving material for the driveway.
- Consider removing the strip of paving between the front entrance of the building and the curb. It will detract from the landscaping and likely be underused. This may be an appropriate area for more trees.
- The project’s integration with the landscape of the creek will be critical. The Panel recommends exploring possibilities of improving the interface between the two by relocating the three parking spaces on the east of the site.
- The Panel applauds the proponent’s efforts to cover the parking area. Explore opportunities to have the rooftop deck designed as more of a garden feature. This could help aesthetically link the terrace to the natural creek feature to the east.
- Consider enhancing the landscaping gesture on the interior side yard setback of the property to mitigate overlook issues from the balcony into the school’s sports field.