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[Downtown Victoria] Crystal Garden Block announcement


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#21 amor de cosmos

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:03 PM

The Legislature lawn is nice but it doesn't take anything away the impressiveness of the architecture.


That's not what I was trying to say. I meant the lawn ADDS to the impressiveness because people can stand back and see the whole building. If a building isn't set back a bit somehow someone can only see what's right in front of their face. It would be like having a feature wall in the hallway of a house, which would defeat the purpose of having something big & impressive.

#22 G-Man

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:48 PM

The empire state building is pretty impressive and it has no square. Hell the Rogers Chocolate building is cute but yet it has not square.

#23 Nparker

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:52 PM

Exciting ideas to say the least. Not that I expect much to come to fruition from these plans for a VERY long time, but I would prefer the highest density option that allows for the retention of some of the existing green space (probably the site of the existing lawn bowling green).

The key to any success in this area will be a mixed use of public and private spaces. I love the Art Gallery concept, and Childrens' Museum. Additional conference centre space with high-density residential/hotel above would also be my preference. Sooner or later more conference space will be required, so we might as well plan for it now.

Throw in some ground-breaking (for Victoria) architectural designs with the highest quality finishes possible and we just might have the recipe for success. Of course we might also have the Radius Part 2, but I will keep my fingers crossed that this can be planned and executed successfully.

Post-script: I notice that none of the concept drawings show ANY development on the (former) Crystal Court Motel site. Is this an oversight or a conclusion that the developer has given up on this project?

#24 amor de cosmos

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 07:59 PM

The empire state building is pretty impressive and it has no square. Hell the Rogers Chocolate building is cute but yet it has not square.


ESB - Only impressive from a distance. Nobody takes a pic of it up close since it would probably be hard to tell what it is even when standing right next to it.
Roger's - Small enough that someone doesn't need to go back a long way to see the facade in its entirety. Standing across the street is sufficient.

#25 aastra

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 08:22 PM

Post-script: I notice that none of the concept drawings show ANY development on the (former) Crystal Court Motel site.


Good one. When I went back to look I also noticed how far Parkside is set back from the corner. Quite a ways.

And the overhangs on the Douglas Street side of the Falls are worrying me again.

#26 gumgum

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:24 PM

That's not what I was trying to say. I meant the lawn ADDS to the impressiveness because people can stand back and see the whole building. If a building isn't set back a bit somehow someone can only see what's right in front of their face. It would be like having a feature wall in the hallway of a house, which would defeat the purpose of having something big & impressive.

ADDS?
Enjoy the Legislature. I too enjoy it, as well as the lawn.
Seeing as it's so close to this lot is one of the reason that we don't need another public space in the area.
Having something big and impressive is fine. But this lot is pretty small. Look at the map I posted again. The bowling green and Cridge park are tiny compared to the Ledge lot. Your math of something big on a big space doesn't compute.
Let's stick to the basics. We need space for our new gallery. We want a children's museum. We want more density. That's our priority, so let's focus on that.
I'm not saying we don't need great architecture. We need that plus so much more.
More open space is so at the bottom of the list it's ridiculous.

#27 Rob Randall

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Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:47 PM

I believe that if they go for the Childrens' Museum/open space option, the open space would actually be some sort of play or water park, judging from the example photos and renderings.

The story is up on the Times-Colonist website:

Dream for Crystal block: art gallery, kids' museum

Lowe said the city could sell the pie-shaped piece at the corner of Humboldt and Douglas for $7 to $8 million. That money would be used to build two floors of underground parking in an area near the existing lawn bowling green and Cridge Park, with the area above leased to the children's museum and art gallery.


Coun. Geoff Young said the council has to send a strong message that "we want to advance a plan for the area."

"If I had a nickel for everytime I heard that about a public site I'd have enough money to develop it," he said. "What I'm hearing is 'Let's think about it', and meanwhile let's do nothing. That's the history of important civic sites of this city."

Coun. Pam Madoff said instead of developing the area in a piecemeal way "this is a rare opportunity where we can invite the public to be inspired."


“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#28 G-Man

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:44 AM

^Geoff Young could not have said a truer statement there.

Play place for children downtown? That sounds like a great idea. There really is nothing currently.

#29 amor de cosmos

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 08:07 AM

ADDS?


Where are feature walls in a house (etc)? Definitely not in a confined space like a hallway, that's for sure. It's because people can't stand back & see it all & how cool the feature wall looks. Same thing here.

#30 gumgum

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 09:14 AM

Man a children's museum would be great. I just hope that if we see it materialize it's not lame like th BC Experience. Kids are savvy and could care less about what we would have thought was cool when we were kids. If it's anything like the Vancouver Science Museum I'll be happy.

#31 m0nkyman

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 03:24 PM



God forbid that anything actually add to the skyline!

Am I the only one to wonder whether that should actually be the metric by which to measure development in the city?

Why not allow for something that adds to the skyline?

#32 gumgum

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 04:00 PM

One thing we do know for sure is that there will be a significant building on the pie shaped lot where the car rental place is now.
It is essential that the corner aspect of the lot is utilized into the design.
Here are some example of this:

Image from flickr from "toastyoats"


Image from "kohtzy".


Image from "greybolt"


Image from "enguerrero"


unknown source

We have a great opportunity to build something great, something signature, in this highly visible, very touristy area.
(The pics I post are meant as examples of corner buildings. I'm not suggesting we build any more faux shit by trying to duplicate these period buildings.)

#33 Rob Randall

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 05:08 PM

Planner Chris Gower specifically mentioned the potential for a flatiron at that site during the presentation.

“I mean I just don’t understand the big Texas part, like maybe he’s from Texas? I want to know the back story.”


#34 amor de cosmos

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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:36 PM

that is an excellent idea :)

#35 Mike K.

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 09:46 AM

Good!

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#36 rayne_k

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Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:50 AM

I believe that if they go for the Childrens' Museum/open space option, the open space would actually be some sort of play or water park, judging from the example photos and renderings.

The story is up on the Times-Colonist website:

Dream for Crystal block: art gallery, kids' museum


The TC also has posted a copy of the entire presentaton with photos & renderings in PDF format.. 41 slides!!!! I like the panorama photo with water, kids and earth.

http://www.canada.co...block032008.pdf

#37 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 09 March 2008 - 10:06 PM

One thing that actually bothered me: if you skip through to slide #36 in that PDF, you'll find the one that shows the skyline view from the Songhees. Take a look at it now -- it's called "Inner Harbour Vista Impact -- Songhees Point View."

It shows a Victoria Inner Harbour and environs skyline, with the proposed Crystal block development shrinking discreetly behind and to the right of the Empress in the picture so that it's almost invisible; you'll see a couple of recently new buildings to the left (Sussex, maybe Marriott, or perhaps an indication of The Falls); you'll see the Legislature dome; you'll see the Grand Pacific Hotel; but you will NOT see Roberts or Orchard Houses.

But I could swear that they are plainly and intrusively visible in real life, between Legislature and Grand Pacific, from exactly that perspective.

It seems to me that's not the first time they've been somehow eliminated from the scene -- although right now I can't think of specific other examples of when this has happened. But I'm sure it has.

I'm just wondering why they seem to get the air-brushed-out treatment?

Does anyone else think is beyond weird?

PS: Perhaps it relates to what m0nkyman wrote in response to the previous slide (#35), which touted the new proposal's virtual invisibility on the skyline: "Am I the only one to wonder whether that should actually be the metric by which to measure development in the city?"
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#38 jklymak

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:52 AM

I'm just wondering why they seem to get the air-brushed-out treatment?

Does anyone else think is beyond weird?


I would guess that they have a three-d computer model of buildings downtown, but don't for things further afield, and no-one has noted the discrepency before your eagle eyes did.

#39 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 05:38 PM

^ Interesting... That's a good explanation. But wouldn't it be odd if that's the reason? I mean, how can you let a computer model "erase" what's totally visible to anyone who looks? (Eagle-eyed or not; you could have coke bottle bottoms for glasses and you wouldn't miss Roberts or Orchard House...)
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#40 jklymak

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:26 PM

^ and my explanation looks like it is BS. If you look at the downtown plans here, it looks like both buildings are in those renderings , unless I'm confused about which buildings those are. So, you are right, it is very strange.

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