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[Downtown Victoria] Crystal Garden Block announcement


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#41 aastra

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 06:57 PM

They should be there. Perhaps the rendering didn't include background buildings? Or perhaps they were right behind the dome and the good folks at the city thought it looked weird because the dome was obscured, so they deliberately removed them?

Neither possibility makes much sense because it is supposed to be a skyline study after all. What validity does a skyline study have if you don't include/remove the tallest buildings?

For the record, it seems like the Chateau Victoria is also missing from that rendering. Again, it doesn't make much sense for it not to be there.



#42 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 07:58 PM

The only thing I can think of -- and excuse my paranoid tendencies here -- is that the erection of Roberts and Orchard Houses represents a primal scene, which "traumatized" Victorians. (This might be one of the few cases of genuine built-form psycho-sexual mental disorderedness...?)

Trauma, as "an abnormal event causing profound feelings of fear, anger, and devastation" (source), requires denial, repression, erasure...

I'm being mildly facetious, but maybe only mildly so, because you have to wonder when something so obviously there is literally denied.
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#43 Holden West

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 08:21 PM

Ha ha! Nice catch. Just for that, Ms. B and aastra share this week's...


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#44 amor de cosmos

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:00 PM

i think I'm leaning towards slide 33 (with slightly bigger buildings) because I'm still holding out for a concert hall (auditorium, arts centre, etc) somewhere on the waterfront.

#45 Mike K.

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:04 PM

For the record, it seems like the Chateau Victoria is also missing from that rendering. Again, it doesn't make much sense for it not to be there.


I think it's there just to the right of The Fall's 18-storey tower.

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#46 aastra

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Posted 10 March 2008 - 09:55 PM

In image #36 it should be slightly to the left of the Falls. At least some portion of it should be visible, unless they're smack on top of each other. Which doesn't seem right, does it?

#47 Mike K.

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:30 AM

As we try to hide buildings from skyline studies in the core, Langford gets it right (pages of note are 17 and 18) before it even builds a single highrise.

In image #36 it should be slightly to the left of the Falls. At least some portion of it should be visible, unless they're smack on top of each other. Which doesn't seem right, does it?

You can take a better look at the model of Chateau Vic on slide 17. It's there, but it certainly appears to be a wonky reproduction (the roof is strangely shaped and the tower appears a little slimmer than it ought to, but perhaps it really is that way).

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#48 aastra

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 10:58 AM

Interesting selection of pictures in that Langford document! I guess there isn't much in Victoria that they want to emulate!

Kudos to them for including the lowrise condo/Sport Chek building on Broadway. I also like that one. It's one of those buildings that seems so Victorian, and yet it's in Vancouver (and Langford wants to emulate it).

Haven't we seen that pic of the streetscape with the rapid buses on this site before?

#49 G-Man

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 11:44 AM

Yup I believe that is Quito. It is in the BRT thread I think.

#50 Rob Randall

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 09:59 PM

Here is the official explanation from the Planning Department as to why Orchard House and Roberts House were missing from the skyline studies:

It was a simple oversight due to the following reasons:

- the building data is stored by neighbourhood and loading the data for more than one neighbourhood taxes the computer that renders the image.

- the focus of this slide was the Crystal Block's impact on the immediate skyline. The James Bay highrises are far away (as the crow flies) and it didn't occur to anybody to include it as it wasn't a study of Victoria's skyline as a whole.

However, a skyline study is useless without our tallest building. If the Crystal Block was the focus of the study then they should have zoomed in on the left of the picture.

I find it quite ironic myself, as a professional illustrator trained in both traditional and computer techniques. This new technology was supposed to bring clarity to urban studies. A mistake like this would have been quite impossible back in the days when artists produced skyline studies from photographs or actual observation. Yet in this day when renderings are produced not by artists but by computer technicians, laughable gaffes like this appear to be considered par for the course.

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#51 G-Man

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 06:40 AM

Ummm the museum is in James Bay though, so is the legislature so that really doesn't wash.

#52 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 01:36 PM

^ Good point, G-man -- and also Rob's, re. that not using one's real eyes (and over-relying on computer-generated models) is a stupid idea. Well, ok, that's not exactly what he said, but that's what I think.

On a related note: I just want to add that this isn't the first time I've noticed the "erasure" of Roberts and Orchard Houses. Can't remember where else it was, but I'm sure it's not the first time.
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#53 Baro

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:27 PM

in most 3d massing models for pr purposes and touristy mappy things, the largest/tallest building downtown is usually always the empress. Sometimes cibc and sussex are almost there, but usually squashed down a bit.

#54 Holden West

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:04 PM

It seems we need to give our highrises a dose of

VicAgra
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#55 amor de cosmos

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 06:55 AM

The city of Victoria is aiming to have a development plan for lands around the Crystal Garden in place by the fall.

Land development consultants have until May 29 to submit proposals on preparing some of the city-owned land in the area for sale or development, and to create a "cultural precinct" on the bowling green and the Cridge Park areas suitable for uses such as an art gallery, a children's museum and green space.

According to the city's website spelling out details on the request for proposals, the successful consultant will have three months to come up with a plan for two distinct land parcels in the Crystal Garden block. One parcel, called the Apex site, is a wedge-shaped lot at Douglas and Humboldt streets. The city calls the site "ideal for commercial development," while the second site, taking in the lawn bowling green and Cridge Park, "would be suited for cultural uses."

http://www.canada.co...f7-05df86585684

Since Starfish Glassworks is gone a glass gallery & bigtime hotshop would be cool.

#56 Lorne Carnes

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 11:19 AM

All very entertaining stuff about density.

The article in today's TC framed the entire debate pretty well. City has an expanded convention centre..... needs additional parking. Offers up prime piece of real estate on Douglas to leverage underground parkade in Cridge Park. Offers up vague promises of future home to community groups on top to counter opposition from historic users and tree huggers. Community groups have no money to develop anything so are all now appealing to Province for cash.... but won't get any because business plans are poor and site not suitable. Bowlers and church members intentionally kept out of the loop so they couldn't submit realistic business plan are now portrayed as victims. Council and Ministries starting to hear a lot of noise from general public (not regular visitors of this site) sympathetic to retaining green and are starting to get nervous. With elections in offering things could get messy.

Suggest President of DRA starts finding out how this is going to play out before publicly endorsing any proposal.

#57 G-Man

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:46 PM

^People should decide on there own not bow to public opinion all the time. That is half the problem with what goes on in Victoria.

People say I they have an idea, community freaks out, people back away from idea.

if you think something is good say it and damn the torpedoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#58 Rob Randall

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 05:05 PM

Both Times Colonist articles quoted me saying I liked the presence of the lawn bowling green on Belleville. The DRA has no formal opinion on this yet and is not endorsing any plan right now as there has been no formal plan presented to us. However, we are strongly in favour of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria's plan to create a satellite gallery in Downtown. The AGGV has strong leadership and they have been planning a move to downtown for many years. All the gallery needs is to attract a fraction of a percent of the RBCM's visitors in order to be a success.

The Provincial government this week announced a funding commitment for a new Vancouver Art Gallery in the amount of $50 million! Victoria doesn't want special treatment. We just want our fair share.

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#59 Lorne Carnes

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:08 PM

I'm a little unfamiliar with how DRA works. Can you expand on the process your association might undertake to arrive at an endorsement? Do you compare business plans as an executive or present the options at a general meeting of your membership/neighbourhood and collectively determine a favourite?

Sounds like DRA already leans strongly towards the Art Gallery proposal. Are you actively involved in their campaign? If so can you advise if Cridge Park has been specifically targeted as the ideal location for a downtown satellite... or just a random opportunity which might suffice?

To quote G-man.... damn the torpedoes.

#60 Rob Randall

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 09:56 PM

The DRA prefers not to endorse or condemn projects. Our ents to us. We also give our opinion on issues like the relocation of the needle exchange and the Bus Rapid Transit project. Sometimes media folk call me up and ask me for a soundbite but you should take that for what it is. The DRA is committed to the creation of green space in Downtown. We would also like to see development of underused City-owned land in Downtown, like the apex site and the Reid site. When the DRA Board of Directors has a chance to examine the plan we will release a statement. The DRA is proud to offer a voice to the 3,709 of residents of Downtown.

I was in support of the Gallery's plan from years ago to set up a satellite gallery on the Y-Lot site (Astoria/Belevedere/Marriott). There is strong support for having the gallery in the south of Downtown, in the area designated as the tourist precinct and there are very few sites where this would be possible.

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


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