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The state of architecture/design in Victoria


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#1 amor de cosmos

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 07:35 AM

Oh man... what does it say about the architects & developers here when they seem to brag that they know what will get approved as quickly as possible, as if it's some rare talent? There are two firms (that I know of) that say this. Example: "A strong design direction is a particularly important thing because there's quite a bit of complexity through the political approval process.... A particular strength of the office is to acheive timely municipal approval through a collaborative process with the community..."

Contrast that with Busby's office:
"With more than 70 staff in the Vancouver office and the bench strength of 1,200 personnel in 22 offices worldwide, Busby Perkins+Will possesses a diverse range of skills and talents—from industrial design to large-scale master-planning—enabling the firm to take on a wide variety of project types.

Busby Perkins+Will is considered one of North America's leading green practices with the largest portfolio of built green projects in Canada. The firm also researches, educates, and is heavily involved in the development of public policy and sustainability guidelines."

or Erickson:
"Architecture, as I see it, is the art of composing spaces in response to existing environmental and urbanistic conditions to answer a client's needs. In this way the building becomes the resolution between its inner being and the outer conditions imposed upon it. It is never solitary but is part of its setting and thus must blend in a timeless way with its surroundings yet show its own fresh presence.

The real needs are often beyond written briefs and become apparent through discussions and demonstrations. We come with extensive and valuable experience but no baggage so that each project is approached as new and original territory, yet to be explored.

We are not peddlers of the fashionable. We believe that good design defies fashion, is truly innovative, eminently sensible, yet a source of inspiration to those who have the pleasure of living with it."

or Hotson/Bakker/Boniface/Haden:
"More than just the design of a building, at Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects + urbanistes our approach is simple. We focus on the integration of place and form and have a keen sense of context for each design. Our projects relate to their environments and engage with people.

Distinguished in our field, we are dedicated to the art and technology of architecture and urban planning and believe that integrating the design of the public realm into every project is the key to a viable and sustainable community."

or the Patkaus:
"As the circumstances of the work change, our interests expand. We seek to explore the full richness and diversity of architectural practice, understanding it as a critical cultural act that engages our most fundamental desires and aspirations. We refuse singular definitions of architecture: as art, as technology, as social service, as environmental agent, as political statement. We embrace all these definitions, together, as part of the rich, complex and vital discipline that we believe architecture to be."

Is it any wonder that our new buildings look like sh!t?

#2 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 09:00 AM

I guess with the passing of Ms. Hadid, there's even less chance we'll see any of these types of designs in the CRD: http://www.cnn.com/2...ture/index.html



#3 johnk

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 09:36 AM

She was amazing and did some wonderful buildings. I doubt any developer/builder in Victoria could have afforded her services. Her designs might have been a bit too 21st century, too.

#4 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:22 AM

She was amazing and did some wonderful buildings...Her designs might have been a bit too 21st century, too.

Agreed. Victoria is still struggling with the "edginess" of 19th century architecture after all.



#5 Mike K.

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:34 AM

Some of her stuff appears quite similar to the liquor store coming to Esquimalt.

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#6 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:38 AM

Some of her stuff appears quite similar to the liquor store coming to Esquimalt.

Did she include massive parking lots in her designs too?


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#7 Mike K.

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:40 AM

I'm certain most of her buildings were tied to massive parking facilities.

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#8 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 10:45 AM

I'm certain most of her buildings were tied to massive parking facilities.

Which I am guessing were either underground or served some other function than just huge fields of asphalt.



#9 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:12 AM

I guess with the passing of Ms. Hadid, there's even less chance we'll see any of these types of designs in the CRD: http://www.cnn.com/2...ture/index.html

doesn't bother me. i know she had lots of fans though
http://www.archdaily...-hadids-passing

#10 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:37 AM

I suppose what I am trying to say is that the best in contemporary architecture is part of a broader vision for a site. In the case of the plan for the new Esquimalt liquor store, while bold unto itself (for our region at least), it would be exponentially better if it was part of an exciting redevelopment of the entire space. I envision that expanse of asphalt looking much like that for decades now. There are certainly innumerable examples of the historic preservation of sacred black top in the region to support my hypothesis.



#11 Mike K.

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Posted 03 April 2016 - 11:53 AM

I wouldn't worry about it too much. That land is becoming more and more valuable every year.

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#12 aastra

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:30 AM

 

“What we’re getting is one building after another that basically all look the same,” said councillor Pamela Madoff. “I’m really fearful in thirty years people are going to look back and say “what are you thinking?”

 

So my question for VV's braintrust is, "Is there a crisis of architectural sameness in 21st-century Victoria?"

 

Methinks the situation is not so dire after all, although I agree that Chard's Yates on Yates project seems very familiar, like a blending of elements from the Sovereign, 834 Johnson, and Corazon. Two tall towers of that otherwise good stuff might be too much. And Townline's two rental buildings by the Jack Davis are very conservative and very similar to one another.

 

I've never been a fan of twinned buildings. I wish Encore had set itself apart from Promontory somehow, even if just by the colour of the brick.

 

Anyway, crisis of sameness or no? Some pics:

 

homes_for_sale_in_downtown_victoria_bc_b

 

5833605m.jpg

10.jpg

oak-bay-beach-hotel.jpg

 

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8-785-central-spur-rd-2-small.jpg

 

Atrium-Yates-St.jpg

 

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home-buildingphoto.jpg

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Dockside-Balance-8-537x405.jpg

 

3_800x600.jpg

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1150-1br-550ft-urban-condo-932-johnson-s

 

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Michigan-St-646-207-RF-1.jpg?fit=1024%2C

 

 

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1.jpg

 

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the_astoria_800x600.jpg

 

 

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union-condo-victoria-exterior-march-2014


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Hudson_Mews.jpg

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the_corazon_800x600.jpg

 

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black-and-white-victoria-condos.jpg

 

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HudsonWalk1.jpg

 

Some more from early 2018:

 

PacificVistaRendering.jpg

 

CordovaBayRendering.jpg

 

YelloOnYatesByMikeK-2.jpg

 

TheRowByVHF.jpg

 

LegatoByMarkoJ.jpg

 

CookStreetVillageByAragon.jpg

 

CapitalParkByGaryH.jpg


Edited by aastra, 21 January 2018 - 07:19 PM.

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#13 aastra

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:36 AM

My other question for VV's braintrust is, how do we post images in their native width/height?



#14 Rob Randall

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 09:49 AM

Two things are happening: first we are in a design doldrum; not just in Victoria, but worldwide and not just architecture, fashion, automobile design, music

 

Second, a lack of clarity as to what builders are allowed to propose. Fear of a contentious, risky, multi-year approval process encourages conventional designs.


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#15 sdwright.vic

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:02 AM

My other question for VV's braintrust is, how do we post images in their native width/height?


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#16 aastra

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 10:47 AM

I'm really not seeing a problem. I'd even say the span from 2000-2017 might be the second best run of consistently good architecture in Victoria's history (if the emphasis is on sheer variety then it might even be the best run).

 

It Madoff and others are really and truly yearning for something that sets the world on fire then there are plenty of suitable sites left. High-profile sites, even. Like the Wharf Street parking lots, Ogden Point, the Belleville terminal, the other big parking lot beside the legislative buildings, the remaining lots at Dockside Green, the Roundhouse, and all of north downtown and beyond, really. Oh, and let's not forget Northern Junk.

 

Although I'm not sure how avant-garde buildings would help matters re: that whole affordability crisis thing. Remember that? Expensive designs + expensive designers + high-quality materials + high-profile properties = extremely expensive units.

 

Edit looking back in 2018 - Some pics of Legato, 1515 Douglas, etc.

 

Legato_on_Yates-Google_Streetview.jpg

 

1515_Douglas-Google_Streetview.jpg

 

Edit again looking back in 2019 - Some more pics of Jukebox, Black and White, etc.

 

post-1484-0-28324900-1562084069.jpeg

 

post-1484-0-69695900-1562084371.jpeg


Edited by aastra, 24 August 2019 - 01:47 PM.

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#17 Nparker

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:18 AM

 

“What we’re getting is one building after another that basically all look the same,” said councillor Pamela Madoff.

This has some less-than-typical Victoria elements:

burrard-place.jpeg

Would Pam endorse this?



#18 grantpalin

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 12:01 PM

I think there's no shortage of diverse building styles here. Pam's quote makes it seem like she is grasping for objections.



#19 Nparker

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 01:01 PM

Here's a Westbank proposal for downtown Vancouver:

westbank-400-west-georgia-f.jpg

Any chance this would get endorsed by the CoV style gurus?



#20 Mike K.

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 10:37 AM

Good ...God  :eek:


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