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[Downtown Victoria] Atrium Building (BC Ferries headquarters) | Office | 7-storeys | Built - completed in October 2010

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#1 Galvanized

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:09 AM

There has been a ton of soil testing activity on these lots/parking lots the last few days. They were testing the parking lot next to the Telus building in mid block Yates, the old Haida Theatre lot, that shack on the corner of Blanshard/Yates and all around that small office building and parking lot on Johnson.


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#2 Scaper

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 06:52 PM

I saw that yesterday! very interesting.

#3 Holden West

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:10 PM

hope it's something good.
"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."
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#4 Rob Randall

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:19 PM

The Jawls apparently have a proposal for that site. They want to buy most of the surplus Telus buildings first.

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#5 aastra

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:34 PM

Mr. Randall, can you give us a hint about it? Any rumours?

#6 Scaper

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:36 PM

Wow. That's interesting. It would be a very location for a signature tower.

#7 Mike K.

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Posted 27 September 2006 - 09:39 PM

Judging by the size of the existing communication tower onsite, they'll have to develop a building that matches or surpasses the height (it's around 16-storeys or so?). Either that or they'll have to relocate them elsewhere, but it would be cool to have a neat spire atop one of our downtown buildings :)

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#8 Mike K.

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 08:52 AM

Pam's at it again. Are we to accept that anything built in Victoria is never allowed to come down? Sounds like that is exactly what Councillor Madoff is advocating, so why are councillors Madoff and Chandler worried that buildings like David Chard's Juliet will last several decades, if not more? Aren't they the advocates to protecting anything and everything already standing and should be glad a new development won't be coming down before it can be labelled "heritage?"

Councillor urges inventory of key modern buildings
BY CAROLYN HEIMAN Times Colonist staff


The City of Victoria needs an inventory of architecturally significant contemporary buildings.

Pam Madoff, a councillor who has championed preservation of the city’s Victorian and Edwardian heritage buildings, called for the inventory Thursday in the wake of a developer’s subdivision request that hinted at a large development at the corner of Johnson, Blanshard and Yates streets.

[...]

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#9 G-Man

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:13 AM

Well to be honest in the past I have stated on here that I like that building. But seeing as it is a remodel of a 1911 building I see no reason why it couldn't be remodeled or merely the facade preserved. I wonder what it looked like before the modernist face was put up.

That building could be the lead that directs the rest of the development and if so we could see a creative piece of architecture.

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#10 aastra

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:31 AM

Sorry, this is pure guff. That block is buck ugly. I've never heard anybody make a peep about it until now. If these covered-over heritage buildings are so precious and valuable, how come the supposed heritage defenders never try to do anything about them? It's as if we're supposed to stand on the corner there and admire the building that you can't see, buried beneath decades of alterations. Just gives me a warm feeling knowing there's an old building under there.

I've said it before, I'll say it again. They just use "heritage" as a device to try to block new construction. Do they camp out in front of the Oddfellows or Fields buildings, demanding to have them restored? Nope.

...said Madoff who remembers paying her parent’s telephone bill at the building that was once the B.C. Telephone Building.


Oh, brother. Hey, I remember seeing Return of the Jedi at the Haida. I suppose I should oppose this Jawl project too? Building something on that empty lot just wouldn't be right. Don't people know the history??

#11 Holden West

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 09:39 AM

I don't think anyone's proposing restoring the original facade--it's recognizing the value of the existing one.

I also like that little modernist building, although it's been poorly maintained over the years. The interior is used as office space and is connected to the neighbouring buildings by a tangled maze of half-stairwells joining mismatched floors due to the differing storey heights. Take a look at the un-modern granite base.

Rehabbing this building into something modern, useful and vibrant would be a challenge, but it might just be worth it. Victoria has few decent modernist buildings.

It could even be our own miniature Electra!
"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

#12 aastra

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:44 AM

I dread the day anybody ever proposes to replace the Capitol 6 or the garbage on Douglas between Pandora and Johnson.

#13 Mike K.

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 10:59 AM

My sense is this "modernist" structure replaced what today we would call a "heritage" structure. Apparently our forefathers had the sense to do away with what was not necessary and improve upon it.

So let's forget this costly business of spendings thousands or hundreds of thousands on unnecessary "lists" and "reports" and do what needs to be done: build what we need today and for the foreseeable future. Should our childrens concept of what we build today change, they'll have the right to modify our work as they deem fit.

And no, I'm not advocating ripping down anything and everything of historic value, but labelling something as worthy of protection whereas a month ago it was just another building is ridiculous. The process to derail yet another project has begun and the community must not stand for it by believing fearmongerers.

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#14 aastra

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:11 AM

...labelling something as worthy of protection whereas a month ago it was just another building is ridiculous.


This is what I'm saying.

#15 Holden West

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:18 AM

If the Jawls can find a creative way of incorporating this building into their project, great. If keeping it would be too expensive or constrain the design of the rest of the block, then I wouldn't weep at the thought of losing it. However, it is one of the only surviving examples of late 50s modernist architecture in downtown Victoria. And we know that vibrant cities include archtecture from all eras.

The idea that the value of this building materialized overnight in response to the development plan is incorrect. We here mentioned it several times in the past. And it's only been in the last ten years that classic west coast modernism has come into the spotlight.

Yes, this may be a stalling tactic. But we can also look at it as an opportunity to make a good project better.
"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

#16 aastra

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:36 AM

Okay, add ten stories of curved glass on top of it and put proper entrances and storefronts along the sidewalk and I'm with you.

#17 G-Man

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 11:58 AM

^ That is exactly waht I was saying. Blow out the inside and keep the facade. I have always thought it just needed to be cleaned more. If they add 10 or 20 storeys to the top then great! But we should see this as an opportunity to challenge the councillors tactic rather than going head on against it.

Just imagine the reaction if you say:

"I agree with Councillor Madoff, this Modernist Facade should be retained and incorporated into this new project that will revitalize this area of town." :)

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#18 Lover Fighter

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 12:39 PM

It could even be our own miniature [url=http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/commsvcs/planning/heritage/casestudies/970Burr.htm:4cfb5]Electra![/url:4cfb5]

Hey, I love that building! What's the story behind it?
I especially love how it is across the street from the Wall Centre and the reflections of the two buildings on each others facade are always interesting.


As for this little building on the corner of Johnson and Blanshard, I have no connection with it and don't see why it would specifically need to be preserved, especially when there are so many other heritage buildings in the downtown core that need 'preservation' more.

#19 G-Man

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 12:44 PM

Electra was the BC Hydro headquarters.

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#20 aastra

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Posted 29 September 2006 - 02:05 PM

Victoria's equivalent is the old wing of the Ministry of Health Building at Pandora and Blanshard.

http://www.maltwood.uvic.ca/Architecture/ma/design_story/buildings/town/1954-1961/m54bce.html

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