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[James Bay] Shoal Point condo | 13-storeys | Built - completed in 2005

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#21 m0nkyman

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 06:42 PM

Where was all that greenery supposed to go exactly? Were they going to force residents to put masses of vines and hedges on their balconies?


I think right about where these cool roller blinds are:


#22 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:03 PM

Cool pic but I hate what it has done to the readability... :)

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#23 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:06 PM

Scroll, my man. We all scroll up and down willingly - freely. But ask a man to scroll left and right, he gets annoyed. Open you eyes to all types of scrolling!
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#24 G-Man

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:08 PM

My mouse don't have a side to side scroll though. I live and die by my mouse wheel.

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#25 m0nkyman

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Posted 10 January 2007 - 07:39 PM

Oops. It didn't look that big [url=http://pacificrollshutters.com/skylight.htm:75631]where I found it.[/url:75631]

#26 Holden West

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Posted 14 June 2007 - 11:34 PM

Ooh! Boddy burns SP!
------

DWELLING: CONDOMINIUMS: DESIGN

A condo on the rocks
Shoal Point has beached on Victoria's shores, setting up an architectural debate in the capital city: Love it or hate it?


TREVOR BODDY
Globe and Mail
June 15, 2007

Shoal Point is named for the underwater rocks that guard the entrance to Victoria's Inner Habour. A new Shoal Point - the huge, and hugely-flaky 141-unit condo development of that name - now stands sentinel there, the latest in a series of bad designs that have come to disfigure one of Canada's most scenic cityscapes. This is one shipwreck of housing development.

There is, however, some glory in so eccentric a wreck as this. Lifting a number of its ocean and shore fauna motifs from the Vancouver Marine Building's Art Deco embellishments, the $110-million Shoal Point boasts the most lavish integration of representational sculpture into the architecture of a Canadian condo tower. Shoal Point's entranceways, cornices, window surrounds, garden walkway lights, and even bathroom exhaust vents are encrusted with marine-themed concrete casts, each of them mass-produced from Victorian Derek Rowe's clay originals.

It's as if some overdone Edwardian clipper has been raised from the bottom of the sea, dripping with barnacles of calcified mermaid and maritime life. At the conning tower up top, facing out to the open Pacific, is developer David Butterfield's own three-storey penthouse unit, "designed along cosmological lines," he told me. The Victoria developer went down with his ship once before - the rejected eco-village of Bamberton 40 kilometres north - but good will for that project's thwarted green ambitions helped smooth planning approvals. With a ratio of constructed floor space to building site area of 3.25 to 1, this is the densest large-site condo development Victoria has seen to date.

Shoal Point's architecture is so Neo-Edwardian it looks like it was conceived in the Bengal Room of the nearby Empress Hotel, having a Bombay Sapphire swagger to its lines and looking, for all the world, as if Colonel Blimp took up a late career in apartment design. Shoal Point has become the B.C. capital's 'love it or hate it' condo project - one that radically divides public and professional opinion. Architects, artists and residents in nearby James Bay tend to hate it, or else patronize Shoal Point with evaluations like "It's so bad it's good." Evidently, key swaths of the public love it - New-Agers, sustainability advocates, and empty-nesters from Alberta - as all that remains for sale is one $4.5-million penthouse.

The problem at Shoal Point is less the livability, sustainability and development ambitions of David Butterfield than the architecture, conceived by Vancouver's Paul Merrick. I have no problem with the high overall density of the project, because packing more people into key near-downtown sites will help transform Victoria into a true city from its current status as a provincial market town. But Merrick's design will only confuse matters, enforcing the lingering notion that Victoria's identity is Victorian.

I think the basic configuration of the building is fine - a large flat U-shape to catch the southwestern sun, sheltering a finely-landscaped public garden. Behind the symbol-laden facade, there is much to admire, including innovations in energy-conserving rain screen masonry walls. The planned use of seawater as a heat and cooling source got the kibosh from unsympathetic federal harbour authorities, but other green features did get built in.

Still, the package is a bizarre one. For a replanted prairie person, I have a remarkably high tolerance for West Coast flakiness: hitch-hiking from Edmonton for a Stanley Park Easter "Be-In;" visiting Fantasy Garden while Bill Vander Zalm lived there as Premier; even touring the glass house outside Creston constructed by a retired undertaker entirely out of the formaldehyde bottles he collected during a lifetime of embalming.

Despite this, Shoal Point's over-the-top ornament has made me a retroactive convert to early 20th century Viennese architect and theorist Adolf Loos.

In an early application of Freud's ideas to the visual arts, Loos shaped the Modern Movement in architecture by suggesting that "Ornament is Crime." If so, ever-embellishing architect Paul Merrick should be locked up.

For buildings of three stories and less, Paul Merrick is one of British Columbia's best architects. His Ron Thom-influenced library for the University of British Columbia's School of Medicine at West 12th and Heather is Vancouver's best reading room.

An earlier medically-related building was Mr. Merrick's first downtown high rise, and the source of the undoing of his critical reputation.

McCarter and Nairne's Medical-Dental was second only to the same architect's Marine Building as top Art Deco fave for Vancouverites.

Not only did Mr. Merrick serve as designer for the project that destroyed the Medical-Dental Building, but he played with its remains - salvaging elements for re-insertion into his inferior building, making casts of the demolished building's oversized nurse-as-caryatid sculptures.

The Georgia Street building's ghoulish post-modernism embellished with mass production ornament is the direct parent of Shoal Point's over-emphatic fawning fauna. Mr. Merrick is still doing high density housing, and was picked by Millennium Developments to replace New York classical revivalist Robert Stern for the design of nearly one third of South East False Creek Olympic athlete's village.

It is not clear if the world media and international skiers and skaters will be greeted in 2010 by prancing porpoises, ravenous ravens or mellow mermaids. Let's hope not.

mailto:tboddy@globeandmail.com
"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

#27 G-Man

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 06:41 AM

Hmmm... Kind of weird that he chose now to go after Shoal Point and Merrick. I have to be honest that building has been growing on me since it was built. I mean he didn't really deal a death blow here except perhaps to Merrick, who I think is greatly misrepresented here. I think that Radius may be one of the crowning designs he has done.

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#28 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:13 AM

I think Shoal Point is one of the nicest condo developments in Canada, hands down.

For a replanted prairie person, I have a remarkably high tolerance for West Coast flakiness...


Suggestion for replanted prairie person: go back to the prairies.

And any journalist who thinks something three years old is "new" doesn't deserve to hold his job.

...the latest in a series of bad designs that have come to disfigure one of Canada's most scenic cityscapes...


Right. Oh, for the glory days of Orchard House and View Towers! Methinks he's uninformed on this topic.

#29 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:20 AM

...because packing more people into key near-downtown sites will help transform Victoria into a true city from its current status as a provincial market town.


I think this is the real heart of the matter. You see this sort of anti-BC jealousy on SSP all the time. I've said it before, I'll say it again: people from eastern Canada just don't get the west coast. They have no clue whatsoever. He doesn't even realize it but with this attempt at a shot against Victoria he's actually taking a shot against just about every other city in Canada.

The easiest comeback to cheap shots against Victoria or Vancouver is, "So what does that say about (insert Canadian city here)?"

#30 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:23 AM

It is not clear if the world media and international skiers and skaters will be greeted in 2010 by prancing porpoises, ravenous ravens or mellow mermaids. Let's hope not.


Let's also hope they won't be greeted by Mr. Boddy's despicable editorials. Just terrible stuff.

#31 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:26 AM

In terms of design, Shoal Point is really just an attractive compromise. It's a hulking brick thing like the other older buildings up the walkway there, but unlike them it's also detailed, full of glass, and approachable from the ground. Shoal Point isn't just a mountain of bricks. It actually has form, and the overall effect changes quite a bit when it's viewed from various different angles. If Mr. Boddy feels like attacking established buildings, he should forget Shoal Point and go after that dreary Laurel Point apartment block in the upper right corner.

What does Mr. Boddy think? That the James Bay curmudgeons would have embraced slim glass highrise towers? No chance. They freaked about the Reef, they even freaked about Laurel Point's modern addition back in the early 1980s.

The hulking faux historical aspect of Shoal Point is a nod to armchair critics like them and Mr. Boddy. As hulking faux historical buildings go, they did a damn good job with it.

And yet the curmudgeons are still miffed about it!



#32 Mike K.

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:28 AM

One block south is the Trendwest monstrosity and Boddy chose to pick on Shoal Point?

Priorities?

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#33 Holden West

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:41 AM

Strange. Shoal Point was a specific response to a specific set of circumstances. The gewgaws that Boddy hates so much are absent from Merrick's later designs, like Fairfield's City Place and Hudson and Radius.

It's like being afraid of buying a new Ford car because your afraid it will have 1950s fins and chrome.
"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

#34 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 09:55 AM

You think Merrick would have gotten away with something like this at Shoal Point?

(by the way, I'm betting we'll recognize bits of this building in the Bay towers)







#35 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:38 PM

I usually like Boddy's articles, but this one leaves me wondering what he thought he was writing about. It reads more like an attack on Merrick than a critique of Shoal Point. For the record, I like Shoal Point. I think it has personality, individuality, and a freaky sort of "goth" presence. Yes, it's a big hulking thing, but as aastra and the rest of you point out, it's not exactly the case that something taller & slimmer would ever have gotten the nod. I like that it's slightly creepy ("Gotham-esque"?) and has OTT appliques like some harbour-side pirate with earrings & tatoos. It's not really Edwardian as much as it's exotic and deliberately faux (which is a heck of a lot better than "sincerely" faux, i.e., mock heritage). It provides a nice contrast to all the "cuter" stuff on Fisherman's Wharf.
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#36 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 01:59 PM

The thing I don't get about Shoal Point: why do some people react to it as if it's some outrageously quirky thing?

In no way could Shoal Point be seriously regarded as an extreme example of anything. Mr. Boddy claims it's "over-the-top" and "bizarre." Hardly. It's a conservative design with some fanciful touches. Big whoop.

[/url:20c9b]
(image from http://www.goddard.ca)


(image from [url="http://www.shoalpointcommunity.com"]http://www.shoalpointcommunity.com)

Do these same people who freak out over Shoal Point also flip when they see a new VW beetle or a Mini Cooper?

It's no wonder our cities are so chock full of bland buildings. When architects try to do anything even remotely interesting they get heck for it from the bland brigade.

Just imagine trying to get something like the Gherkin or the Sage Gateshead gallery built around here.

#37 m0nkyman

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 02:37 PM

I like Shoal Point. Here's some Flickr goodness:
[/url:7c4b3]
[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/triviaqueen/370442614/:7c4b3][/url:7c4b3]

also:
[url="http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenstone/445758570/in/photostream/"]http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenston ... otostream/

#38 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 02:51 PM

Bizarre! Flakey! Over-the-top! Embellished and over-ornamented! Over-emphatic!



[url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/darrenstone/445758570/in/photostream/:dd51e]Mr. Darren Stone is quite a talent[/url:dd51e]. He shouldn't be wasting his time on a building like this. The Coast Guard's facility next door is much more photogenic.

#39 aastra

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 03:03 PM

And if this building doesn't say "ghoulish post-modernism embellished with mass production ornament," I don't know what would:


http://www.emporis.com

Why on earth would anybody single this place out for it's esthetic deficiencies? Remove the Hotel Vancouver's roof and you've got a perfectly fine office building.

#40 Holden West

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Posted 15 June 2007 - 05:24 PM

IM IN UR NOOSPAPR

SLANDERIN UR ARKITEX

"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

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