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APPROVED
Unity Commons
Uses: rental, commercial
Address: 1303 Fairfield Road
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Urban core
Storeys: 4
Unity Commons is a mixed-use, four-storey, 15-unit rental and ground floor commercial development in the City ... (view full profile)
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[Fairfield] Unity Commons (Fairfield United Church) | Rentals, commercial | Approved


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113 replies to this topic

#41 nerka

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:42 PM

Sorry if that seems harsh, but we're taking a distinctive old building that has some honest-to-goodness identity and presence and replacing it with a quirkified box that could have come from Langford or Sidney or anywhere. I ask you, what about this proposal has anything to do with this particular corner or this particular part of town?

I'd agree to an extent. I certainly don't think new buildings should have to "blend in" to the neighbourhood. That is a recipe for mediocrity. But it would be nice to have something unique that reflected the history and heritage of this corner and the character of the neighbourhood.



#42 aastra

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 12:51 PM

I actually had the same problem with the new school, too. It's as if the atmosphere of the intersection and the neighbourhood is being undone, as if it's turning its back on itself and what it was. Why do so many Victorians not seem to care one bit about preserving or enhancing/extending the old neighbourhood character? Heck as long as it isn't too tall you can build whatever you want. You can go completely backwards. I shudder to think about Fernwood and what's going to happen there when the time comes to deal with some of the old buildings. Same thing for the small old buildings on the Oak Bay side of Oak Bay Avenue near Foul Bay. New buildings don't have to represent a complete reversal. New buildings shouldn't represent a complete reversal.


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#43 aastra

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 01:22 PM

 

I certainly don't think new buildings should have to "blend in" to the neighbourhood. That is a recipe for mediocrity.

 

It depends on what we mean when we're talking about fitting in. If a hypothetical district is defined by its ornate and distinctive buildings of varying forms and heights and styles and materials (and eras) then a new building can and should fit in by extending the effect, by being ornate and distinctive. In other words, DO NOT imitate the particulars, but DO adopt the attitude. Methinks there's way too much focus on the crudest material aspects and almost no regard at all for overall effect or atmosphere or the way elements come together and complement one another.

 

"Hey, the Empress Hotel is covered in a lot of red brick so therefore -- in order to fit in -- every new building on the inner harbour should also be covered in a lot of red brick (even though plenty of other old buildings were not covered in red brick)."
 

Baloney. It should be:

 

"Hey, the Empress Hotel and the Belmont Building and the Union Club and the steamship terminal (and the long lost post office) are all very different but very grand buildings, ranging widely in terms of size, height, style, materials, etc., so therefore -- in order to fit in -- any new building on the inner harbour should also be very grand but should also be unique and bear no resemblance whatsoever to the others."

 

In the case of Fairfield we're talking about a very different character, of course. But I hope you get my point.


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#44 aastra

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 05:45 PM

I really don't want to overdo it, but you know what? This is the neighbourhood's centre. This is the neighbourhood's prominent intersection. And the old church building has a fair amount of defining presence. If we don't have at least some expectations for a site like this then what grounds do we have to assess or criticize anything on a side street?


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#45 Nparker

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Posted 02 December 2016 - 06:27 PM

....This is the neighbourhood's centre. This is the neighbourhood's prominent intersection...

I have to agree. This site is too important for mediocrity. Send this one back to the drawing board.


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#46 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:47 PM

There is a community meeting to review this project at Fairfield Gonzales Community Centre this Monday (Dec 19).

#47 aastra

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Posted 12 December 2016 - 07:40 PM

I've bleated enough so I'll conclude by saying this corner merits something more akin to a neighbourhood centerpiece. It might sound ironic but the church building exudes permanence (sort of like the blue bridge, which -- as every Victorian knows -- will always be there). I just don't feel like this proposal is equal to the site.


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#48 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 10:58 AM

Revised plans were submitted to the city last month: https://tender.victo...113120735690000

#49 Nparker

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:08 AM

Revised plans were submitted to the city last month...

Still does nothing for this site.

Unity.JPG



#50 Mike K.

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:30 AM

Oh wow, that's much more toned down than before.

 

Thanks, Kapten.


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#51 aastra

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:33 AM

If they want to keep the building pretty much as shown then how about really dressing up that corner unit? A glass curtain wall box or something?



#52 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:34 AM

You know, at bad as that looks, it can be fixed with some type of trellis thing at the top roofline.

 

screenshot-vibrantvictoria.ca 2017-01-31 11-34-56.png


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#53 aastra

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Posted 31 January 2017 - 11:47 AM

I just think the overall effect is much too ordinary/anonymous. It's standing on a prominent corner in the heart of the neighbourhood but it's trying not to be seen.


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#54 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 09 May 2017 - 12:38 PM

Plans have been revised yet again... the most recent versions are available on the city's website (warning: large file): https://tender.victo...113120735690000
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#55 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:49 PM

The plans have been revised (again):

 

newunity.JPG



#56 Nparker

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 12:57 PM

It's hard to say if there have been any improvements in the design. It's still blandtastic for a fairly high profile location.



#57 johnk

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 02:38 PM

Ho-hum.
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#58 Hotel Mike

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Posted 05 July 2017 - 03:12 PM

I guess they backed off the made up idea of "5 corners". So they're going to tear down the old church and build this prosaic, unimaginative structure? They could do much better at this location, and should be told as much by Council and the public.


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Don't be so sure.:cool:

#59 Jackerbie

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:50 AM

I see what they're trying to do with the slight change in massing. They should really consider re-cladding that tower projection in the old brick.

Untitled-2.jpg Capture3.PNG

 


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#60 Baro

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 01:35 PM

It looks shorter than the old church.  It needs some more height, more of a corner focus, and it's probably the only time I'll say it, it needs some brick.


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