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APPROVED
930 Fort Street
Uses: condo, commercial
Address: 930 Fort Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 12
Condo units: 62 (1BR, 2BR, penthouse)
Sales status: in planning
930 Fort Street is a proposal to build a 12-storey condominium tower with ground floor retail space in downtow... (view full profile)
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[Downtown Victoria] 930 Fort Street | Condos, commercial | 12-storeys | Proposed


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#61 gstc84

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 03:07 PM

Yeesh. Just like the '70s in Victoria had virtually identical four-storey buildings going up everywhere, so the 2010s have virtually identical twelve-story buildings. Were it not for the auction house next door I would swear that image was cut and pasted from half a dozen other threads on this forum.


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#62 Nparker

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 03:13 PM

...the 2010s have virtually identical twelve-story buildings....

To be fair some of them are as tall as 15 floors. ;) Of course this is what you get when arbitrary height restrictions, unrelenting design guidelines and excessive public feedback govern every development proposal.


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#63 aastra

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:01 PM

I think we might be exaggerating again here re: 21st-century sameness. Which buildings in the works are so especially similar to this one? Off the top of my head it makes me think of the narrow building proposed beside the Mondrian on Johnson. That has to be the most similar, you think? I'd also say it has some superficial similarities to the rental tower proposed for Quadra at Johnson.

 

I'm just not seeing a half-dozen new buildings that are virtually identical to this one, is my point. But I can show you a bunch of old junior highrise buildings that are very similar to one another. Back in the 1960s & 1970s it was the differences that tended to be superficial, not the similarities.

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm right there at the front of the line calling for more variation in shapes and forms, cladding materials, rooflines, glass coverage, heights, etc. I'd even agree that the trend is shifting in the wrong direction as compared to the extremely wide range of stuff that we were seeing from the early 2000s to just a couple of years ago. But no way in heck is this place going to be virtually identical to Legato or virtually identical to 1075 Pandora or virtually identical to the big roundhouse tower or virtually identical to the Yello on Yates or virtually identical to 825 Fort, etc.

 

Victoria-OldHighriseBuildings-Montage.jpg


Edited by aastra, 06 November 2017 - 07:02 PM.


#64 RFS

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Posted 06 November 2017 - 07:34 PM

I think that’s kind of just like how all 90s cars all kind of look alike. You can’t tell when the era is current, but once some time has passed they all kind of blend together

#65 jonny

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 08:28 AM

Sure, architectural eras follow trends just like cars, clothing, electronics, etc. Fortunately, the current era is quite attractive and will age well. 

 

I actually like a lot of 70's architecture, save for much of the low-rise concrete brutalism and lack of windows that prevailed. 



#66 gstc84

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 09:36 AM

They're not bad in and of themselves, and I'm happy they're being built at all. I just wish there was more diversity, not all just glass and grey panelling.

 

I feel like the mid-2000s captured that better: I know what buildings the Wave and the Falls are from their names. I'm excited for the Jukebox because it will be so unique. A lot of buildings that have been built in the last five years, especially around the Harris Green area, are just non-descript and their names don't mean much either. 

 

Perhaps I'm overstating though. There are exceptions for sure, such as the Union. And all Abstract buildings have their own pretty definable architectural style (though I think they're generally pretty ugly too  ;) ).



#67 RFS

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:10 AM

Unique is not always good though. And if I had to guess I’d say jukebox probably won’t age well. Just too funky. But things like promontory, bayview, Juliet, the sovereign, they are all pretty timeless

#68 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:14 AM

Unique is not always good though. And if I had to guess I’d say jukebox probably won’t age well. Just too funky. But things like promontory, bayview, Juliet, the sovereign, they are all pretty timeless

 

I dunno.  I still think The Reef kicks ass, I've said it here before.  Same developers, and it's what now, 15 years old?

 

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#69 gstc84

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:32 AM

Ooh, yeah. The Reef is a great example. One of my favourites in town.



#70 Mike K.

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 10:35 AM

Same architect as the Jukebox, btw.


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#71 jonny

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:27 PM

They're not bad in and of themselves, and I'm happy they're being built at all. I just wish there was more diversity, not all just glass and grey panelling.

 

I feel like the mid-2000s captured that better: I know what buildings the Wave and the Falls are from their names. I'm excited for the Jukebox because it will be so unique. A lot of buildings that have been built in the last five years, especially around the Harris Green area, are just non-descript and their names don't mean much either. 

 

Perhaps I'm overstating though. There are exceptions for sure, such as the Union. And all Abstract buildings have their own pretty definable architectural style (though I think they're generally pretty ugly too  ;) ).

 

It's a fair critique. There’s definitely a formula out there right now for a style of 10-20 storey building that works in Victoria politically and economically. It’s a copycat game to a certain degree. Luckily, the template that’s being followed is a pretty good one (Chard’s).  

 

I would argue that having a bunch of projects that look similar or are from the same architectural vein is not necessarily a bad thing. As long as there are is enough variety of solid projects, few duds and a couple handfuls of great to outstanding projects, things will end up just fine. My concern is more around height and texture variety. 



#72 Nparker

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 04:37 PM

...There’s definitely a formula out there right now for a style of 10-20 storey building that works in Victoria politically and economically...My concern is more around height and texture variety. 

I'd really like to see someone successfully propose and build something that wasn't basically a 4-cornered vertical or horizontal box. A 20-storey curved wall or even a facade with a significant 45 degree angle would be amazing.


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#73 Mike K.

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 05:44 PM

But it would be extremely expensive. The market here can’t bear the sorts of square footage costs necesssry to make that viable.
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#74 lanforod

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:24 PM

But it would be extremely expensive. The market here can’t bear the sorts of square footage costs necesssry to make that viable.

It couldn’t. I think it certainly can now. We are at Vancouver prices from what, 8 years ago or so? Vancouver certainly has its share of unique buildings, even shorter ones (to cut off your high rise argument).
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#75 jonny

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:26 PM

The quality of building that is going up now is the stuff we only dreamt about 8 years ago.

#76 aastra

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 06:55 PM

 

But it would be extremely expensive. The market here can’t bear the sorts of square footage costs necesssry to make that viable.

 

Come on. Shutters, Aria, the serpentine building at Sayward Hill, the new building on the Selkirk waterfront, even Reflections in Langford... all of them have atypical forms/shapes. (So did that unsuccessful proposal for the apex site, need I mention it.)

 

Meanwhile, even places like Kelowna and Ottawa can build not-so-blocky towers. But Victoria can't? Victoria won't, and methinks developers are happy to oblige.


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#77 aastra

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:03 PM

Summary: striking towers are the conspicuously underrepresented element in Victoria's cityscape. Plenty of towers, plenty of striking lowrises, but very few striking towers.


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#78 aastra

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 07:14 PM

 

(So did that unsuccessful proposal for the apex site, need I mention it.)

 

And that "Jetsons" proposal beside View Towers, too. Always forget about that one.



#79 Mike K.

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 06:42 AM

We’re conflating 30-storey towers in Kelowna with 17-storey towers in Victoria, and Shutters was a very expensive building to construct and continues to have a variety of issues. Shutters and Aria were also built on huge lots where executing a curve is far more feasible than within the confines of a small lot where the priority is on maximizing square footage for units.

Look at how flat and repetitive Yaletown’s towers are. But even they have the benefit of scale to incorporate interesting roof designs and features. 95% of the towers built in Vancouver and areas, in fact, are rectangles even at the costs they’re selling for.

We also can’t look at Vancouver buildings from the 00’s and point to whatever square footage rate they were sold at. Even if sold for $800/sqft that’s $800 in 2005 dollars and all external costs were cheaper, plus the building has 350 people paying for the architecture and not 100.

It all comes down to economies of scale and costs. No architect wants to design a boring building, but too often the costs require it unless buyers want to pay double what they’re paying now (and why Customs House is going to be one heck of a building).


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#80 Nparker

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 07:12 AM

...unless buyers want to pay double what they’re paying now (and why Customs House is going to be one heck of a building).

If there's a market for Customs House then there's likely a market for architecturally interesting, if more expensive "towers" in downtown Victoria.



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