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APPROVED
Beacon Arms
Uses: rental, townhome
Address: 505 Quadra Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Urban core
Storeys: 6
Beacon Arms is a six-storey, 83-unit purpose-built rental complex with four three-level townhomes along the 50... (view full profile)
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[Fairfield] Beacon Arms | Rentals | 6-storeys | Approved


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#41 AllseeingEye

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:08 PM

The Quadra Street side looks like a medical office building. Ick....



#42 Mike K.

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:13 PM

It absolutely does. That was my first thought.

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#43 Nparker

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:22 PM

I fail to see why these changes were made to the Quadra Street building.



#44 Kapten Kapsell

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 03:36 PM

I fail to see why these changes were made to the Quadra Street building.


The changes must have been made in response to input from city planning staff. It’s unlikely that the changes are a result of neighbourhood pressure; the last community meeting for this project was held ca. May 2017.

#45 aastra

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:01 PM

 

The Quadra Street side looks like a medical office building. Ick....

 

Totally disagree. I was thinking it looks like a warehouse. Ick...


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#46 aastra

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:09 PM

I don't understand why this keeps on happening.

 

Hey, developer, you know how your proposal is? Can you make it look more blunt and massive? Can you introduce some long horizontal lines? Can you make those horizontal lines really wide and strong? You know, to emphasize the bluntness and the massiveness? Summary: can you strip away everything that anyone might like about the building?


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#47 Bob Fugger

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:17 PM

I think that City staff and council were worried that the proposal was moving along too quickly and didn't want to raise expectations that the "90% of developments are approved in six to eight months" was actually a thing.  So City staff decided to "add value."


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#48 AllseeingEye

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:27 PM

I don't understand why this keeps on happening.

 

Hey, developer, you know how your proposal is? Can you make it look more blunt and massive? Can you introduce some long horizontal lines? Can you make those horizontal lines really wide and strong? You know, to emphasize the bluntness and the massiveness? Summary: can you strip away everything that anyone might like about the building?

I would just call it what it (now) is: wretchedly uninspired, institutional looking and unabashedly dull. It reminds me of a larger version of some of those dreadful CSV 1960's-era 3-4 floor 'box' apartments. Seriously, what happened here - the original proposal was a grand slam by comparison and infinitely more aesthetically pleasing.


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#49 Nparker

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:32 PM

...Hey, developer,...Can you make it look more blunt and massive? Can you introduce some long horizontal lines? Can you make those horizontal lines really wide and strong? You know, to emphasize the bluntness and the massiveness...

Call me paranoid, but I feel like there is a concerted effort in the CoV planning department to encourage even relatively short buildings to seem even shorter by emphasizing horizontal elements over vertical ones. After all, prior to these latest revisions this building looked exactly like one of those nasty Vancouver skyscrapers.  :whyme:



#50 aastra

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Posted 02 August 2018 - 04:35 PM

Some superficial resemblances to the office building over by Vic General...

 

As suburban office blocks go it's not ugly. It does the job. But I don't think I understand why this would be the sort of 21st-century architecture that Victorians would want facing into Beacon Hill Park. There's nothing picturesque about it. There's nothing very interesting about it. It's just very drab and blah.


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#51 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 11:05 AM

I have to question what value the Advisory Design Panel actually contributes to local architecture. From ANALOGUE's August 20th letter to the City:

...We heard from both Staff and Advisory Design Panel that they would like to see the massing of the building broken up and reduced. We addressed these comments by stepping-back the 6th floor of the proposed building...which now appears as a 5-storey building from the street...The exterior cladding on the upper floors was horizontally banded to reinforce the perception of lower heightAnother comment from Staff and Advisory Design Panel was that given the length of the site, they wanted to see some design measures to mitigate the perception of length...

In other words, to appease the ADP, measures implemented to reduce the appearance of height increased the appearance of length.  :whyme: 

https://tender.victo...919144406722728



#52 Jackerbie

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 11:19 AM

I have to question what value the Advisory Design Panel actually contributes to local architecture. From ANALOGUE's August 20th letter to the City:

 

 

...We heard from both Staff and Advisory Design Panel that they would like to see the massing of the building broken up and reduced. We addressed these comments by stepping-back the 6thfloor of the proposed building...which now appears as a 5-storey building from the street...The exterior cladding on the upper floors was horizontally banded to reinforce the perception of lower heightAnother comment from Staff and Advisory Design Panel was that given the length of the site, they wanted to see some design measures to mitigate the perception of length...

In other words, to appease the ADP, measures implemented to reduce the appearance of height increased the appearance of length.  :whyme: 

https://tender.victo...919144406722728

 

The good ol' competing policies of wanting developments to look like several smaller infill projects while requiring lot consolidation to meet size and setback requirements :|


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#53 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 11:25 AM

...requiring lot consolidation to meet size and setback requirements :|

In this situation, did the the lot consolidation have much impact on the overall form? I am thinking of the proposed "tower" building - rather than the proposed townhouses.



#54 aastra

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:20 PM

 

The exterior cladding on the upper floors was horizontally banded to reinforce the perception of lower height.

 

Methinks it's well past time to revisit this recently sanctified cow re: trying to make things look shorter than they are.

 

Just to clarify what I'm getting at here:

- height restrictions are one thing (love them or hate them, they produce genuinely shorter buildings than would otherwise be the case),

- design impairments that aim to fool people into thinking short buildings are shorter than they actually are something else altogether

 

Seriously, if a building is already short then why should there be any effort to make it appear shorter still? What's the end game? Would the ideal design fool people into thinking that a building was invisible? Or that it was a hole in the ground?

 

I really think the proverbial train might have gone off the rails at some point. Fifty years ago it was the new highrise towers that were the menace. Ten or fifteen years ago it was the new junior highrise buildings that were the menace. Today it's the new lowrise buildings with single-digit floor counts that are the menace (this Beacon Arms project, the Cook Street village project, the truth centre project on Fort Street, Northern Junk, the custom house project, the Mason Street project, the residences at the Empress, etc.).

 

By definition a residential lowrise building that has a single-digit floor count is not going to be tall. No additional measures should be necessary to further deceive people. Take the effort and energy that you waste fretting about height and focus it on the design, for crying out loud. Always ask, "Why would someone bother to take a picture of this building?"

 

The answer will never be, "Because it's short," or "Because it looks shorter than it actually is."

 

I mean, what next? Maybe every new building should have a banner on it that reads, "This building is not tall. You can go about your business. Move along."


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#55 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:35 PM

Very well said aastra.  :thumbsup:



#56 aastra

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:35 PM

How about this part?

 

 

...we heard from the community that they desired a more traditional approach to the architecture. Our initial submission weighed heavily towards that aesthetic.

 

However, feedback from Advisory Design Panel suggested a desire for a more contemporary approach.

 

In order to balance the views of the community and the Advisory Design Panel, this most recent submission maintains many of the elements of traditional architecture, but introduces modern elements applied in a more
transitional way.

 

This is accomplished by maintaining enduring materials such as brick along the base of the proposed building but introducing lighter materials such as Hardi-Panel to the top.



#57 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:37 PM

I guess the ADP makes no pretenses that it represents the community's views.



#58 Nparker

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:39 PM

 

...introducing lighter materials such as Hardi-Panel to the top...

There is NEVER a justification for hardi-panel in anything other than a single-family suburban home. It just looks cheap.


Edited by Nparker, 24 August 2018 - 12:39 PM.


#59 Mattjvd

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:40 PM

Why does the ADP even exist? Put general architectural guidelines in the OCP, if city staff feels an application is counter to the OCP, ask for revisions. If not? The development proceeds. 

 

This incessant nit-picking is ridiculous. 



#60 aastra

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Posted 24 August 2018 - 12:59 PM

It seems to be the mechanism for introducing arbitrary moderation to everything. If an edge is sharp, the ADP will make it less sharp. Extremes will be dialed back, etc. Give us your outstanding work and we'll make it more average.

 

I'm being a jerk but this often seems to be the case.


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