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UNDER CONSTRUCTION
1025 Johnson Street
Uses: rental, civic
Address: 1025 Johnson Street
Municipality: Victoria
Region: Downtown Victoria
Storeys: 12
1025 Johnson Street is a proposal to build an 12-storey mixed-use affordable rental tower along the 1000-block... (view full profile)
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[Harris Green] Johnson|Cook|Yates | Victoria No. 1 Firehall | Rentals, condos, retail, and office space | Under construction


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#641 aastra

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 12:34 PM

Again, it's the contradiction re: espousing certain faux-ideals for decades and then suddenly flipping the switch. And in this case they didn't just start turning a blind eye here and there. They allowed (encouraged) an inundation of these plain panels on several major new buildings. All of that relentless blather about architectural identity and a supposed commitment to resist widespread trends and generic styles... it was all just hot air. Victoria has gone all-in with this.

 

And the windows things isn't just about how few there are and how small they are. It's also about the style of the windows. Windows are huge contributors to the character of a building. If the windows look generic and basic then the building will also look generic and basic. If you repeat this formula on multiple buildings then congratulations, the entire city will begin to look generic and basic.

 

The windows are another one of those aspects that any legitimate design review process would be jumping all over. Wherever windows are going to be visible to the street or otherwise very obvious, they must have some personality. On the back side that few people would see, fine, go with something plain and simple. But all over? It's crazy.



#642 aastra

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 01:08 PM

Anyway, I can live with most of these buildings for now (HP2 is the most difficult one to choke down, in particular the west face, but I'll try my best to avert my eyes from the tower portion and just focus on the podium).

 

But I feel like I need to make the following points:

 

a) There needs to be a strict moratorium on the "plain panels & small windows" thing for the time being. For at least 5-10 years. Give the fad time to blow over.
 

b) Wherever the "plain panels & small windows" thing is already evident on a major building, adjacent buildings absolutely cannot be allowed to do more of it, even a little bit. For example, the future buildings on the Mazda property. That would be insanity. If ever there was a time and a place for brick cladding, or for glass curtainwall, or to experiment with the vast range of other panel colours, textures, and styles, it would be on the sites immediately adjacent to the existing bland panel-fests.


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#643 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 01:10 PM

Brick cladding and glass curtain wall might not be a possibility anymore under the Step Code. Except in luxury builds.

Edited by Victoria Watcher, 01 August 2022 - 01:10 PM.


#644 spanky123

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 01:14 PM

I will probably have to look at this building for the rest of my life, so I care what it looks like. Affordable or not, there is no excuse for ugly architecture. Visually appealing doesn't have to be expensive, but it does require some imagination on the part of the developer and the city in regards to design approvals.

For the record, I actually think the firehall building is considerably more attractive than Hudson Place 2.

 

Out of curiosity, how does this compare to the initial renderings used to get council approval?



#645 Nparker

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 01:45 PM

Out of curiosity, how does this compare to the initial renderings used to get council approval?

This sounds like the sort of research aastra just loves to perform.



#646 aastra

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 02:11 PM

I think this one looked very similar to the final product, didn't it?

 

 

Brick cladding and glass curtain wall might not be a possibility anymore under the Step Code.

 

Hey, if Los Angeles, Miami, and Toronto aren't doing anything to save to the world then I guess it's only logical that the bulk of the burden should fall on the CoV.

 

Seriously though, this nonsense doesn't seem to be anywhere near as evident in other parts of BC as it is in downtown Victoria. You can still build half-decent buildings in Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey, White Rock, Kelowna, etc.



#647 aastra

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 02:15 PM

Some September 2018 images from earlier in this thread...



#648 Nparker

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 03:40 PM

Out of curiosity, how does this compare to the initial renderings used to get council approval?

As per aastra's post, here is a rendering for the next phases of the Mazda site. 

Sep 2018.jpg

There appears to be lots of glazing and perhaps even some colour. It will be interesting to see what actually gets built.

 

ps: that grassy corner will end up being useless



#649 Matt R.

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Posted 01 August 2022 - 04:04 PM

Mod says they will have floor to ceiling windows, does that meant he walls are 24" thick?


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#650 Nparker

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 01:08 PM

I still think this building is pretty decent looking for a wide-scraper

20221105_131345.jpg

20221105_131830.jpg

And at first I couldn't figure out why the city painted this crazy pattern across the entire street. I wondered if it was some sort of bike lane maze. Then it dawned on me: it's there to alert drivers to the potential presence of emergency vehicles exiting the adjacent building.

20221105_131326.jpg


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#651 aastra

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 01:31 PM

 

I still think this building is pretty decent looking for a wide-scraper

 

For me it's more about the repetition of a similar esthetic on so many major new buildings. Any one of them by itself is no big deal. Victoria is more than large enough to tolerate a blandscraper here or a widescraper there, as we've learned over many decades. But when several large buildings of the same familiar style/appearance go up at roughly the same time, I think it's impossible that there won't be some impact on the city's overall architectural identity. Case in point: the James Bay apartment towers of the 1960s.

Heck, isn't that what the development critics always used to say about 21st-century condo buildings? Even one building, even just one example of a particular style or format, even a very small building, could wreak havoc?

But now here we are throwing caution to the wind by inserting several examples of a similar style at roughly exactly the same time.

And yet I feel like those same critics have never been as quiet about design issues as they are today.



#652 aastra

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 01:34 PM

 

For me it's more about the repetition of a similar esthetic on so many major new buildings.

 

I used to make long-winded posts on this board about the general uniqueness of major new buildings in 21st-century Victoria, and how there wasn't any real cause for alarm about the architectural trends. But during the last five years or so I've changed by tune in this regard.



#653 Barrrister

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:47 PM

Can someone point out anything that was build in the last ten years that would actually inspire awe in people. Any building that you would tell a visitor that you have to go look at this wonderful building. 

 

Just because it pays for a developers private jet does not mean the building is beautiful.



#654 BikeLaneLover

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:53 PM

To be fair, Aastra, I was quite happy with a lot of the buildings going up in the early late 2000’s and early 2010s, such as Concert’s buildings and the Belvedere. I feel like that was the height of the post-modern movement for architecture and now we’ve done a full loop back to plain old modernism.

It’ll pass with time as architects get bored with dull palettes and simple blocky shapes, but the buildings left in their wake are here to stay, sadly.
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#655 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:54 PM

Can someone point out anything that was build in the last ten years that would actually inspire awe in people. Any building that you would tell a visitor that you have to go look at this wonderful building. 

 

Just because it pays for a developers private jet does not mean the building is beautiful.

 

Well, maybe the Telus buliding will be nice.  They likely have a private jet.  Abstract and Chard and Jawl do not.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 November 2022 - 09:55 PM.


#656 Barrrister

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:56 PM

VicWatcher: So what are the building from the last ten years that are ones that will amaze our visitors. 



#657 aastra

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:57 PM

 

...I was quite happy with a lot of the buildings going up in the early late 2000’s and early 2010s, such as Concert’s buildings and the Belvedere. I feel like that was the height of the post-modern movement for architecture and now we’ve done a full loop back to plain old modernism.

 

I strongly agree. I wouldn't necessarily single out Concert's buildings but I like them all the same. In my opinion things were going really well from roughly the Shoal Point period to the late 2010s.



#658 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 09:59 PM

VicWatcher: So what are the building from the last ten years that are ones that will amaze our visitors. 

 

Well, some like the Atrium (although it's a bit over 10 years old, completed in 2010).  


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 November 2022 - 10:00 PM.


#659 Nparker

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 10:03 PM

Hudson Place One is nice. And although it's kind of being repeated to death all over downtown 1515 Douglas turned out decently.

On the other hand Hudson Place 2 is a major disappointment.
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#660 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 05 November 2022 - 10:04 PM

Hudson Place One is nice. And although it's kind of being repeated to death all over downtown 1515 Douglas turned out decently.

On the other hand Hudson Place 2 is a major disappointment.

 

Janion is nice.

 

Hopefully Northern Junk turns out well.

 

Pearl is looking OK.


Edited by Victoria Watcher, 05 November 2022 - 10:05 PM.


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