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[Downtown Victoria] The Sovereign | Condos | 11-storeys | Built - completed in 2013

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#41 jklymak

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:35 PM

Hmmm, well each storey looks as big as the pickup truck parked in front. Thats a pretty short storey, or a really big truck!

#42 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:43 PM

Also, it seems the ground floor is much too short, just like it's too short on the Wave. Short ceilings on the ground floor just don't feel right in downtown Victoria, especially in the Old Town.

My reaction: everything above the third floor or so should be set back a bit. Not to be "sensitive" to the old buildings, but simply because it would look better.



#43 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:48 PM

Yep, I'd really prefer it if the blocky main section was shorter and the upper, curved portion was extended lower by two or three floors.

#44 Baro

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 03:51 PM

yeah I'd make the bottom part a little shorter than the yarow building and give it a slightly 'thicker' look to the details to match the neighbours, then have the curved section set back a bit more and be something strikingly modern but simple.

#45 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 04:48 PM

I don't think I'm crazy about the 1/4-circle thing. I thought I'd like it but it doesn't seem to match the rest of the building in those renderings.

#46 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 05:10 PM

Actually I think the design would be even better if the square portion were a bit shorter and the currved portion taller. I love the combination of old world charm meets 21st century design. I hope this one goes ahead.

#47 jklymak

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:35 PM

Also, it seems the ground floor is much too short, just like it's too short on the Wave. [/IMG]


Is the Wave really that short? The ceilings are at least 12' inside Restart Computer. Perhaps a bit more. Or are you objecting to the height of the windows, in which case I agree, they look pretty crap. (Also reflective? Whose idea was that? And on the N side of the building).



My complaint is that the renderings above look pretty compressed vertically. I repeat my question - how tall is it actually going to be?

#48 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:42 PM

Yeah, I meant how tall the windows are. This was my take on fixing the problem:



#49 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 06:49 PM

I think I like this image the best of all of them. Judging by this, it seems like it would be a pretty good fit for the Old Town:

- unique form
(in my opinion the Old Town "skyline" is all about architectural clutter - plenty of unique buildings of different shapes and sizes all packed in together, and with no single building overwhelming any of the others in terms of height or width or sheer mass)

- decently narrow at the top
(remove a couple of blocky floors and replace them with a couple of curved floors and the effect would be even more so)

- colourful
(glass and brick - the Old Town is colourful, as this image demonstrates)



#50 Rob Randall

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:37 PM

Councillor Madoff was extremely concerned about the quarter circle top. She said it clashed with the existing old town urban fabric and wanted the top changed to a rectilinear type. The architect provided slides of various local heritage buildings that weren't square but because this is Committee of the Whole the architect/developer is not allowed to present, only answer questions.

There were many examples including Rattenbury's chateau roofs, the First Church of Christ Scientist (with its huge circular roof), the Belmont Building and others. Madoff countered that the Belmonts curved bay windows were house-scaled while 608's roof was huge. Fortin and Madoff were also concerned that the sole purpose of the curved top was to provide panoramic views for the wealthy residents, that there was no aesthetic purpose behind it.

I felt Madoff was wrong. I believe modern architecture can and should contrast with heritage and it should never be deferential. That's admitting all modern architecture is unworthy of the greats from last century. What about the heritage of the future Madoff champions?

Alan Lowe used the example of I.M Pei's Louvre lobby as a good example of old and new but Pam laughingly dismissed this as irrelevant.

Ironically, this is not the first proposal for this site that envisaged a curved building. The previous design in the late 80s was proposed by Eric Charman and was called the Mozart Building. The architect was


...Alan Lowe.

"[Randall's] aesthetic poll was more accurate than his political acumen"

-Tom Hawthorne, Toronto Globe and Mail


#51 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:47 PM

I think the curve is great and I also think that Pam Madoff is dead wrong about this.

I also agree with some of the other comments here that having the rectangular portion shorter because the curved PH portion is taller (3 floors, instead of 2) is a great idea.

I think we need something in Old Town that has architectural merit and simultaneously signals that it's modern, and not some faux heritage shit.

I think I could go on, but I better stop now.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#52 Nparker

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 08:54 PM

...I also think that Pam Madoff is dead wrong about this.


I will refrain from saying how is this different from her usual point of view? Oops I said it anyway. :rolleyes:

#53 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 09:08 PM

Actually if most of the building were curved like the top 3 floors I think I'd like it better. Maybe if there was a square/rectangular podium 7 the rest was like the curved section....

#54 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 11:12 PM

Curved corners and other curved elements have been defining features on some of Victoria's finest buildings. Obviously these older buildings didn't flaunt the sweeping curves seen on modern buildings like Shutters, Aria, or this Broughton proposal, but they flaunted curves nonetheless:









Fortin and Madoff were also concerned that the sole purpose of the curved top was to provide panoramic views for the wealthy residents, that there was no aesthetic purpose behind it.


Well, good on our brave councillors for sticking it to those rich bastards! Now if we could only go back in time and chop the Empress Hotel down to a couple of stories (since the sole purpose of the upper floors was to provide views for the wealthy guests; there was no aesthetic purpose behind it).

Let's go after Craigdarroch Castle, too.

#55 aastra

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Posted 03 April 2008 - 11:19 PM

Fortin and Madoff were also concerned that the sole purpose of the curved top was to provide panoramic views for the wealthy residents, that there was no aesthetic purpose behind it.


If only there was a way to take advantage of the wealth and get some fine architecture out of it.

Is there a precedent for doing that in Victoria?

I suppose the Old Town is one precedent. Rockland would be another.

Damn. Only two.

#56 G-Man

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 06:46 AM

There is an article in the TC today that says this project conforms to zoning and does not require a public hearing, is this true???

For the record I still think they have done an awful job on the ground floor. Yet again all the councillors are gazing skyward when the biggest problem, the one that you and me and everyone else will have to look at for the rest of time is at eye level.

Sad. Because I like the building besides that.

#57 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 06:59 AM

There is an article in the TC today that says this project conforms to zoning and does not require a public hearing, is this true???

Yes. The site was rezoned over 10 years ago and then left undeveloped. When the current proponent bought the land, he bought (and paid for) the rezoning that's in place along, too. The rezone also stipulates parking and retail requirements (not sure on the details, though).

For the record I still think they have done an awful job on the ground floor. Yet again all the councillors are gazing skyward when the biggest problem, the one that you and me and everyone else will have to look at for the rest of time is at eye level.

Sad. Because I like the building besides that.

True. I think it's real idiocy to attack the curved top -- and aastra nails it with his sarcastic commentary on the councilors' alleged worry about the "wealthy residents" being the sole beneficiaries of this (IMO) superior design.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#58 Nparker

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:22 AM

Yet again all the councillors are gazing skyward when the biggest problem, the one that you and me and everyone else will have to look at for the rest of time is at eye level.


I sometimes get the feeling that certain members of City Council never actually take the time to walk the streets of Victoria. It seems like they base most of their assessments on postcards printed in the 1950s and quips from tourists they meet while travelling abroad. Lively and attractive street frontages are always secondary (or tertiary etc.) to the great boogeyman called HEIGHT.

#59 gumgum

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 08:23 AM

Proposed tower blends old, new designs
First nine storeys feature heritage style; top two would be curving contemporary
CAROLYN HEIMAN, Times Colonist
Published: Friday, April 04, 2008


#60 Caramia

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:29 AM

I'm with the crowd here. I love the curves, and wish more of the building had them. The lower half of the building though leaves me cold, and the bottom floor seems squat (might just be the renderings)

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