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Belleville Terminal Concept | Proposed


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#81 G-Man

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 07:05 PM

That area is the last area that needs open public space. I mean can't these people get creative. I swear I read something on this very website about it:

From Inner Harbour: Gem or disgrace by Thomas Guerrero published by VV September 2006


The ferry terminals on the south side of the harbour are a grouping of utilitarian buildings that service the car and passenger ferries that bring in a large portion of our city’s tourists. These buildings are not just the first buildings that many newcomers to the city see; they are also highly visible from all other sides of the harbour. Despite many years of discussion about building a new ferry terminal, nothing has come of it. Some of the countless reasons for this are lack of government funding; a pathological obsession with (still more!) studies of what should and shouldn't be built there; and an unwillingness to allow too much private sector involvement. If a hotel was included as part of the development package I would bet that we would see a new terminal in short order. I do see another option as well. What if the city proposed building a ferry terminal in conjunction with a brand new conference centre? When all the ferry terminals are included there is more than enough room to build a centre that would be a draw to the city, as well as a 21st century architectural icon. Included in this development could be a walkway that allows a connection between the Laurel Point walkway and the central causeway.


http://www.vibrantvictoria.ca/articles/0002_1.htm

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#82 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 15 August 2007 - 08:11 PM

What's the deal with the enormous public plaza in this vision? How come every time they come up with a scheme for making Victoria better, it always involves introducing yet another big awkward public space? Wouldn't an extended causeway be public space enough? There's already a ton of open space on the causeway and on the lawns of the Empress and legislature (and on the Songhees across the way).

By the way, here's a great aerial photo from [url=http://strickland.ca/flying/2003/victoria/20030224-132903.jpg:4a198]www.strickland.ca[/url:4a198]...


I just looked at that photo, and it underscores aastra's point re. "enormous public plaza": essentially, it's as though we're keeping the parking lot and just putting a different "carpet" (surface material) on it, gussying it up with some vegetation, and poof!, that's it. I mean, the new plaza looks even more agoraphobically humongous than the stupid parking lot it's replacing. Crikey, what a "vision"...


Yup.

Pike Place Market and Granville Island are loved, and they have no great big open space. They have lively commerce happening everyway you turn.
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#83 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 10:29 AM

Maybe they're expecting symphony splash attendance to double in the near future?

#84 Holden West

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:28 AM

It would be a great place to watch Symphony Splash and the various fireworks celebrations throughout the year. But that's only about eight out of 8760 hours per year.

I just don't see this space being one in which you'd want to linger. The main draws are the harbour walkway and the activity further down Belleville. This is a prime example of a space that drives people out instead of attracting them (think Centennial Square). Yule Heibel wrote about this phenomenon in a recent issue of Focus.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#85 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:29 AM

I think a cozy urban square more along the lines of Bastion Square could be good there. It's funny how Victorians tend to overthink these sorts of things. Just take the good aspects of downtown Victoria and replicate them. Don't be cute, don't look for precedent in other cities, don't try to inject an artificial suburban esthetic...make it like Victoria!

#86 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:36 AM

I just don't see this space being one in which you'd want to linger.


They all but acknowlege this fact in their concept drawings. Everybody's passing through...on foot, by bicycle, and by car. Is this what Victoria's waterfront really needs? A huge, energy-sucking space that just begs people to walk on past?

"Oh, look! A useless public space! How charming! There's nothing to draw us into it, but I sure am pleased that it's there!"



#87 Holden West

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 11:58 AM

^That depicts the drop off area between the hotel and the terminal. The big open space is further east between the terminal and the CP building. I realize this is just a rough concept, but still, if a big 1970s-style open plaza is a crucial part of the design, I smell another typical Victorian design disaster in the making.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#88 aastra

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:22 PM

I know, but it's also got a lot of useless public space tacked on to it (for example, smack in the middle of the roundabout), and when you add it all up it's actually the biggest void on the site. The footprint of the drop-off area seems to be about twice the size of the footprint of the hotel:



#89 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 16 August 2007 - 12:33 PM

Even the Kabuki Kab is empty driving through it.
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#90 Galvanized

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 11:02 AM

Expert: Look to Europe for harbour ideas

Carolyn Heiman
Times Colonist

Friday, August 17, 2007

Victoria should take a lesson from Europe when it comes to redeveloping its Inner Harbour, an international expert says.

Many European cities work hard to retain vehicle services coming into their downtown areas, said Jack Cox, president and founder of The Maritime Group, a Seattle-based company specializing in cruise, shipping, ferry and port projects.

Cox, a 35-year veteran in the maritime business, lists Sweden's Stockholm and Helsinbourg, Helsinki, Finland, and Piraeus, Greece, as port cities that accommodate car ferries into their urban core. He says Victoria would be making a mistake if it squeezed out the MV Coho to another location.

[...]
_______________________________________________________

Jack Cox, president and founder of The Maritime Group, a Seattle-based company specializing in cruise, shipping, ferry and port projects.

Cox, a 35-year veteran in the maritime business, lists Sweden's Stockholm and Helsinbourg, Helsinki, Finland, and Piraeus, Greece, as port cities that accommodate car ferries into their urban core. He says Victoria would be making a mistake if it squeezed out the MV Coho to another location.

The European ports "have gone all-out to retain these services. It enhances the charm of having ships come in and out."

Cox, who is also on the board of Black Ball Transport Inc., which operates the Coho,

If Black Ball was invited to the table then they probably would have sent this guy as a rep. I still can't figure out why as stakeholders they weren't invited?
Past President of Victoria's Flâneur Union Local 1862

#91 G-Man

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Posted 17 August 2007 - 11:15 AM

I am starting to wonder if the report left out the Coho on purpose to draw the province into the discussion. I mean with the reaction of the majority of people in Victoria to the Coho's move the Province would be crazy not to at least commit the piddly 20 million they say keeping the Coho would cost.

Of course if it just costs 20 million to keep the Coho and it brings in 60 % of the passngers to the terminal now then it seems to just make business sense to keep it there. Increase budget by 20% and you have 150% return on traffic numbers, I mean did anyone on the panel go to school?

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#92 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 06:42 PM

Vivian Smith rocks -- she hits all the right points in today's T-C commentary on the silly "blue ribbon" task force plan for Belleville Street. See [url=http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=899e6ce1-7f47-47ab-8782-c505da2b1c29:cc5c9]Words or art: Either would improve old CP terminal[/url:cc5c9]. Here are some key excerpts:

Inside Seattle's Central Library on a summer Saturday morning, local people are absorbed in content: Books, magazines, the Internet.

For the rest of us, the tourists, it's context.

Right there, bingo!, the sign of intelligent life in journalism! Yes, the locals are up to their noses in content, the visitors are savouring the context.

Please, City Council: write this on a flash card.

She continues, further down (and do click through to read the whole thing):

Not everyone loves the library's cube look [note: she is writing of the Seattle Public Library], but this is how smart cities serve taxpayers and tourists. The building combines what locals need with what travellers hope to experience: Beauty, function, respite, excitement, a sense of discovery, a sense of place and what that particular place is all about. Corporations get on board, too: Inside the library, visit the Starbucks Teen Center or the Microsoft Auditorium.

Where prime downtown space is involved, what we choose to build reflects how we feel about our community: What do we value, what do our spaces say about us?

She is absolutely spot-on: "combine what locals need with what travellers hope to experience." Yes!

Here's the bulk of the rest of Smith's article, but click through to read the whole thing...

I like to see the Coho in the harbour: I don't think the parking area is grim, as its critics insist. Let the Coho stay with all the other craft. It's a working harbour, for Pete's sake, not a movie set.

But what I care about more than the Coho is what happens to the CP building, which now houses a wax museum. Nothing shrieks "West Coast magnificence" like a wax museum, I guess.

Here is a chance to create a building that would tell visitors instantly what Victoria is about: A place where unparalleled natural beauty meets a rich (in so many ways) society.

How can we show them, and each other, that we deserve to live here?

A grand library -- the building already conveniently looks like a grand library -- imbued with the kind of boldness that inspired the Seattle library, and as reflective of its surroundings, would show the world that we take our cultural wealth seriously.

I do love libraries. But when it comes to celebrating place, artists win, hands down. Think of how Emily Carr captured the drama and vibrancy of our rainforests -- and then think of the dull little room where a bit of her work sits at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria on Moss Street, too far for any tourist to walk anyway. Picture how E.J. Hughes brought his beloved Cowichan Valley and nearby coast to life for 50 years. The bulk of what the public can see of his original work is a ferry ride away, in Vancouver.

(...)(snip)

We are a green jewel, a capital city on a wildly beautiful island. A building to honour our words or art, it doesn't matter which. Just make it for us to use, make it spectacular, and the tourists will love it too.


Here's the full link again: [url=http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=899e6ce1-7f47-47ab-8782-c505da2b1c29:cc5c9]Words or art: Either would improve old CP terminal[/url:cc5c9].

Too bad the Times-Colonist doesn't have more reporters/ journalists of Smith's intelligence and calibre...
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#93 G-Man

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:15 PM

Great article but god help if they even think for a moment of putting the library outside the downtown. I mean that would be ridiculous.

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#94 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 07:59 PM

^ No, I think that misses her key point, which is that we need something "there" (on that street) for us -- the Inner Harbour is the setting for our content, while for the visitors/ tourists, it's context. In some ways, that's what Jeremy Harris from Honolulu was saying when he spoke at City Hall ...?last year?

She clearly states that she likes art galleries even better than libraries: she's not saying "build a Seattle Public Library down there." She's not even saying "build an Emily Carr Museum down there." I think what she's saying is that we don't need something down there that excludes the locals. That's the key point: give us sink-your-teeth-into content, and it will be context for the visitors: they will love it, we will use it, and it will have a chance to be <ahem> sustainable...
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#95 Caramia

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 12:02 AM

I get what you are saying - when I was a teenager we hung out on the causeway, the museum was free then, so it was our second home, along with the National Film Board library (remember that?) and the Public Library. Granted I saw more tourists at the Museum then at the National Film Board or Library, but any kind of centre of the arts and culture can take on that same utility. I'm positive these institutions combined saved me from a life of delinquency, hehehe.

Even for the tourists - when I take the clipper to Seattle and have a few hours to kill, I head straight for Pike Place Market, because it is somewhere to hang out and become part of something that the locals are doing. It oozes context, and with it a sense of temporary belonging. Public Institutions - or amenities that can include both local and tourist are gold. That can be an art gallery, a library, a college, a public market... the trick is to make it useful - an amenity that locals will love. The Coho already does cater to both tourists and locals - the Coho's low foot passenger prices make it a compelling alternative to BC Ferries for transportation off the island. I know I use it. I am sure other locals do too.

I understand the issue that the panel had, they were asked a question that they should never have been asked - how to do this without Provincial funding. I'd love to see what they could come up with if they had been asked the question they SHOULD have been asked - how do we make this a world class harbour, fitting for our province's capitol city?
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#96 G-Man

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Posted 20 August 2007 - 06:53 AM

Well I do agree that it would be great to bring local context in there. That said I think in many ways that area is lost already and no matter what is done most locals know that the Bellville strip is verboten. It would have to be something pretty original and diverse to bring in the locals. No one thing (public space, museum, art gallery) will be able to escape the tourist stamp. I beleive that you would need at least three places to make it work. So yes one could be a library or museum etc... One could actually be the terminal itself if an interior space is created that allows a person to enter and enjoy the to and fro of people, think of either terminal building in Vancouver, the train stations of Europe etc. Actually I am forgetting the name but the ferry building in San Fran could be an excellent model (embarcadero?). You have the tourist element, the local element (public mall), and you have the people moving through it. Hmm lets see if I can find some pics:







Finally a third place could be a restaurant or pub that maintains local ownership if you know what I mean. For example though tourists go to Spinnakers no local is embarrassed to go there. However how many here have been to Chandlers. So that is what I mean by that.

Just it needs to be done with a minimum of public space. Constrict the people and it will be as successful as the Causeway. I mean it is not like that is a new thing it really is only what 30 40 years old?

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#97 G-Man

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 06:59 AM

Alright I have created a very rough massing of an option for the Belleville Terminal based on the SF model. In this version rather than have ther pedestrian access move constantly along the harbour To increase security and also make for a more lively and varied walk the pathway moves through the terminal building which could be lined with cafes, shops and restaurants. In addition you will get the movement of people that are entering and leving the terminal which will add to the bustle. At the western end of the building the path leaves the indoors and emerges in a plaza between the terminal and a hotel the pathway then follows the water around the hotel and then joins up with the walkway that goes out around the Laural Point Hotel. This version would have an underground marshalling area for the Coho.

Remember this is not complete and I will add more as time permits. The modelling was done using Google Sketchup






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#98 Holden West

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 07:10 AM

Intriguing. I like that it actually seems like an attractive (not repellent) solution--a place you'd actually might like to linger inside, and that there is a refreshing absence of the dreaded BOS™ (Bleak Open Space).
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#99 Holden West

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 09:24 AM

Good letters in the paper today:

Art, music and literature could be the theme for a great city here, and we have some buildings that need inspired use, not grubby little businesses. Remember, just make it for us to use, make it spectacular ... and the tourists will come.


With such a treasure as one of the last pieces of waterfront land that is currently acting as an international gateway to Victoria, I would think the federal and provincial governments could come up with some money to develop the lands without involving a developer. Sometimes amenities have to be funded by the taxpayers but they provide a wonderful sense of enjoyment for both residents and tourists alike.


As a frequent visitor to Victoria, I guess I'll be changing my patterns a bit when the last day of the Coho comes. There are, after all, other places to go and other things to do.

You folks aren't the only place with an Imax, though I'll miss the views from the waterfront rooms at The Empress.


[Vivian Smith's] idea of creating something like Seattle's Central Library sounds wonderful. It could be a people place where young and old, rich or poor can wander and relish our West Coast magnificence.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#100 G-Man

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 10:26 AM

I am surprised by the ferocity of the NIMBY element in opposing this plan. I mean I want a new terminal and I want the Coho to stay. It sounds like a lot of people just want the status quo or bit more. I want grand architecture and brazen plans. That voice seems to be missing from every letter I read.

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