Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sun/Shade & Urban Development – October 2013

The following relate to urban development and urban design in general, specific projects, and sun/shade issues. They were derived from our twitter feed ( or @SunPosition).

Tall buildings, tall order | Barrie Examiner

BARRIE, ON - Councillors gave initial approval Oct. 28 to change the Official Plan to establish a framework for the appropriate design, location and orientation of tall buildings in Barrie.

“It does not change the height limits that are enshrined in our documents,” Mayor Jeff Lehman said, “but rather how council and staff should apply them.”…

Planning staff say existing height limits in Barrie's zoning bylaw allow sufficient heights so the city can meet its intensification targets.

But there is a need for clear and concise policies to guide new tall buildings in Barrie…

They deal with reducing the visual and physical impact of height, in part with slenderer towers and better separation distances. Parking, site servicing, utilities and loading areas should be shielded from public view.

As well, tall buildings should contribute to a visually interesting city skyline.

Also to be considered are building shadowing, views and access to Kempenfelt Bay, climate impacts such as strong winds and sunlight, retail street-level activity, compatibility with the area's character and views of the Algonquin Ridge, landmarks and lookouts.

The policies are generally to deal with buildings taller than three storeys and would apply to all of Barrie…


In defence of glass towers in the city | Globe & Mail

TORONTO, ON - I like the shine, lift and futurism of numerous glazed residential towers that have dotted Toronto’s downtown cityscape in recent years.

That’s not saying all of these buildings measure up uniformly to high artistic standards. But it is saying that even the less imaginative ones often show what a beautiful, luxe and urbane material contemporary glass has become.

Nor, as I found out a couple of weeks ago, have developers run out of ways to apply glass solutions to the outfitting of high-rise buildings.

Take, for example, what is happening at Sixty Colborne, a glassy new inner-city condominium project by Peter Freed just east of Yonge Street. Four ample units stand at the corners of the complex, each with an area between about 1,000 square feet and 2,000 square feet. (Prices range from just under $705,000 to over $1.4-million.) The problem: At those prices, prospective home-owners would probably want a balcony, and none of the suites has one.

To remedy this lack, Mr. Freed is offering (for about $50,000 on top of the unit price) to modify the glass walls of the suite so they can be slid aside. The result, when the wall is fully open, will be a gap 16 feet wide and extending from floor to ceiling, which should transform a corner of the apartment into a balcony-like space…

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New condo towers planned for already clogged Rideau and King Edward | Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA, ON - Rideau Street near King Edward is already so crammed with cars that adding two 27-storey towers to an already crowded block won’t make traffic any worse, says an application to the city.

That means it wouldn’t be developer DCR Phoenix’s responsibility to pay for any changes to make the roads work any better, to accommodate the buildings it wants to construct on a property now occupied by Dworkin Furs.

The two towers would be one behind the other, one facing Rideau and one facing Besserer Street to the south, with a three-storey podium as their base. They’d have 182 condos plus four storeys of underground parking run entirely by a robot valet system that whisks cars in and out of about 100 parking spots using motorized platforms.

When you’re erecting something that big in a busy neighbourhood, you have to show what the effect of all the extra cars will be on the neighbourhood. If your new building is going to break an intersection, you’ll likely have to pay for “improvements” like road-widening or a new turn lane to deal with the traffic you’re bringing in.

In this case, DCR Phoenix’s transportation study says nothing needs to be done to the nearby streets because those that will be overloaded after the buildings go up are overloaded already…

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Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow: Chauncey development inconsistent with surrounding neighbourhoods | The Daily Iowan

IOWA CITY, IA - After filing a lawsuit to try to stop a controversial downtown Iowa City high-rise project, one local attorney hopes landing a seat on the city’s governing body will allow him to address that and a number of other prominent issues.

“At this point, it does not appear that there is any finalized contract [on the Chauncey development], so I want to make clear that I will not compromise the city’s liability if there’s a binding contract, but if there’s not, I’ll push the reset button, and I’m going to stop any part of that process that is not legally binding,” said city council candidate Rockne Cole. “We need to ensure that if they’re talking about using our tax dollars, that everyone has access to that housing, that it’s real workforce housing.”

Cole, a local attorney, and Iowa City resident since 1997, has recently caught public attention with his involvement with the Iowa Coalition Against the Shadow — an advocacy group in opposition against Moen Group’s $53 million the Chauncey development…

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SHoP architects get approval for skinny skyscraper in new york

NEW YORK, NY - SHoP architects have been given approval by the landmarks preservation commission for their 1,350-foot residential tower at 111west 57th street west in new york. working together with JDS development group, the project will see the realization of a slim residential tower and conversion of the city’s midtown landmark, the steinway building.

with the site estimated to be just shy of 45 feet (about 13 meters) wide, the slim condominium–set to soar approximately 100 feet (30 meters) above the empire state building…

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Absolute World Towers earns international skyscraper honour | Construction Canada

1. Absolute World Towers  Edvard Mahnic

MISSISSAUGA, ON - International buildings data firm Emporis has named a Greater Toronto Area (GTA) condo complex the best skyscraper built in 2012.

Absolute World Towers (Mississauga, Ont.) was chosen by an expert jury panel from more than 300 structures completed in 2012 and all exceeding 100 m (328 ft).

Designed by MAD architects and Burka Architects, the towers are 158 and 176 m (518 and 577 ft) tall, 50 and 56 storeys high, and have been nicknamed “the Marilyn Monroe buildings” for the curvaceous shape…

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Cheers, Ralph

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