Comment 90457

By Noted (anonymous) | Posted July 25, 2013 at 12:01:23

The use of the term “character” in these guidelines simply means the combination of qualities or features that distinguishes one area of the City from another. Importantly, “character” in this context should not be confused with building styles. In contrast to architectural styles, built form character refers to those qualities and features that are generally fundamental to all structures, such as height, width, volume, and proportions of openings that can be objectively identified, measured and defined…. It is not expected that new infill construction should replicate historical styles and decoration. However, new buildings must be able to demonstrate similar proportions and massing as adjacent structures as to continue the rhythm of the traditional street façade. The design of new construction is expected to address the visual relationships between the new streetscape. Building design is expected to include as a minimum consideration for: building height, setbacks, proportion, massing, size and location of openings, and materials…. Any new infill building is to be composed of a series of symmetrically placed windows arranged above the ground floor at regular intervals within a system of clearly demarcated horizontal stories and vertical bays. On the ground floor a minimum of 80% of the ground floor façade be composed of windows and doors. Windows contained within garage doors used for vehicular access will not count towards the 80% minimum…. Brick is the predominant façade material used on existing buildings within the Heritage Character Zone. Other materials have also been used either alone (stone or metal, for example) or in combination with others such as stucco or terra cotta. The exterior cladding material for the first three storeys shall be of either one or a combination of no more than two of the following materials: brick; concrete panels; stone block, stone veneer, or artificial stone; stucco; or metal and metal panels, excluding residential style aluminum siding, clapboard siding, or any variant thereof. Traditional combinations of materials are encouraged and include: brick and stone; brick and stucco; brick and terra cotta; and stone and stucco…. In addition to the design guidance provided in Section, there are further considerations for elevation treatment at a corner location where two elevations meet. A corner location provides prominent street visibility, and the treatment of the building’s corner is particularly important. Depending on the building function, the corner can be used as the main entrance, or it can be used as part of a retail area such as window display, or a restaurant patio. A building corner addressing two streets should have a compatible visual relationship between the building and its neighbours as well as the intersecting streetscape. While respecting the character of the intersecting streets, it is also important to have consistent design features and treatments along the two building facades with the appropriate scale, details, and material which enhance the pedestrian experience. Daylight triangle requirements should be met according to City’s traffic regulations. This may result in a building façade that is set back diagonally to the intersection.

IMHO, praise should not be showered on a project because it conforms to city specs. It should be evaluated on how the project partners have chosen to meet those specs.

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