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#1 2010-02-27 10:30:04

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Architect

It would seem this Professor of Planning, Robert Shipley from waterloo continues to lead the charge for the current building...or should I say ruin...to be repurposed as a new something for the university.

I have worked with numerous planners over the years and there are really two types, the dreamers and the ones that are rooted in reality. This guy is a dreamer. Usually the dreamer comes up with plans that are so far over the top it is amazing...people oooo and ahhh over the concept drawings....that is until someone mentions the cost. Then many see reality and fall by the wayside. Some of course remain and damn the cost and practicality we must have this dream!

There are lots of dreams around and most left the taxpayer with one hell of a hang over. The olympic stadium in Montreal is one that comes immediately to mind (Montreal is still paying it off some 35 years later), Skydome cost at some 700 milion and sold to a consortium years later when all the projections of revenue didn't materialize...sale price was less than $50 million if I recall.

Detroits "people mover" elevated rail system. Virtually worthless, but cost hundreds of millions. London Ont's convention centre..constantly running a deficit, under sized and unable to compete...yet it was a dream with grand plans.

There are success stories of dreams of planners and officals that did work, but they are so far out numbered by the failures that it is over whelming.

The City has been saddled with this property as an eyesore and a crumbling ruin for a decade now. Now we own it again and there is a viable plan to redevelop the property into a place that will actually add value to the city.

We have had enough "dreams" on that site Mr. Shipley...now it is time for some reality. I stood in the parking lot of the Parlour the other evening and looked at the crumbling mass of that building. Roof half missing, rusted steel convered in lead paint everwhere, grey.brown concrete walls...crumbling. No windows, no doors. I tried to see the architectural merit in the building and could not. I tried to see it as a university building full of people and could not for the life of me see that either.

Sure there is a nostalgic bit that is there, then we could get that way over just about any building and try to save it. The silverwoods barns on Albert st. were certainly unique and held a nostalgic look back in time...perhaps we shoud have saved them. We didn't because frankly they just didn't have any merit and saving them was just not practical for anything. That is of course the issue with whats left of the old CNR shops.

It is funny actually when looking at the title of this thread "cooper site".... most people in Stratford don't even relate this to the CNR...they relate it to the last employer that used it, a company from the US that built turbines.

I live in Stratford Mr. Shipley and I like the direction the city is taking. When you move here and have a stake in the outcome then you can have something to say, until then BUTT OUT.

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#2 2010-02-27 20:48:55

Blueline
Member
Registered: 2008-06-25
Posts: 191

Re: Architect

Steel wrote:

I have worked with numerous planners over the years and there are really two types, the dreamers and the ones that are rooted in reality. This guy is a dreamer. Usually the dreamer comes up with plans that are so far over the top it is amazing...people oooo and ahhh over the concept drawings....that is until someone mentions the cost. Then many see reality and fall by the wayside. Some of course remain and damn the cost and practicality we must have this dream!

Robert Shipley is quoted as saying  "For its part I think the city should carefully consider and understand that reusing the existing structures makes financial sense. I believe the numbers are there to argue that case and there are many architects who can make those savings a reality." 

This is in stark contrast to the impression that you are trying to paint Mr. Steel.
I think it could be alot cheaper to resuse portions of this  building then trying to demolish and excavate foundations that support a structure that was built to lift and move massive locomotives.  The scale of this building is much grander than just an old warehouse and demolition cost will also be greater than normal. 

I can totally envision a very cool functional space for the university, incoporating portions of this structure.(such as a scaled down version of BCE place in Toronto)  Just 'cause you don't see it doesn't mean an opportunity is not there to create something that is both forward looking while respecting the past. 

I'm surprised at how proudly you wear your lack of vision.
Steel, I think think the saga of Larry has just worn you down.  At this point you just seem impatient to get construction started and that has clearly clouded you judgement.

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#3 2010-02-27 21:05:48

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

Blueline wrote:

Steel wrote:

I have worked with numerous planners over the years and there are really two types, the dreamers and the ones that are rooted in reality. This guy is a dreamer. Usually the dreamer comes up with plans that are so far over the top it is amazing...people oooo and ahhh over the concept drawings....that is until someone mentions the cost. Then many see reality and fall by the wayside. Some of course remain and damn the cost and practicality we must have this dream!

Robert Shipley is quoted as saying  "For its part I think the city should carefully consider and understand that reusing the existing structures makes financial sense. I believe the numbers are there to argue that case and there are many architects who can make those savings a reality." 

This is in stark contrast to the impression that you are trying to paint Mr. Steel.
I think it could be alot cheaper to resuse portions of this  building then trying to demolish and excavate foundations that support a structure that was built to lift and move massive locomotives.  The scale of this building is much grander than just an old warehouse and demolition cost will also be greater than normal. 

I can totally envision a very cool functional space for the university, incoporating portions of this structure.(such as a scaled down version of BCE place in Toronto)  Just 'cause you don't see it doesn't mean an opportunity is not there to create something that is both forward looking while respecting the past. 

I'm surprised at how proudly you wear your lack of vision.
Steel, I think think the saga of Larry has just worn you down.  At this point you just seem impatient to get construction started and that has clearly clouded you judgement.

Ahh...But Blue...they never said they were going to remove the foundations...in fact they said that would be the base for the parking lot.

And yes Shipley says the current building could hold the volume of 2 westminster abbeys....considering the initial building is all of 45,000 sq ft....what would you like to do with the other 1,000,000 sq. ft?

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#4 2010-02-27 21:24:01

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

Blueline wrote:

I can totally envision a very cool functional space for the university, incoporating portions of this structure.(such as a scaled down version of BCE place in Toronto)  Just 'cause you don't see it doesn't mean an opportunity is not there to create something that is both forward looking while respecting the past. 

I'm surprised at how proudly you wear your lack of vision.
Steel, I think think the saga of Larry has just worn you down.  At this point you just seem impatient to get construction started and that has clearly clouded you judgement.

Blue....there is no lack of vision here...at all. Scaled down BCE place would not work...t would have to be scaled UP....the hall your refer to would be lost in the structure thats left on St. Patrick st.

I have been involved in the rehabilitation of dozens of older buildings and with out question every one of them could have been knocked down and built new for far far less money than it cost to refurb them. They were however architectural valuable and part of an overall city scape that made refurbishment a good choice, dispite the cost.

The barn on St. Patrick is not that. Sure, if you had use for a multi-million square foot development under one roof, that might, and I do say "might" give this pause for consideration. The university even in its largest incarnation would never even come close to filling that space. So what do you do with the rest?....Larry had water parks, and all manner of things....

What do you propose we do with it Blue?....what would you fill that massive crumbling space with?......let us know please....

And before you answer...remember this.....the cost and benefits have to balance. Spending $75 million to park cars indoors doesn't cut it.

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#5 2010-02-28 13:34:53

Blueline
Member
Registered: 2008-06-25
Posts: 191

Re: Architect

Ummm....Steel...If you reread my post you will see I said that I could see using "A PORTION"  of the existing building.  So to answer your question a large chunk of the  building could be demolished and only a portion of the existing facade could be used much the way portions of the old postal building were preserved at the Air Canada Centre.

I still think you lack vision.

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#6 2010-02-28 14:17:26

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

Blueline wrote:

Ummm....Steel...If you reread my post you will see I said that I could see using "A PORTION"  of the existing building.  So to answer your question a large chunk of the  building could be demolished and only a portion of the existing facade could be used much the way portions of the old postal building were preserved at the Air Canada Centre.

I still think you lack vision.

Ahh...now we begin to distill this down to where we are only talking about a portion of the existing facade. Far different from your orginal theme of 'reusing the building" and certainly something that is done successfully in many projects. The Bank of Canada in Ottawa has its origanal building encased in a new one. The hockey hall of fame, an old bank branch, the same way at BCE place, the old toronto stock exchange facade on Bay, the ACC and the postal terminal. All fine examples of what you propose. And whats best is they all work.

That is indeed what we did with a number of buildings in the development I spoke of earlier. The building itself was not used just a part of it that was visable to the street scape or had true architectural merit.

So ultimately you support demolishing the majority of the old crumbling structure and keeping a small facade of the old building, made to be blended into the new building. Not a bad idea and certainly one I would support as I have utilized that myself.

Here is a problem though. The scale of the facades mentioned above and the end resulting building allowed for this. With only 45,000 sq. ft. for the new building the scale of the old facade is out of wack with what you need to build. ie: giant facade and small building. As it is the facade of the old shops exceeds the allowable height of a building in Downtown....which is 10 metres. So I guess we will be off to the OMB as someone objects to the "skyscraper" being constructed downtown.

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#7 2010-02-28 14:33:08

Blueline
Member
Registered: 2008-06-25
Posts: 191

Re: Architect

Steel wrote:

Blueline wrote:

Ummm....Steel...If you reread my post you will see I said that I could see using "A PORTION"  of the existing building.  So to answer your question a large chunk of the  building could be demolished and only a portion of the existing facade could be used much the way portions of the old postal building were preserved at the Air Canada Centre.

I still think you lack vision.

Ahh...now we begin to distill this down to where we are only talking about a portion of the existing facade. Far different from your orginal theme of 'reusing the building" and certainly something that is done successfully in many

I didn't change my thought....you just misread.  Please go back a reread my original post.....again....I said "Portion" Nice try on making it look like I waivered on my original thought because the mighty Steel questioned me.

This property is zoned C3-2.  Section 14.2.4. of the Zoning By laws states the Maximum Building height for this property is 15m or just shy of 50 feet.

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#8 2010-02-28 14:54:17

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

To qualify the project I have been speaking of. The property and buildings are part of the old colonial heart of Recife Brasil. The property is 5.2 acres on the harbour overlooking the south atlantic ocean. It consisted of 3 dry storage warehouses, a central square, some vacant land and an old water tower. Recife has a metro population of approximately 3 million and is the economic heart of the north east of Brasil 8 degrees south of the equator. Recife's historic central area was burned to the ground in a fire in the late 1800's. It was rebuilt in a blend of Parisian and South Amercian colonial styles in the last part of the 19th and very early 20th century. One of its unique features is the fact that it is on an island at the confluence of 3 rivers and fronts on the old harbor.

The central area began to decay with the decline of the sugar industry and was more or less decaying much as the ruin in St. Patrick was. Many of the buildings were condemed and reverted to city ownership. Aside from a couple of high rises the downtown was well into decline and virtually abandoned in the evening. In the mid 1990's a group of investors bought all the buildings on one street. They restored the facades, repainted in tradtional colours and gutted the structures behind them. Today that street is a hub of night life with cafes, bars and night clubs. It success drove other businesses to refurbish and open on near by streets.

In the early part of the 2000's the state and city created an economic recovery zone to attract high tech business to the core. The city gave the companies the building in exchange the company would restore the facade and locate there. Microsoft, Intell, Dell, several software firms of some renown and so on are indeed revitalizing this area.

The section of proeprty on the harbor was left and frankly Brasilian developers all wanted to demolish the warehouses....and built high rises (there are 1500 buildings in Recife that exceed 15 floors). The state that ended up controlling that land wanted none of that. They had no proposals and that was after a world wide search. We approached them with a plan that saved one warehouse and converted it to a general purpose hall for the city, dedicated the central square to the city and opened the dock frontage to the public. The remaining two warehouses were leveled and the resulting buildings are 3.5 floors on the same foot print and mixe use. The vacant property has been sold to a hotel developer and the water access to a marina developer.

Happy to send the PPT that was used for the presentation for the project to whom ever would lie to see it.

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#9 2010-03-01 10:44:34

Blueline
Member
Registered: 2008-06-25
Posts: 191

Re: Architect

Steel wrote:

To qualify the project I have been speaking of. The property and buildings are part of the old colonial heart of Recife Brasil. The property is 5.2 acres on the harbour overlooking the south atlantic ocean. It consisted of 3 dry storage warehouses, a central square, some vacant land and an old water tower. Recife has a metro population of approximately 3 million and is the economic heart of the north east of Brasil 8 degrees south of the equator. Recife's historic central area was burned to the ground in a fire in the late 1800's. It was rebuilt in a blend of Parisian and South Amercian colonial styles in the last part of the 19th and very early 20th century. One of its unique features is the fact that it is on an island at the confluence of 3 rivers and fronts on the old harbor.

The central area began to decay with the decline of the sugar industry and was more or less decaying much as the ruin in St. Patrick was. Many of the buildings were condemed and reverted to city ownership. Aside from a couple of high rises the downtown was well into decline and virtually abandoned in the evening. In the mid 1990's a group of investors bought all the buildings on one street. They restored the facades, repainted in tradtional colours and gutted the structures behind them. Today that street is a hub of night life with cafes, bars and night clubs. It success drove other businesses to refurbish and open on near by streets.

In the early part of the 2000's the state and city created an economic recovery zone to attract high tech business to the core. The city gave the companies the building in exchange the company would restore the facade and locate there. Microsoft, Intell, Dell, several software firms of some renown and so on are indeed revitalizing this area.

The section of proeprty on the harbor was left and frankly Brasilian developers all wanted to demolish the warehouses....and built high rises (there are 1500 buildings in Recife that exceed 15 floors). The state that ended up controlling that land wanted none of that. They had no proposals and that was after a world wide search. We approached them with a plan that saved one warehouse and converted it to a general purpose hall for the city, dedicated the central square to the city and opened the dock frontage to the public. The remaining two warehouses were leveled and the resulting buildings are 3.5 floors on the same foot print and mixe use. The vacant property has been sold to a hotel developer and the water access to a marina developer.

Happy to send the PPT that was used for the presentation for the project to whom ever would lie to see it.

Firsty, this sounds like a wonderful project and one that would be very rewarding to work on...definately a feather in your cap.

This being said, I'm not really sure what the point of that post was.  Are you trying to prove you do have vision?  Are you trying to prove that this type of development does work? (I'm already in agreement) Are you trying a bit of puffery to validate your points or just obfuscate the facts about misreading my earlier posts and having incorrect building height information.
Sorry for being a harsh but your post truly came out of left field.  Perhaps it was just a nice story but it confused me since it actually was counter to your earlier points.

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#10 2010-03-01 13:54:10

rankinfile
Moderator
Registered: 2007-12-28
Posts: 843

Re: Architect

Steel wrote:

Blueline wrote:

Ummm....Steel...If you reread my post you will see I said that I could see using "A PORTION"  of the existing building.  So to answer your question a large chunk of the  building could be demolished and only a portion of the existing facade could be used much the way portions of the old postal building were preserved at the Air Canada Centre.

I still think you lack vision.

Ahh...now we begin to distill this down to where we are only talking about a portion of the existing facade. Far different from your orginal theme of 'reusing the building" and certainly something that is done successfully in many projects. The Bank of Canada in Ottawa has its origanal building encased in a new one. The hockey hall of fame, an old bank branch, the same way at BCE place, the old toronto stock exchange facade on Bay, the ACC and the postal terminal. All fine examples of what you propose. And whats best is they all work.

That is indeed what we did with a number of buildings in the development I spoke of earlier. The building itself was not used just a part of it that was visable to the street scape or had true architectural merit.

So ultimately you support demolishing the majority of the old crumbling structure and keeping a small facade of the old building, made to be blended into the new building. Not a bad idea and certainly one I would support as I have utilized that myself.

Here is a problem though. The scale of the facades mentioned above and the end resulting building allowed for this. With only 45,000 sq. ft. for the new building the scale of the old facade is out of wack with what you need to build. ie: giant facade and small building. As it is the facade of the old shops exceeds the allowable height of a building in Downtown....which is 10 metres. So I guess we will be off to the OMB as someone objects to the "skyscraper" being constructed downtown.

Well, this issue is really .."So ultimately you support demolishing the majority of the old crumbling structure and keeping a small facade of the old building, made to be blended into the new building. Not a bad idea...."

This fact in the case of this building, there is virtually no value in the facade---no architectural significance, no interesting values.  In this case the only "value" is the internal structural steel frame which once supported the cranes, and the supports for the roof.  Perhaps, just perhaps, SOME of this supporting structure, and the thick concrete floor, might be of some value in incorporating into a new building.  A portion perhaps---but the vlue of incorporating any of the facade into a new building is in my humble opinion, a non-starter.

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#11 2010-03-01 14:46:26

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

rankinfile wrote:

Steel wrote:

Blueline wrote:

Ummm....Steel...If you reread my post you will see I said that I could see using "A PORTION"  of the existing building.  So to answer your question a large chunk of the  building could be demolished and only a portion of the existing facade could be used much the way portions of the old postal building were preserved at the Air Canada Centre.

I still think you lack vision.

Ahh...now we begin to distill this down to where we are only talking about a portion of the existing facade. Far different from your orginal theme of 'reusing the building" and certainly something that is done successfully in many projects. The Bank of Canada in Ottawa has its origanal building encased in a new one. The hockey hall of fame, an old bank branch, the same way at BCE place, the old toronto stock exchange facade on Bay, the ACC and the postal terminal. All fine examples of what you propose. And whats best is they all work.

That is indeed what we did with a number of buildings in the development I spoke of earlier. The building itself was not used just a part of it that was visable to the street scape or had true architectural merit.

So ultimately you support demolishing the majority of the old crumbling structure and keeping a small facade of the old building, made to be blended into the new building. Not a bad idea and certainly one I would support as I have utilized that myself.

Here is a problem though. The scale of the facades mentioned above and the end resulting building allowed for this. With only 45,000 sq. ft. for the new building the scale of the old facade is out of wack with what you need to build. ie: giant facade and small building. As it is the facade of the old shops exceeds the allowable height of a building in Downtown....which is 10 metres. So I guess we will be off to the OMB as someone objects to the "skyscraper" being constructed downtown.

Well, this issue is really .."So ultimately you support demolishing the majority of the old crumbling structure and keeping a small facade of the old building, made to be blended into the new building. Not a bad idea...."

This fact in the case of this building, there is virtually no value in the facade---no architectural significance, no interesting values.  In this case the only "value" is the internal structural steel frame which once supported the cranes, and the supports for the roof.  Perhaps, just perhaps, SOME of this supporting structure, and the thick concrete floor, might be of some value in incorporating into a new building.  A portion perhaps---but the vlue of incorporating any of the facade into a new building is in my humble opinion, a non-starter.

Rank....agreed....Blue is in favour and so am I of demolishing the old structure. Blue seems to think there is some value to the facade or at least a part of it.

I do not and it would appear neither do you. It is grey concrete slabs which have no architectural merit whatsoever. From a modern perspective this is a concrete tilt-up industrial building. What people miss here is that they really don't want the building itself.....they want the memory of what the building was at one point. That point is only saved now in photos....not a rotting structure with literally no merit.

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#12 2010-03-01 14:54:26

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

Blueline wrote:

Firsty, this sounds like a wonderful project and one that would be very rewarding to work on...definately a feather in your cap.

This being said, I'm not really sure what the point of that post was.  Are you trying to prove you do have vision?  Are you trying to prove that this type of development does work? (I'm already in agreement) Are you trying a bit of puffery to validate your points or just obfuscate the facts about misreading my earlier posts and having incorrect building height information.
Sorry for being a harsh but your post truly came out of left field.  Perhaps it was just a nice story but it confused me since it actually was counter to your earlier points.

You questioned my pedigree in knowing what I am talking about with regard to redevelopment of older buildings. As noted....your knowledge appears limited. Nice idea about the facade..and certainly useful....but it really doesn't have merit to the redevelopment of this site.

Like it don't like...doesn't matter. The ruin needs to go. it does not have any merit....

Call it puffery call it what you want....no worries

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#13 2010-03-01 15:30:48

Green
Member
Registered: 2008-10-28
Posts: 92

Re: Architect

Little to zero architectural value and the heritage value is not in the bricks and mortar. Demolish it, place a plaque on the site and lets look forward.

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#14 2010-03-01 16:54:20

Steel
Member
Registered: 2008-02-16
Posts: 2521

Re: Architect

Green wrote:

Little to zero architectural value and the heritage value is not in the bricks and mortar. Demolish it, place a plaque on the site and lets look forward.

Here here

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