Thoughts on density…
Rize had a good point when they said that their proposal for 6.33 FSR(density) would look like a monstrosity if they weren’t allowed to increase the height. Yet even with the height of the building at 19 stories and the FSR at 5.33 the low massing looks quite agressive for the area.
Rize has us concerned about the height of this proposed mega structure, when in fact we should be just as concerned about the amount of density they are asking for. The low massing of this building will resemble a taller version of the building on Cambie St. that houses the Home Depot and Save-on-foods. And that type of low massing just doesn’t fit our neighborhood. How does a giant garage entrance with a truck supply station enhance the interest, character and walkability of Watson St? How does two levels of Commercial space with customers trying to get in-and-out of parking in the building enhance our neighbourhood?
I don’t think this is “density done well” especially if you consider that the development should be designed to compliment or enhance the neighborhood character. With a development so close to the heritage heart of Mount Pleasant and Main street I’d expect the architecture to try and compliment the historic nature of the area. Instead, all I see is glass, and a mish-mash of low cost building siding in different forms around the building to try desperately to call it “iconic”.
This is from the city of vancouver eco density pdf,
– Density Done Well, page 13
“Thus, one of the key messages of EcoDensity is that not all density is the same. Density done well - designed to complement and enhance neighbourhood character, minimize environmental impact and energy use, adapt over time with flexible form, and contribute to walkable and interesting streets – can take many forms, from the high rise towers of downtown and mid-rise buildings along commercial arterials to other, more charactersensitive density types, including…”
Certainly we need some amount of eco-density, but not at the cost of destroying the character of our neighborhood, increasing traffic and drastically altering the street level experience. This project seeks to redefine the landscape of our community, and even illustrates this by including other high-rise density buildings around the concept drawings of the building. If we want to fit into “density done well” then lets increase the density to something reasonable (around 3.0 FSR), try to maintain the character and proportion of the neighboring buildings and seek to define a great community experience. (which includes traffic, street level views, shadowing, independent small business storefront, and mixed media artist space, PUBLIC green space, and character among many more.)