LeBetter Flats (part 1) Yellow, Brown … silver too

The NCC’s current LeBreton Flats project comes in for a lot of criticism. I think it’s mostly drive-by criticism, with all the scatter gun impreciseness and alienation implied by the term. For some time now I ask people criticizing the yellow brick buildings on the Flats if they have actually walked around them. Naah. Couldn’t bother. We even had a prominent real estate developer criticize them at at community planning meeting and He hadn’t actually been out there. Talk about shoot from the lip. Here’s some pictures that show the buildings from the street and the grounds, but not from … Continue reading LeBetter Flats (part 1) Yellow, Brown … silver too

Green Roof at College Square

The roof at Algonquin College’s new building is planted. The pic above shows the steepest part of roof, as seen from the northwest. I think the north half of the building bears a resemblance to the War Museum on LeBreton Flats. I notice the Ottawa U station will be called “Campus”; the Carleton U station is called “Carleton”; but the Algonquin College station is called “Baseline”. I think Baseline is a poor choice, since the road after which it is named is many kilometers long while the station is in one place only. Either “College Square” or “Algonquin” would be … Continue reading Green Roof at College Square

More views from the Flats

Yesterday’s post had some interior shots and eastward views from the ninth floor of Claridge’s condo tower on LeBreton Flats. Here are some shots in other directions, including the courtyards. The stair and elevator access to the public roof decks is brightly lit all night with flourescent lights. Perhaps the condo board could replace these with a 25 watt nite lite and maybe something brighter on a motion sensor that turns on for a minute then dims. The glare now must impede the view.     Continue reading More views from the Flats

Z6 grows a shell

The Z6 condo under construction at the corner of Balsam and Booth is finally showing some signs of its final look. The picture above shows the brickwork on the Balsam side. It is considerably less-detailed than promised in the advertising picture, but that’s just quibbling. The building is a breath of fresh air on Booth Street and in the centre of the neighborhood which dearly needs a shot in the arm, a visible testimony that someone has faith in the community’s future. The remaining yellow panels will be clad in various metal sidings. The building appears to have an interesting mix … Continue reading Z6 grows a shell

Pantone colour this building

I vaguely recall taking some pleasure when the new construction trades building was proposed for Algonquin College, as it has large green (planted) roof areas and a colourful exterior. Each visit to the College Station at Baseline and Woodroffe proved disappointing, as the building seemed to grow uglier each month. I know, I know, it’s reckless to knock it before it is finished. But where were the coloured windows? I checked out the building rendering on display in the front  window of the architect’s offices on Slater Street, and the windows were not colourful, just bland ole’ gray. Chalk up another victory … Continue reading Pantone colour this building

Thatched roof on the Beaver

Make no mistake, the buildings are tightly packed in on the Beaver Barracks site. Every inch counts, including the roofs. There are some large roof patios. The railings are made of glass, to maximize the views and break the wind. Most of the roof is planted with sedums and grasses in shallow planter beds. In addition to the building’s planters, there are planter boxes for use by tenants, and even a potting shed/room with running water.   Also the roof has access to the top of the “round” turret that graces the south-east side of the building. Thus far, the room … Continue reading Thatched roof on the Beaver

Greenwalled

For several years now property managers, researchers, and environmentalists have been struggling to develop workable green walls. Most of the ones I have seen pictures of or visited have been of the “ragged” or bushy style, with the vertical plant walls containing a variety of plants densely packed into the vertical frame. The photo above is the new plant wall in Minto Place. You can see the east wall of the Minto Place Hotel through the skylight above. This greenwall is much more formal than any I have seen before. Philodendrium type plants predominate. I could not identify any blooming … Continue reading Greenwalled

Greenwalled

For several years now property managers, researchers, and environmentalists have been struggling to develop workable green walls. Most of the ones I have seen pictures of or visited have been of the “ragged” or bushy style, with the vertical plant walls containing a variety of plants densely packed into the vertical frame. The photo above is the new plant wall in Minto Place. You can see the east wall of the Minto Place Hotel through the skylight above. This greenwall is much more formal than any I have seen before. Philodendrium type plants predominate. I could not identify any blooming … Continue reading Greenwalled

Greenroof on Gloucester Street

Two blocky apartment towers, one belonging to City Living and the other CCOC share a common podium made up of a city parking garage with entrances on opposite streets. It’s hard to tell from the ground how well the greenspace is doing on the roof of the tower(s) but the trees on the parking garage roof terrace that joins the two towers is obviously thriving. With no south exposure, and a difficult above ground location, this demonstrates that green roofs can thrive in difficult urban environments. Continue reading Greenroof on Gloucester Street

Greenroofs – CWM

The bottom photo shows the lower roof of the Cdn War Museum green roof. The grass is green. Further up the slope, beyond the admin offices with the gorgeous views of the River, the green roof is decidedly brown. – There is a N/S bicycle and foot path up the centre point of the museum which takes you to the roof and down the other side. The views are interesting. The path is supposedly open whenever the museum is open (there is a locked gate other times) but I often see it locked mid-day. If you are lucky and see … Continue reading Greenroofs – CWM

Small Lot Water Retention

1.gravel fill 2.vegetation coverage 3. front yard hosta on red stone mulch 4.pea stone driveway 5.permeable pavement patio 6.ye old water barrel 7.gravel drip line along garage I think it is possible to retain almost all of the water that lands on a lot. The biggest benefits come easiest: reduce impermeable paved areas, provide soft areas to absorb rain, store rain on site. – The above photos all come from my 29×100 downtown lot. The lot line is less than 2 feet from the city sidewalk. Photo one shows a retaining wall under the fence at the back lot line, … Continue reading Small Lot Water Retention

Landscaping resumes at Claridge’s Condo

I figured that Claridge might never landscape its project on LeBreton Flats. But in the last few weeks, a lot has happened. Sod appeared on the west side of Lett Street (right side of picture 2) in front of the Beirut-style bomb crater. And on Friday, some rather large trees appeared in the front lawn of the building, along the sidewalk. Compare the size of the new trees to the ones planted a few months ago along the north side of the building, shown on the left in picture 2. _ Picture 1 is of the rear yard, or courtyard … Continue reading Landscaping resumes at Claridge’s Condo

Green Roof – Queen Elizabeth Towers

There are green roofs over the parking garage on the north side of the building (shown) and the south side. Both are about 3-5 floors above street grade. The green roof certainly improves the view from the condos. This particular roof does not seem to have pedestrian amenities – no flowers, benches, minimal paths. I wonder if it gets any use, or is mainly for the viewing pleasure of the above units. Note also the benefit received by the Kevlee tower further to the west, which overlooks the roof. _ View is from two thirds the way up the building. … Continue reading Green Roof – Queen Elizabeth Towers

Holland Cross Green Roof

Holland Cross is a mixed use project located at the corner of Holland and Scott Streets. It dates back to the 1980s. There are two office towers nearest Scott, with a not-thriving commercial mall at ground level. There are two residential towers set further south. They share a common parking podium. Two more residential towers were designed but not built on the east side of the common; eventually the land was sold to Domicile which built townhouses instead. Unfortunately, they do not relate in any way to the green roof and do not complete the formal arrangement of structures. _ … Continue reading Holland Cross Green Roof

Another Green Roof

Another in my occasional series on Green Roofs in Ottawa. This roof is behind a seniors complex on Somerset St, opposite Hartman’s. The roof runs through to Cooper St and is above the Centretown Community Health Centre. I do not know if the allotments and planters are associated with the seniors building or the Health Centre. Whichever, its a bright spot of green on rooftop. This view from the 16th floor of the Hudson condo building. There was also an excellent view of the brick paved driveways of the townhouses built on Cooper at Kent. The bricks are laid in … Continue reading Another Green Roof

Claridge’s Brown-Green Roof

mid-May mid-June Claridge is the developer of phase one, LeBreton Flats. They have half of the first building on Lett Street is constructed and many suites are occupied. The NCC landscaped the area to the north of the building, running up to the new Wellington Street, with paved bicycle path, benches, garbage cans, trees, shrubs, and grass. The did a significant chunk of this work in mid-winter. Claridge is responsible for doing the landscaping immediately behind the current condo building. The top picture shows truckloads of sand put on the gravel on top of the parking garage roof. They did … Continue reading Claridge’s Brown-Green Roof

Green Roofs – Gone? The Rideau Centre

congress centre demolished Rideau Ctr rooftop path and patio narrower rooftop path In this blog’s series on rooftop greenspaces I’ve tried to illustrate that we already have a number of attractively landscaped and useful green roofs. One of the earlier roofscaping treatments was the Rideau Centre, and it’s one of the largest. It’s a maze of wide and narrow paths, trees, shrubs, lawns, patios. Not many benches though, probably to discourage loitering or using the park. Regular inhabitants include Rideau Centre staffers smoking or lunching, bunny rabbits, squirrels, birds, and transients. Main access points are from the doors at the … Continue reading Green Roofs – Gone? The Rideau Centre

Greenroof Example – Pl de Ville

One of Ottawa’s older multipurpose developments has a lovely green roof on its south side. This roof is above what was for 30 or so years a shopping mall, but for the last years has been federal government office space. The pond adds an unexpected water element to the downtown, as does the fairly large bright green lawn. It is highly visible, located adjacent to one of the busiest downtown transitway stops at Place de Ville. The glass pyramid lets light into the office area below. It suggests the pyramid glass structure at the Louvre in Paris, but on a … Continue reading Greenroof Example – Pl de Ville

More Green Roofs in Ottawa

There is a very nice and useful green roof at Preston Square, 333 Preston Street in the heart of Little Italy. It is bordered by the two taller office towers (Xerox and Adobe towers) and the low rise office building (Ontario services) and the mid-rise apartment building. All buildings open out on the roofscape, with paths, benches, deep planters, lawns, etc. It is well kept and accessible to the public. Below the roof are parking areas, shipping and receiving areas, etc. I especially like this green roof for its accessibility and utility to a variety of office and residential users. Continue reading More Green Roofs in Ottawa