The exterior of the building is broken up into several components to reduce its apparent mass and height. The round “turret” at the right corner intrigues the eye; there will be an interior shot in a subsequent post. Notice the glass garage door and commercial storefront appearance of the ground floor.
It is the new ambulance station, built right in under the building. An interesting safety feature: the garage is drive-through. Returning ambulances drive through the centre of the development from the Argyle side and into their bay, ready to exit onto Catherine.
The “old” ambulance station is right next door; it will be demolished and a future apartment block will go here:
Here is a picture of the Metcalfe building taken from the alleyway behind it. The white double-wide garage door to the right goes to the apartment garage; the ambulance post drive through is to the left:
Walking through the site reveals that a high percentage of the space is paved. There will be cars arriving and departing from laneways that access Argyle, Metcalfe, and Catherine. Apartment and townhouse doors open directly onto these laneways, so children playing will mix with traffic (low speed…). I like the mixed use of space, grass is over-rated for play value, but I did find myself wondering how well this will all work out. A previous development that tried this (Laidlaw CoOp on LeBreton Flats) was not so successful, the units don’t relate well to the driveways and ended up looking to me like they were plunked down in the Walmart parking lot. Perhaps in the spring I will do a series of posts on several courtyard developments to see different approaches.