After a couple of days of mocking and criticizing high rises, it’s time to show a few that do work, in my
At first glance, the Paris hotel (seen outside my window in a much much much cheaper hotel)(don’t ask) (OK, do ask, if you insist, it cost $69 taxes in) in Vegas looks quite ornate. But a longer study reveals it is quite simple, with the same pre-cast elements repeated numerous times. It has a hat (roof), a belt (mid height break) and its base is a 2-5 storey podium that goes up to the mainstreet frontage, keeping the high-rise tower bit further back.
Here’s a close up of the walls:
BTW, the podium-roof patio and pool area had a number of elevated planters that looked amazingly like the ones that spent the last few decades on Sparks Street:
The Vegas trellises actually had plants growing on them, something the Sparks Street Mall people tried hard to avoid here in Ottawa.
Here’s another familiar shot a very large highrise, with the exterior broken up into segments to minimize its size and maximize its viewing friendliness:
Again, notice the four storey podium, the high rise set back. Somehow, when places depend on or want pedestrian traffic, they manage to get some ped-scaled buildings and walk environments. This isn’t up to the higher standards of Disney or other walk-focussed resorts, but it is getting there.
Now I am not proposing mega buildings on the Vegas scale, for Ottawa. We just don’t need them. But even these mega buildings look better than many of Ottawa’s boxy condos.
When Claridge and others propose shoe-box-on-end glass boxes of 20+ stories in our existing City neighborhoods, it reveals how little they understand the neighborhood they are leveraging to sell their product. Instead of a big glass box, go back to an articulated stepped up design that people will respond to. Who knows, Ottawans might actually welcome nice highrises. Certainly the Charlesfort ones get a better welcome than the big glass box designs. Imagine the response if the exteriors of ultra mod buildings were in the modern suburbs, and more traditional shapes and designs and vocabulary were used in the older areas. This is not say everything should be faux historical. It is a question of detail and scale.