Our Lady of the Condos, archly

The Ashcroft proposal for redeveloping the Sr of the Visitation site on Richmond Road got a rough hearing the first time out. I am not a great fan of public meetings where dialogue and idea sharing is replaced by sound bites, but hey, it takes all types. And it does serve for some people to vent.

The proposal had many reasonable elements, such as keeping the wall along the sides and back, additional setbacks for the 4-5 storey structures in the back half. It had some I didn’t like too much: the height and size of the middle building (a hotel, perhaps?) and the overall height of the Richmond frontage. Intensification is the name of the city’s growth strategy, and that means redevelopment of properties.
One element that really intrigued me was the proposed arch along the Richmond frontage. It kept the old buildings cloistered, rather than the more typical opening up of a sight line to the road. The Arch through the building looked a bit small, but it needs to be in scale with the old monastery. I thought the Ashcroft proposal was a good start, an excellent basis for more dialogue.
Now the city has hired three outside reviewers to go over the plan. Hey, if Dark brings light to the Lansdowne, it might work for the Glebe-lite.
While in Boston recently, I sought out the Rowes Wharf development simply because of its big arch through the building. Now the scale is rather different from Richmond Road: it’s by the Ocean, the adjacent buildings are HUGE, its wa-a-a-y more RICH than anything we are proposing. And it makes a very fine space, a fine portal. Here are some photos, including some up through the cupola which forms a sort of light tube right through a dome-top room which must have neat views 360 horizontally as well as up and down.
Rowe’s Wharf building, Boston.

When walking through the arch, building entrances are to right and left.
View through to the Ocean from the street. Note cupola room above. 
From the piazza looking straight up through the dome, the cupola room, out to the sky.