The new condo at 101 Richmond Road (site of the former Cdn Tire gas bar) is nearing completion. I see major appliances have been delivered to some suites; the interior walls are painted, the scaffolding is down, etc.
The exterior has been divided into three layers, like an onion. The skin closest to and parallel to the street, and that also forms the podium element, is white blocks. The second skin, set just behind the first one, is that blah beige brick beloved by architects and designers which to me just looks … blah. And the backmost layer of the onion, a noir brick. Ouuuh, dramatic.
These three layers probably look great on a sketchup or other computer rendering software, and they actually work somewhat OK when viewed from the street. But there is nothing that makes me go “oh wow” is that ever neat/nice. It probably suits the mandate to “blend in” to its context. In fact, almost everything in Ottawa tries (too hard) to blend in with everything else.
All the storefronts along the bottom promise an exciting bit of retail presence and a lively sidewalk. But what’s this … I don’t see nary a tree planting hole anywhere. Surely this building would be improved by the addition of a few large green trees growing through the sidewalk.