News   Aug 07, 2020
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City Considers New Design Rules

agoraflaneur

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Didn't know where to post this but it is interesting:


"The motion includes ideas that will no doubt prove contentious — including a plan for a public design competition to solicit ideas for increasing density in neighbourhoods now zoned for single-family homes.

Council voted to ask staff to include the plan in an upcoming report to the planning and housing committee."
 

Neutrino

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^I assume in that scenarios developers would buy and assemble SFH lots?
 

TheTigerMaster

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Didn't know where to post this but it is interesting:


"The motion includes ideas that will no doubt prove contentious — including a plan for a public design competition to solicit ideas for increasing density in neighbourhoods now zoned for single-family homes.

Council voted to ask staff to include the plan in an upcoming report to the planning and housing committee."
So if I understand correctly, this only applies to developments where CreateTO is the main developer? I can't see this having a big impact if that's the case
 

WislaHD

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I figured this article on the front page can be posted in this thread:


Wow, what a prescriptive sounding document. I am glad the DRP ripped it apart.
 

jje1000

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Not sure where to put this, but the UK has recently released a report from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission- of note are the recommendations on pg 54 (64 on the pdf) onwards:



Interesting diagram (pg 141-2 on the pdf) - overly optimistic with NIMBY-ism, or a plausible alternate route?

1581710758146.png
1581710827159.png



(No, I don't want to hear anything about Scrunton's views)
 
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daniel_kryz

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Not sure where to put this, but the UK has recently released a report from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission- of note are the recommendations on pg 54 (64 on the pdf) onwards:



Interesting diagram (pg 141-2 on the pdf) - overly optimistic with NIMBY-ism, or a plausible alternate route?

View attachment 231001View attachment 231002


(No, I don't want to hear anything about Scrunton's views)
I am so happy this is happening in the UK, they've been getting a lot of bad design (especially London). The best idea is to fast-track beautiful projects, in order to incentivize developers to use good architecture. It would be awesome if we could have the same thing (in Ontario), this is one of the most important problems that need to be solved... especially in bland Toronto.
 

junctionist

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^I assume in that scenarios developers would buy and assemble SFH lots?
Not necessarily. It can help to democratize development. If someone's aging but entrepreneurial father wants to turn his ranch bungalow in North York into a small multi-unit building with 6-10 apartments to downsize and live (rent-free) in one of the apartments, they should be able to do that.
 

jje1000

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From MIT- not necessarily a strike against modern design, but instead one against monotonous, dull facades.

To the point: humans are inevitably drawn to human-scaled detail and texture, and with nothing to focus the eye on, the eye will wander to the edges and places where there are details (sometimes where it's undesired)- something to consider in many of our new buildings and neighbourhoods.

The Case Against All-Glass Facades


The pictures tell the story. And make the case. Biometric studies explain why. At left, is a photo of MassArt Design and Media Center, (c. 2016), a public college of applied art in downtown Boston; at right, the George Wythe House (c.1754), a historic site in Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia. Which building most readily grabs your eye?

Where do you think people will look ?

It you guessed the building at right, the Georgian brick one and not the all-glass facade, you’re right! Biometric studies, using software which predicts how people view a scene initially, in the first 3-to-5 seconds, before conscious viewing comes online, show why.

The VAS (Visual Attention Software) study creates region of interest (ROI) diagrams which reveal where viewers’ gaze likely goes, and indicate with red outlines that 75 to 82 percent of them take in the sky and areas around the glassy college building, rather than the structure itself! This is precisely opposite what happens with the old brick building, where 98 percent of views fall directly on the front facade and adjacent fence!

The study’s heat maps above, aggregating predicted viewing data in color, glow reddest where people look most, and fade to dark grey and black in areas ignored, again showing how the brain directs views away from most of the glass building, and does the opposite with the brick one. Note how none of the historic house shows up black, and its door and many of its windows glow red, suggesting they’ll implicitly draw the eye. Even the house chimneys appear bright blue, and will draw attention unconsciously in pre-attentive mode.

The study’s visual sequence diagrams, tracking the order the brain directs viewers to take in the scene initially, again indicate how, without conscious awareness or control, people focus around the edges of the glass building rather than at it. This indicates why approaching the building will be confusing, and finding the front door a challenge! With the Wythe House, on the other hand, the brain directs viewers to look right at the front door first! Amazing! That’s just what you’d want to see approaching a house or art school. And in the historic building, the brain keeps the eye focusing on the front facade, its architecture promoting a viewing pattern that’s more coherent, anticipating the viewer’s needs.

How can this be? “Facades impact architectural experience,” says Becky Chen, a student at the Boston Architectural College (BAC) who put together this study, and generously offered to share it with us here. “In my opinion, people don’t like looking at glass facades.” In this study, she used biometric software to reveal the hidden, pre-attentive traits that determine our architectural experience, showing how much pattern, color, areas of contrast, and different materials draw the eye instantly, which in turn directs our conscious behavior and experience of buildings.
So, what’s the issue with glass facades? The study suggests they lack the characteristics we evolved and still need to see, to secure us in a place, and ground us in space. We can’t focus or fixate on them; they don’t provide enough to look at. “Modern architecture can have the glass,” Becky Chen said. “But should have the elements of color and pattern to emphasize the space and attract people’s eyes.”

Some other linked studies:
 

jje1000

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Not sure where to put this, but the UK has recently released a report from the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission- of note are the recommendations on pg 54 (64 on the pdf) onwards:


Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission report being implemented into UK planning reform, though it really depends on how radical reform will be. That being said, Johnson's Secretary of Housing Robert Jenricks has been criticised for deregulating development in the UK.

Priority for "beautiful" developments

A "fast-track for beauty" will also grant automatic permits for "proposals for high-quality developments where they reflect local character and preferences".

As a continuation of the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission, developments that comply with local design codes would be guaranteed faster planning permission.

"Pattern books" in the form of style guides for "popular and replicable designs" could be used for permitted developments and schemes in land designated for renewal.

Pattern books could either be a godsend (especially considering that very few architects nowadays have practice in older proportions/layouts which is how you end up with stuff from here), or it could end up stymieing experimentation and produce repetitive, boring designs if the push for more development produces rushed designs.
 
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