19 Duncan | 187m | 58s | Westbank | Hariri Pontarini

ptbotmpfn

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 20, 2015
Messages
121
Reaction score
82
Yeah that multi-million dollar steel support structure and in-situ preservation is just a figment of our imaginations.
You’ve missed his point entirely... keeping a facade isn’t conting as preservation surely? I’m gong to preserve my Porsche by only keeping the front section. (And have it mounted and built around) note this is half a pourche now not a car at all. It’s a decoration piece. Useless and preserved/preserves nothing.that being said I can appreciate all the work that goes into what they are doing. Currently. But I wouldn’t define this as preservation. Now what they did with Massey towers “podium” that you can define as preservation. Or close enough to.
 

bmiller

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
337
Reaction score
96
Location
Simcoe
There are a multitude of buildings in the city that deserve preservation in its entirety, as i'm sure we all agree. Facedectomy in a lot of cases looks nothing more than a feeble attempt to save the past, at the expense of looking ridiculous.
Maybe this old warehouse had nothing inside worth saving, but pretending there was, by saving the skin and adding it on the front of a concrete and steel condo looks half assed.
There are obviously people who think this is a wonderful combination of the past and present, but as the tour guide in Chicago said, there is very little facedectomy there, because they didn't believe in it when they started
decades ago, and it is obvious in the proper preservation of their past.
If you are going to do something, do it right, or don't do it at all.
 

Kenojuak

New Member
Member Bio
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
90
Reaction score
253
If you are going to do something, do it right, or don't do it at all.
OK so next time the developer and City should agree simply to tear down the whole building. I am sure the developers will be happy to have this huge construction and design burden gone. Five St. Joseph would look so much better with a 5 meter window wall podium. Same with Westinghouse at King & Blue Jays. Same with 65 King East. Same with Market Street. /s

You’ve missed his point entirely... keeping a facade isn’t conting as preservation surely? I’m gong to preserve my Porsche by only keeping the front section. (And have it mounted and built around) note this is half a pourche now not a car at all. It’s a decoration piece. Useless and preserved/preserves nothing.that being said I can appreciate all the work that goes into what they are doing. Currently. But I wouldn’t define this as preservation. Now what they did with Massey towers “podium” that you can define as preservation. Or close enough to.
A car isn't a building and the analogy fails. In fact I think it works against you. A lot of classic car restoration is about taking an old car and gently repairing or replacing damaged parts, and in many cases putting in an entirely new engine and undercarriage, while retaining part of all of the original body work and details of the car. Sure, some classic car restorations are totally faithful and use only original parts, etc., but just as with buildings there is a spectrum of ways to restore a car including facadeplasty or should we say bodyplasty.

(As an aside, facadectomy is the wrong word for this kind of preservation, as -ectomy means removal. In this case the facade is not being removed and reconstructed, which would be an -ectomy. This is more of a -plasty? Taking an existing facade and building up a new building behind it? Facadeplasty? Open to suggestions on this).

I am not sure how you can look at the public face of a building -- the only part of the building that 99.9% of the public ever saw -- being retained in its original location at great expense and complexity and say with a straight face "I wouldn't define this as preservation". There are different degrees of preservation, for sure. This is different from retaining an entire building. But it is also what allowed the block to be redeveloped and to bring economic development, new architecture from HPA, new office space, new services and back-of-house facilities, etc., to an old building well below its highest and best use. Plus the existing heritage facade will be facelifted, cleaned, repaired, and refreshed to be enjoyed for another century or more. To complain about how this project is not "real" preservation without recognizing all the many benefits that come from this approach strikes me as a deliberately narrow view. Preservation is part of a spectrum of objectives for urban life, not a theoretical concept in a classroom. It has to be balanced against the rights of property owners, public policy objectives such as retaining and growing employment uses proximate to booming residential density, etc. It is my view that retaining the facades of this building in situ, and integrating them thoughtfully into a new development, strikes an appropriate balance.

Also to your point that "You've missed his point entirely...", I remind you that his entire point was "Another pretend preservation project in this city." which really wasn't much of a point at all, but just a vague complaint.
 
Last edited:

WislaHD

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 21, 2013
Messages
7,348
Reaction score
4,220
Location
Midtown Toronto
Having been inside this building lots of times over one summer long ago, I can attest that the interior of this building was nothing special and the conditions were kind of crappy back then.

Preserving it would have been pointless. The important part was always the facade.
 

Lyphe

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Jul 18, 2013
Messages
237
Reaction score
200
Useless and preserved/preserves nothing.
Perhaps you never actually visit these places after they are built?

I have and I can tell you - the difference between sites that have saved a historical facade and sites that have not, is night and day. Preservations like this are not looking to keep the entirety of the original building, they are looking to preserve the 'spirit and feel' of the original building at street level. In this sense, these preservations absolutely hit the mark and there is immediately a greater sense of human connection to the structure to my experience.
 

bmiller

Active Member
Member Bio
Joined
Sep 26, 2009
Messages
337
Reaction score
96
Location
Simcoe
One of many articles about facadism.

The proposed standards and conclusion in this study in San Francisco lays out an informed process for historical preservation and facadism.

I know we are getting far off topic here, so this will be my last post about this and we get back to the regular scheduled programming.
 
Last edited:

ADRM

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
Oct 2, 2015
Messages
4,279
Reaction score
8,938
I have and I can tell you - the difference between sites that have saved a historical facade and sites that have not, is night and day. Preservations like this are not looking to keep the entirety of the original building, they are looking to preserve the 'spirit and feel' of the original building at street level. In this sense, these preservations absolutely hit the mark and there is immediately a greater sense of human connection to the structure to my experience.
Very well said. To take one successful example, I would never have had reason (or, necessarily, ability to access) to be inside the preserved building that is now part of QRC West; now, post-redo, I often walk through it when I'm in the area just to take it in or to grab an espresso. Ditto Koerner Hall, for that matter.
 

jje1000

Senior Member
Member Bio
Joined
May 19, 2007
Messages
4,155
Reaction score
1,589
Facadism shouldn't be considered as solely an act of preservation- it should be considered as a combination of preservation and transformation.

Buildings never have a 'fixed' state- they get added to, subtracted from and reclad all the time- facadism is just yet another one of these transformations, wherein the most visually attractive part of a building, the public face, is repurposed for a new program.

In most cases, I prefer preservation & renovation over facadism, but given the choice between facadism and a completely new building, I would prefer facadism all the way.

The fact that a warehouse like this is preserved at all also speaks to the condition of modern architecture and the 'cult of preservation' that's arisen since- that people have relatively little faith that contemporary North American architecture is capable of producing compelling streetscapes. Not that it can't, but people no longer believe in it blindly (with good reason).
 
Last edited:
Top