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200 Russell Hill | ?m | 5s | Hirsh | Rafael + Bigauskas

interchange42

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Super luxury condo planned for a property backing on Winston Churchill Park which once had a mansion on it. No docs at the City's site yet, but a rather lavish website at http://200russellhill.com which has the unmitigated gall to quote Frank Gehry on the timelessness that architectural works should seek, yet it looks like this:

200RHillCloseUp1280.jpg


Developer Simon Hirsh is a new name in Toronto, but not in Mukoka where he's been a successful luxury vacation home builder.

The architect of record, apparently, is Rafael + Bigauskas, but they're not mentioned on the website where it's all about designer Lori Morris. Her company, LMD are typically interior designers, but it looks like they have much more of a hand in the overall design here than just that.

Way more up on the dataBase file.

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Ottawan

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22 units with all those amenity spaces, two elevators and a concierge desk? These people will be paying more in condo fees than the average apartment's rent.
 

ADRM

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They've already hosted a number of sales-y events, and there's A-frame advertising all over Yorkville.
 

ADRM

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Yikes. It's cute/sad when architects (or, granted, the developers giving them their budgetary marching orders) think they're doing a Robert A.M. Stern building and then produce this.
 

interchange42

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The view that I'd imagine the team doesn't want you to see. 'Ultra luxury' spandrel-n-mullion mess...

That's the west side that faces the park, the south side is pretty much the mirror image. The frenchiness is restricted to the sides seen from Russell Hill Road.

I'm declaring this Third Empire style, BTW.

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UrbanFervour

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Yikes. It's cute/sad when architects (or, granted, the developers giving them their budgetary marching orders) think they're doing a Robert A.M. Stern building and then produce this.
Cute when it's out in Vaughan and we don't have to look at it. Sad when it's plunked down in a beautiful old neighbourhood.

The thing is, traditional architecture, when executed properly, can be very charming. But it requires restraint and at least some faithfulness to the details, proportions, materials and established rules of the style it's imitating. Robert Stern is obviously the best at doing this kind of work presently.

This... THING... is a grotesque bastardization - made for rich suburban Philistines with zero cultural refinement.


As Dolly Parton said "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap"
 

pman

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I thought the City had a design review panel now. Am I wrong, or is it just that while we have one, it's totally ineffectual?
 

interchange42

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I thought the City had a design review panel now. Am I wrong, or is it just that while we have one, it's totally ineffectual?
Participation in that process is voluntary.
…and, as I mentioned above, there are no docs on the City's site yet for this development. Not sure if they need a zoning amendment or not, but at the least, the building is not up for Site Plan Approval yet. That means that it isn't yet going through the process that could lead to a DRP review.

There are a few things you need to know about the DRP.

1) There is no legislation that permits the City (through the DRP or any other method) to force a developer to change the style of a building.

2) Because of that, the DRP doesn't really focus on style. Instead, they focus on areas where they can nudge buildings into compliance with guidelines and standards, the things which are more quantifiable, classifiable, measurable aspects of building designs. Comments on style from DRP members are more like asides.

3) Developers do have to instruct their architects to make the changes the DRP recommend. In fact, sometimes different DRP members ask for different things, so sometimes they are faced with a choice. What developers have to consider though is how those requests might impact their chances otherwise in the planning process. Ultimately there are some value judgements made by City Councillors whether or not a plan that asks for amendments is worthy of having the amendments granted. When it's a question of height, more than anything else, the Councillor needs to worry about how the OMB will side in the event of an appeal, but other questionable aspects of designs, like where a building might poke through an angular plane that it would normally expected to be under, is somewhere that a Councillor would have some sway to say either "ehhh, no big deal" or "not a chance", depending on how the Councillor is feeling about the application overall. All that is to say that a developer should listen to the DRP's requests if they need to win over the local Councillor.

4) Finally, not every building gets a DRP review: there's simply not the capacity in the system yet to tackle them all. If you go to the City's DRP webpage, you'll see, however, that there are currently looking for more panel members so that more DRP reviews can go ahead. I believe they want to double the number of members and meetings.

I hope that helps.

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