Courtyard 33 | 22m | 6s | RNDSQR | 5468796 Architecture

Silence&Motion

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This development looks great! The distance from the curb is my only concern. Adding trees and support posts will make that stretch very narrow. However, it might be a worthwhile sacrifice if the interior courtyard is done well and serves as a real public space with retail and other public amenities (as opposed to typical condo public spaces that are designed to discourage the public from entering).
 

Always_Biking

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My only concern too. The rest of it looks great, and unlike the one to the west of it, this has retail at grade.
 

DougR

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I don't believe that Bucci's Kensington project has R-C2 parcels containing recently redeveloped single family homes directly across the lane to the north. Our shadow studies for ML33 suggested that at 16m tall that building's shadow would prevent those homes' south-facing main floor windows from receiving any sun for approximately 2.5 months per year -- from early November to late January. At 22m our concern is that Courtyard 33's shadow might increase that sunless period to as much as 4 months per year. Keep in mind that most of these new infills pre-dated the Marda Loop ARP, and were built/purchased when the height limit on the north side of 33 AV SW was only 10m - 14m, which would have had little or no impact on their year-round access to sunlight.
 

BKha

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I don't believe that Bucci's Kensington project has R-C2 parcels containing recently redeveloped single family homes directly across the lane to the north. Our shadow studies for ML33 suggested that at 16m tall that building's shadow would prevent those homes' south-facing main floor windows from receiving any sun for approximately 2.5 months per year -- from early November to late January. At 22m our concern is that Courtyard 33's shadow might increase that sunless period to as much as 4 months per year. Keep in mind that most of these new infills pre-dated the Marda Loop ARP, and were built/purchased when the height limit on the north side of 33 AV SW was only 10m - 14m, which would have had little or no impact on their year-round access to sunlight.
I feel a bit for the owners on the north side of this, but on the other hand it is a really good addition to the neighborhood as a whole. Has anyone asked the developer to drop down a floor off the building at the north side of the building?
 

Always_Biking

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Looking at the google map shot it seems only one house would be affected. The other three houses on the north side are already buried in trees.
I don't believe that Bucci's Kensington project has R-C2 parcels containing recently redeveloped single family homes directly across the lane to the north. Our shadow studies for ML33 suggested that at 16m tall that building's shadow would prevent those homes' south-facing main floor windows from receiving any sun for approximately 2.5 months per year -- from early November to late January. At 22m our concern is that Courtyard 33's shadow might increase that sunless period to as much as 4 months per year. Keep in mind that most of these new infills pre-dated the Marda Loop ARP, and were built/purchased when the height limit on the north side of 33 AV SW was only 10m - 14m, which would have had little or no impact on their year-round access to sunlight.
 

DougR

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I feel a bit for the owners on the north side of this, but on the other hand it is a really good addition to the neighborhood as a whole. Has anyone asked the developer to drop down a floor off the building at the north side of the building?
We (RKHCA) have not had an opportunity to talk to RNDSQR about this project yet. As soon as we heard that they were looking at redeveloping these 3 parcels we contacted them and asked them to come talk to us as soon as possible. RNDSQR advised that they wanted to use last Sunday's Marda Gras event as the project's public launch. Now that Marda Gras is over we are hoping that they come talk to us very soon, preferably before they submit their LOC and DP applications to the City.
 

DougR

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Looking at the google map shot it seems only one house would be affected. The other three houses on the north side are already buried in trees.
There are currently 5 homes directly behind these 3 parcels -- 2 semi-detached infill units, 2 single detached infills and 1 older bungalow -- as well as few more homes to the east and west that would likely also be materially impacted by the building's shadow. Although some of these homes do have mature deciduous trees in their back yards, there is a huge difference between the shadow created by a building, which tends to be solid and to become more pronounced in the shoulder seasons and winter, and shade created by deciduous trees, which tends to be dappled in the summer and to virtually disappear once the trees lose their leaves in the fall.
 

DougR

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This development looks great! The distance from the curb is my only concern. Adding trees and support posts will make that stretch very narrow. However, it might be a worthwhile sacrifice if the interior courtyard is done well and serves as a real public space with retail and other public amenities (as opposed to typical condo public spaces that are designed to discourage the public from entering).
We will be interested to find out why the interior courtyard is raised up to the 2nd storey level. Not sure how that grade difference might impact the courtyard's ability to interact with the streetside public realm, or its accessibility for the mobility-challenged. I recall reading something, possibly in Gehl's "Cities for People", that suggested that grade-separated plazas don't always work well as public spaces -- something about passersby being less likely to be drawn into a space that they can't see very well or access very easily from the street.
 

Always_Biking

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We will be interested to find out why the interior courtyard is raised up to the 2nd storey level. Not sure how that grade difference might impact the courtyard's ability to interact with the streetside public realm, or its accessibility for the mobility-challenged. I recall reading something, possibly in Gehl's "Cities for People", that suggested that grade-separated plazas don't always work well as public spaces -- something about passersby being less likely to be drawn into a space that they can't see very well or access very easily from the street.
%100 agree about grade separated plazas. I would rather see it at grade, maybe they are trying to get more sunlight into the courtyard?
 

jdixon

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We will be interested to find out why the interior courtyard is raised up to the 2nd storey level. Not sure how that grade difference might impact the courtyard's ability to interact with the streetside public realm, or its accessibility for the mobility-challenged. I recall reading something, possibly in Gehl's "Cities for People", that suggested that grade-separated plazas don't always work well as public spaces -- something about passersby being less likely to be drawn into a space that they can't see very well or access very easily from the street.
I didn't notice that in my initial quick look at the plans. Very good point. Hopefully they have fully thought it through and it really works... Or they change it to be at ground level.
 

Beltline_B

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Hopefully this doesnt ruffle any feathers but I think 6 stories is reasonable for an inner city location. I lived on 25th ave when they built to Rouleau towers and saw an increase in shadowing but in the end it wasn't a big deal. After a while I didn't even notice it.
 

Oddball

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Wow, this is a stunner. If this manages to go forward it could be a game changer for developments outside the downtown. It's unorthodoxy really puts it a cut above other developments outside of downtown.
 

Alex_YYC

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This is a great looking proposal, I agree this could help raise the bar for the small and medium size developments outside of the core. It seems like Marda loop is on a tear these days.
 

CBBarnett

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We will be interested to find out why the interior courtyard is raised up to the 2nd storey level. Not sure how that grade difference might impact the courtyard's ability to interact with the streetside public realm, or its accessibility for the mobility-challenged. I recall reading something, possibly in Gehl's "Cities for People", that suggested that grade-separated plazas don't always work well as public spaces -- something about passersby being less likely to be drawn into a space that they can't see very well or access very easily from the street.
I agree that raised plazas come with some risks. My guess is retail operations required more ground space (parking ramps, rear access etc.), but could be wrong. Having the plaza at grade in the centre of the building takes away valuable lease-able ground floor space and the back of house operations that aren't easy to accommodate elsewhere. It would be very interesting to see how the plaza is imagined operates (does it have retail in it for example). Given Marda's ongoing success in development, I am not too worried. I am happy it's condos too, providing the next rung down from the top end of the market to access the neighbourhood. Would love to see affordable housing and market rental in the neighbourhood, but I won't hold my breath given the trends in the neighbourhood's evolution.
 
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