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  1. Montreal housing market outlook 2016-2017

    We shouldn't expect to see many more condo towers going up in the short term... "Regarding condominiums, the inventory of unsold units will remain at a relatively high level. The need for new units will remain limited in 2016 and 2017" http://m.marketwired.com/press-release/housing-market-outlook-for-2016-and-2017-montreal-cma-2066846.htm Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  2. Montreal Re-Imagined

    http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-re-imagined/montreal-reimagined-cityscape-is-more-than-only-a-view The Montreal Re-Imagined section is presented by Concordia University Concordia University Montreal Reimagined: Cityscape is more than only a view MONTREAL, QUE.: April 02, 2015 -- Logo staff mugshot / headshot of Luca Barone in Montreal Thursday April 02, 2015. LUCA BARONE, SPECIAL TO MONTREAL GAZETTE Until I graduated, my daily hike up to McGill’s Faculty of Law on the corner of Peel St. and Dr. Penfield Ave. began at the corner of de Maisonneuve Blvd. W., where I would emerge into daylight from the métro station. Ascending into the world from the underground takes a little readjusting: you look around to get your bearings, check the weather, and let your eyes readjust to the sunlight. I was never afforded much to look at until I began walking north up Peel and glimpsed the mountain. The east-west view along de Maisonneuve is disappointing. Look left or right and the view is the same: dark towers pockmarked with windows rise up on the horizon. When a building obstructs a view down a street and becomes the focal point of what you see, it is known as a terminated vista. They can be a blessing and a curse. They also can help create a sense of destination and diversity in a city and can be manipulated to highlight significant landmarks. The view of McGill’s campus against the backdrop of Mount Royal from McGill College Ave. is one of Montreal’s iconic landscapes. Looking south down St. Urbain St., the view of the Art Deco waterfall of the Aldred Building on Place d’Armes is another example of a successful blocked view that beckons rather than repulses, as is the view of the dome of the Hôtel-Dieu looking north along Ste-Famille. These landmarks create a sense of place and they are symbols of our city. But look south down Parc Ave. toward Place du Parc (the Air Transat building) and the view is hardly inspiring. When the view down a street ends in a blank tower, the terminated vista does not help create a more livable city. Not every building should be monumental or iconic, but any urban building should make you want to walk toward it rather than avert your eyes. Downtown towers should be built because they have many virtues, from proximity to public transit to the lower environmental effect of higher population density, but we should not ignore how these buildings relate to their surroundings. Uniformity should not be the goal, either: a building should not have to look exactly like its neighbours, but it should complement them. Without exaggerating the importance of the look and shape of buildings, Montrealers deserve more than what we’re getting from urban planners, architects and real estate developers. We should trudge out of the métro and be delighted by what we see. In a city full of talented architects, much of the blame for uninspired buildings lies with real estate developers who don’t hire local talent, and city councillors and urban planners who give construction permits without paying sufficient attention to buildings’ visual impact. The Louis-Bohème building on the corner of Bleury and de Maisonneuve is an example of a building that succeeds on many levels. Its apartments make the best use of the land by increasing the density of residents in the area. It also has underground parking and shops at ground level, from where you can also access the Place-des-Arts métro station. In many ways, the building represents exactly the kind of development Montreal needs. But it fails as an element of the urban landscape. When you see it rising above Parc or de Maisonneuve, the view of its charcoal concrete panels leaves you unmoved at best and intimidated at worst. In a city that suffers from interminable winters exacerbated by short days and little sunlight, buildings clad in light-absorbing, dark materials are not merely ugly — they should be considered a public health concern. One way to improve urban design would be to develop a sustainable local architecture that is responsive to our climate. Initiatives like the Quartier des Spectacles’ Luminothérapie winter light installations are a great start, but the city should take a more active role in promoting architecture that makes long winters more bearable. For example, Edmonton has issued specific winter design guidelines that promote architectural features that block wind, maximize sunlight, and enliven the cityscape as part of its “WinterCity Strategy.” It is not easy for a building to enrich its surroundings while responding to the demands of a city and its inhabitants, the climate and the economy. But our buildings speak eloquently about who we are and what we value. We have to live with them for decades, if not centuries. It’s worth getting them right sent via Tapatalk
  3. Could the era of glass skyscrapers be over? One of the architects behind London's famous Gherkin skyscraper has now turned against glass buildings. Is it time tall towers were made out of something else, asks Hannah Sander. It is one of the UK's most recognisable buildings. A Stirling Prize winner. A backdrop to Hollywood films. Named the most admired tower in the world. But 10 years after it was opened, one of the designers behind the "Gherkin" has turned against it. Architect Ken Shuttleworth, one of the team at Foster and Partners who designed the tower, now thinks the gigantic glass structure was a mistake. "The Gherkin is a fantastic building," he says. "But we can't have that anymore. We can't have those all-glass buildings. We need to be much more responsible." The building at 30 St Mary Axe - nicknamed after a gherkin because of its bulbous silhouette - kick-started a decade of strangely shaped glass towers. The Cheesegrater, the Walkie-Talkie and the Shard loomed up from the pavements of London. The skylines of both Birmingham and Manchester were drastically altered by the addition of towers by property firm Beetham. One of the best-known glass building mishaps took place last summer, when the Walkie-Talkie at 20 Fenchurch Street in London was accused of melting cars. The 37-storey building reflected light in its glass facade and shone powerful rays at its surroundings. Cars parked underneath were damaged, and passers-by even managed to fry eggs using only sunlight. In the end the developers, Land Securities, had to apply for planning permission to obscure architect Rafael Vinoly's £200m design with a permanent "brise soleil" or sunshade. And yet despite this, Land Securities recently revealed that the widely reported calamity "did nothing to deter lettings". Glass buildings are popular - not just because of their striking appearance but for the views they boast, and the increased light they let in. When German architect Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe designed what is said to be the world's first glass skyscraper in 1921, he associated the glass facade with purity and renewal. Later in the century, British architect Richard Rogers praised glass buildings because of their social worth. Glass walls enabled even employees working in the basement to benefit from reflected natural light and dissolved barriers between a cramped indoor office space and the greenery outside. Companies like to give the impression of a democratic working environment - open-plan and with floor-to-ceiling windows, so that all employees, not just the boss, benefit from the view. However, as concerns over global warming have become more widespread, so the glass structure has come under scrutiny. Since leaving Foster and Partners in 2006, Shuttleworth has become a key voice in the fight against glass. Despite his background working on giant glazed buildings, he has founded an architectural practice in which floor-to-ceiling windows are considered an archaic luxury. "Everything I've done for the last 40 years I'm rethinking now," he says. "If you were designing [the Gherkin] today... it wouldn't be the same product all the way around the building. "We need to be much more responsible in terms of the way we shade our buildings and the way we thermally think about our buildings." Glass lets out and lets in a lot of heat. A vast amount of energy is required for an office full of people to remain cool in the UAE and to stay warm in the snowstorms of Toronto. Governments are now so concerned by the long-term impact of "solar gain" - the extent to which a building absorbs sunlight and heats up - that they have introduced strict regulations around shape and structure. Architects are being encouraged to change where they place windows, so that a sunny south-facing wall has less chance to absorb heat than a chilly north-face. Walkie-Talkie developers Land Securities are currently at work on a building called the ZigZag, that is designed so that alternate walls cast shadows on their neighbours. The building is deliberately shaped so it can keep itself cool. In the US there is a campaign in favour of wooden skyscrapers, promoting wood as a "green" building material in place of glass. However, the trade association Glass for Europe has dismissed what they consider "a preconceived idea" that glass is bad. Instead they point to sustainable buildings in which glass has been fashioned into corridors that don't require central heating and solar panels that have been slotted seamlessly into a design. The association also points out that glass is fully recyclable. "A whole palette of glass products is available for the glazing to meet different functions in the building envelope," the association said. "Glass is fit for all climates." In the past decades, the glass industry has worked hard to adapt technology in the context of climate change. Engineer Andrea Charlson is part of a team at firm Arup that seeks new ways to increase material sustainability. She is not convinced that the glass in glass buildings is the cause of their problems. "There have been a lot of advancements in glass technology in the last few years and it's amazing what we can do now in terms of putting coatings on glass. Some of them can be a heavy colour tint that will provide some shading. Others will be almost invisible but will still keep a lot of the heat and solar gain outside a building," she says. Charlson is currently investigating problems in the materials that hold the glazed panels on buildings in place. "As the glass technology improves, one of the biggest causes of heat loss is through the framing. The heat energy will always try to find the path of least resistance." Even with the improvements to glass technology, Shuttleworth is not convinced that these sheer skyscrapers can be justified in today's society. He is not only concerned by their environmental impact, but also with the other effects a glass tower has on its surroundings. Architecture and design critic Tom Dyckhoff is equally keen to see the glass skyscraper put to bed. "As someone who spends their entire life staring at buildings, I am a bit bored by the glass box. They were radical in the 1920s and now they are just cliches, expensive ones at that. "But now that we are having to be more thoughtful about how and where we use glass, maybe architects will become more inventive in how they use windows, instead of plastering them across whole facades," he says. Shuttleworth's most recent project began life as a solid steel object and he says it has glass only where it is needed. "It is a privilege to have a window. I think it should be seen as a privilege," he says. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27501938
  4. Could the Miami skyline one day resemble Manhattan’s? Apr 5th 2014 | MIAMI | From the print edition A mirror of prosperity ICON BRICKELL, a three-tower complex in Miami’s financial district, was supposed to be a flagship project for the Related Group, the city’s top condominium developer. It would boast 1,646 luxury condos, a 91-metre-long pool, and a hundred 22-foot columns in its entryway. By 2010, however, it had become a symbol of the excesses of the city’s building boom, and Related was forced to hand two of the towers to its banks. Miami condo prices plunged to 60% below their peak. The vacancy rate jumped to 60%. Predictions flew that the market, the epicentre of America’s property crash, would take ten years to come back, or even longer. The speed of the recovery has surprised everyone. Condo prices are already back near peak levels in Miami’s most desirable areas, and at 75-80% elsewhere. The available supply of units has fallen back to within the six-to-nine-months-of-sales range considered normal, from a stomach-churning 40 in 2008. Only 3% of condos are unoccupied. Sales of condos and single-family homes are above pre-crisis levels across Miami-Dade County. Commercial property, too, has rebounded, with demand outstripping supply. Developers are once again relaxed enough to crack jokes. “I call the current expansion the Viagra cycle,” jokes Carlos Rosso, Related’s president of condominium development. “We just want it to last a little longer.” The recovery has been partly driven by low interest rates and bottom-fishing by private equity, which helped to clear excess inventory. But the biggest factor is that the city nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” has attracted a flood of capital from Latin America. Rich people in turbulent spots such as Venezuela and Argentina are seeking a safe haven for their savings. Estate agents are also seeing capital flight from within the United States. Individuals pay no state or city income tax in Miami, unlike, say, New York, whose mayor wants to hike taxes on the rich further. “Somebody said to me, ‘Give me three reasons why this will continue.’ My answer was: Maduro, Kirchner and De Blasio,” chuckles Marc Sarnoff, a Miami city commissioner, referring to the leaders of the capitalist-bashing regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and New York. Another attraction is the 40% rise in Miami condo rents since 2009, buoying the income of owners who choose not to live in the tropical hurly-burly that Dave Barry, a local author, calls “Insane City”. Brokers report increased business from Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Qatar Airways will fly direct to Miami from June), and an uptick in inquiries from Chinese buyers. Is another bubble forming already? Developers say this time is different, and in some ways it is. In a few years Miami has gone from the most- to the least-leveraged property market in America. Buyers of new condos typically have to put 50% down, half of that before building starts. Banks are loth to extend construction loans unless 60-75% of the units are already sold. In both residential and commercial projects, they require developers to put in much more equity than before. Mr Rosso says Related now puts in three times as much, which limits its ambition. The firm now has 2,000 condos in the works, a tenth of what it was building in 2007. Still, a supply glut is possible. With developers gung-ho again, around 50 towers are under construction or planned in downtown Miami (including the Porsche Design Tower, whose well-heeled inhabitants will be able to take their cars up to the level on which they live in a special lift—this is useful if you really love your car). More were added last month when Oleg Baybakov, a Russian mining-to-property oligarch, bought a trio of condo-development sites for $30m, more than triple their assessed market value in 2013. Miami’s developers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to hide the true number of pre-sold units, says Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures, a property-intelligence firm. Some see the first signs of trouble. The stock of unsold condos and houses has crept up slightly since last summer. A local broker says that Blackstone, a private-equity firm with a taste for bricks and mortar, bought $120m of properties with his firm’s help in 2013 but “won’t do anything like that this year”. Mr Zalewski says banks are competing harder to finance certain projects, but this may not be a sign of unadulterated bullishness. They may simply be betting that many of the 134 towers proposed but not yet under construction in South Florida won’t get built—meaning the 57 that have already broken ground will do better than forecast. Much will depend on whether Latin Americans remain addicted to Miami property and, should their ardour cool, whether Americans and others would take up the slack. Few domestic buyers are comfortable putting 50% down, especially when most of it is at risk if the project fails. One or two developers have begun to accept 30% down, a possible sign of increased reliance on home-grown buyers. The market should get a fillip from the current and planned redevelopment of several chunks of downtown Miami. One of the most ambitious projects is Miami Worldcenter, a 30-acre retail, hotel and convention-centre complex that will feature Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and a giant Marriott hotel. A science museum will soon join the art museum . These projects build on progress made over the past decade towards becoming a world-class city, from the opening of dozens of top-notch restaurants to Art Basel picking Miami as one of the three venues for its shows (“the Super Bowl of the Art World”, as Tom Wolfe called it in his Miami novel, “Back to Blood”). Tourism is at record levels. Miami is the only American city besides New York in the top ten of Knight Frank’s 2014 global-cities index, which ranks cities by their attractiveness to the ultra-wealthy. (It comes seventh, ahead of Paris.) Property is still far cheaper than in most other cities on the list (see chart). Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is dangling the city’s low taxes and lovely weather in front of companies to persuade them to move there. This is starting to bear fruit, especially in finance: Universa, a $6 billion hedge fund in California, recently agreed to relocate, following part of Eddie Lampert’s ESL. SABMiller, a giant brewer, has moved its Latin American head office from Colombia. . “I lived a long time in New York, but here [in Miami] it’s easier to make something from nothing,” enthuses Nitin Motwani, a DDA board member, who talks of the city’s skyline one day resembling Manhattan’s. Mr Zalewski is more cautious. Miami’s property market is “a great game”, he says, but “all it would take to send a chill through the entire market is one big project to go sideways.” Developers who joke about Viagra should keep some aspirin within reach, just in case.
  5. (CNN) -- For architecture buffs numbed by the ongoing global battle to crank out record-breaking tall buildings, here's something innovative to spark the imagination. The South Korean government has granted approval to begin construction on the world's first "invisible" tower. Designed by U.S.-based GDS Architects, the glass-encased Tower Infinity will top out at 450 meters (1,476 feet) and have the third highest observation deck in the world. The project is backed by Korea Land & Housing Corporation, a state-owned land and public housing developer. The invisibility illusion will be achieved with a high-tech LED facade system that uses a series of cameras that will send real-time images onto the building's reflective surface. It will be built just outside of Seoul near the Incheon International Airport. Neither the developer nor GDS have released a target completion date. The development will reportedly be used primarily for leisure activities. It will include a series of observation decks, a movie theater, roller coaster, water park and numerous food and beverage outlets. Though height isn't its main selling point, Tower Infinity is no slouch in the vertical department. When completed, it's expected to come in sixth on the list of the world's highest towers, behind Tokyo SkyTree, Guangzhou's CantonTower, Toronto's CN Tower, Moscow's Ostankino Tower and Shanghai's Oriental Pearl. Editor's note: The original version of this paragraph said Tower Infinity would be one of the world's tallest buildings, not towers. The error has been corrected. How it works Tower Infinity's invisible face is essentially just state of the art camouflage. Cameras will be placed at three different heights on six different sides of the building to capture real-time images of the surroundings; three other sections, each filled with 500 rows of LED screens, will project the individual digital images. Through digital processing, images will be scaled, rotated and merged to create a seamless panoramic image that appears on the LED rows to create the illusion of invisibility. In essence, whatever is going on behind the building will be projected onto the front of the building. According to GDS, managers will be able to alter the level of power used to give the building different levels of invisibility. "Instead of symbolizing prominence as another of the world's tallest and best towers, our solution aims to provide the world's first invisible tower, showcasing innovative Korean technology while encouraging a more global narrative in the process," said Charles Wee, GDS design principal, in a statement. In 2011 GDS, in collaboration with firms Samoo Architects and A&U, was awarded first prize in a National Design Competition sponsored by the Korea Land & Housing Corporation to provide design and engineering services for the observation tower. http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/12/travel/seoul-invisible-skyscraper-tower-infinity/index.html?hpt=hp_c4
  6. The Saudi capital is unlikely to become an alternative to Dubai any time soon May 11th 2013 | RIYADH |From the print edition THE glass-clad skyscrapers are reaching ever higher into Riyadh’s dusty sky. The first tenants are due to move to the King Abdullah Financial District in the Saudi capital’s north-west later this year. But they may well find it a lonely place: enthusiasm is clearly lacking for the development, which boasts 42 buildings and 900,000 square metres of office space—similar in scale to London’s Canary Wharf. Granted, new office districts often take time to come to life. Canary Wharf had to battle against sceptics for many years before becoming the success it is today. But it is unclear how Riyadh’s new district will develop into what it is meant to be: a sober Saudi alternative to Dubai’s exuberant International Financial Centre. To date just 10% of the district’s office space has been leased; tenants will include the country’s stockmarket regulator, the Capital Markets Authority, and one large local bank, Samba. A further 10% is under negotiation, according to sources close to the developers of the project. A big problem is its size. The Saudi economy may be doing well on the back of high oil prices, but not so well that its businesses could easily digest all the extra property. The new financial district has three times as much high-end office space as the rest of Riyadh. In other words, even if every company in the city’s plusher offices moved to the new district it would still be two-thirds empty. Costs are another hurdle. “It might be prestigious but why should I pay an arm and a leg to be there?” asks a local executive. Some banks, like Arab National Bank and Al Rajhi Bank, are building new towers elsewhere. Even the Saudi central bank is thought to be staying where it is. But if banks do not fill the space, then who will? Accountants, lawyers and insurance firms are not nearly numerous enough. They also remain to be convinced of the development’s merits. “There’s going to be all those towers, but for what? It looks like an overbuilt proposition,” says a Riyadh lawyer. Nor are foreign firms likely to be of much help. Riyadh may be the centre of the region’s biggest economy, boasting more people and oil revenues than anywhere else. But unlike Dubai, as a financial centre the city is inward-looking, with banks largely servicing the domestic economy. That, as well as a lack of cultural life, prevent it from becoming a regional financial hub. Yet at some point the new district may still serve its purpose. The owner has pockets deep enough to take the long view. The project was the brainchild of the Capital Markets Authority, with support from the Public Pensions Agency. One of the agency’s subsidiaries, the Rayadah Investment Company, has taken over the development, which is estimated to cost between $7 billion and $10 billion. More important, so many near-empty buildings will be a political embarrassment, in particular since the new district carries the king’s name. Authorities may yet lean on the banks to move. Optimism and market forces alone will certainly not be enough to fill all the space. From the print edition: Finance and economics http://www.economist.com/news/finance-and-economics/21577424-saudi-capital-unlikely-become-alternative-dubai-any-time-soon-empty?frsc=dg%7Cc
  7. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/forbidden-montreal-an-ancient-set-of-downtown-tombs-1.1043598 Forbidden Montreal - Other episodes from 2012 Forbidden Montreal: Royal Vic's secret storage Forbidden Montreal: Inside the city's beacon Forbidden Montreal: Inside our sewers This episode Forbidden Montreal: an ancient set of downtown tombs http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/forbidden-montreal-an-ancient-set-of-downtown-tombs-1.1043598 CTV Montreal Published Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 7:01PM EST Last Updated Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012 2:14PM EST The ancient stone towers tucked behind the walls of downtown’s Grand Seminaire on Sherbrooke just east of Atwater are among Canada’s most ancient structures. The towers also form part of one of the country's most mysterious places as well. Some of the city’s very earliest European settlers came from France to establish a settlement on the spot in the 1680s. Their aim was to promote what they considered a sacred mission to establish a new creed for the New World. Those missionaries sought to spread their unique vision with First Nations people but they brought most of the details of the plan to their graves. Those tombs, deep underneath the seminary, are off limits to all but the custodians. Among those whose remains lie in the crypt, first established in 1661, is Francois Vachon de Belmont who came from Burgundy, France to fund and operate the mission. The Grand Seminaire has since remained one of the city’s longest-running institutions and is also home to many other architectural treasures, including an alluring chapel, where around 8,000 priests have been trained. If there is any off-limits place you'd like to see, just send us an email at forbiddenmtl@ctv.ca. Series in 2013. CTV Montreal: Forbidden Montreal Former courthouse Annie DeMelt takes you for a tour of Montreal's former courthouse, a heritage building complete with a dungeon and jail cells below. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/video?playlistId=1.1202711
  8. having recently walked through griffintown from downtown towards verdun i found that while the area is filled with many condo projects most of them look they have been there for quite a while and they all seem to be waiting after one another to 'pop' from the ground ... in the meantime the place still looks awfully desolate and abandoned and you have to think that this has an effect on the health of those projects - it's not like the city lacks any plans for griffintown but don't you think they should be more proactive about it and inject some fund in the neighborhood to help spur the growth of all these residential towers instead of waiting for them to actually get built before they do anything ? chicken and the egg kinda situation now it seems but imo the city should be the first to do actually do something and not the private developers .. after all all these years down the road its the city that will still be collecting tax funds if anything gets built - not the initial investors
  9. According to Leftcoaster on SSP - some more developments in the works around the Bell Center with apparently neat architecture. However one big idea was apparently abandoned recently - I wonder why
  10. [h=1]New Twin Towers Unveiled as World’s Jaw Hits Floor[/h]"AAAAAGH! YOU HAVE ERECTED A TERRIFYING MONUMENT TO THE NIGHTMARES OF 9/11!!!" was probably not the reaction that Seoul-based Yongsan Dream Hub corporation had in mind when they unveiled their plans today for an ambitious new construction project: Two high-rises connected by a "pixelated cloud" structure that, tragically, calls to mind the kinds of images you don't really want to call to mind when looking at a new set of twin towers. The design is by Dutch architectural firm MVRDV, who seemingly had no ill will when they envisioned the cloud as a kind of oasis in the sky, with "a large connecting atrium, a wellness centre, conference centre, fitness studio, various pools, restaurants and cafes." (Rendering here.) Actually, now that I've sat with it for a little while, a floating sauna inside a pixelated cloud sounds pretty relaxing — the kind of place Mario and Luigi might go to unwind after a hard day...
  11. A cautionary tale: Cheap glass window wall is not suitable for our climate http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/13/tor-glass-walled-condos.html Thermal Window Failure: How it Happens A Developer's Change of Heart Engineering Buildings to Perform Audio and Video Highlights Many of the glass condominium towers filling up the Toronto skyline will fail 15 to 25 years after they’re built, perhaps even earlier, and will need retrofits costing millions of dollars, say some industry experts. Buyers drawn to glass-walled condos because of the price and spectacular views may soon find themselves grappling with major problems including: Insulation failures. Water leaks. Skyrocketing energy and maintenance costs. Declining resale potential. Glass condominiums — known in the industry as window walls — have floor-to-ceiling glass, so essentially the window becomes the wall. Window walls generally span from the top of the concrete slab right to the bottom. The slow-motion failure of Toronto's glass condos http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/ Over the past decade, Toronto's building boom has been dominated by tall glass condo towers. They've transformed the look of city skylines all over the world – especially here in Toronto, where according to Emporis.comwe've built more towers per capita than any other city in North America. But it may be a trend that puts style over substance. A small but growing chorus is sounding the alarm about the future of these buildings. Building scientists have known for a long time that glass-walled structures are less energy efficient than the stone and concrete buildings that were put up forty of fifty years ago. But the market demand for glass combined with the relatively low cost of glass-wall construction means the building industry has been happy to oblige. However, industry insiders warn that as energy costs climb, glass towers may become the "pariah" buildings of the future. In these stories, we explore the hidden costs of building with glass and the slow-motion failure of window walls. We also look at why the Ontario Building Code failed to make energy performance a priority, and meet a developer who is reconsidering the construction of such buildings. Building science consultant and University of Waterloo professor John Straube wrote a paper called Can Highly Glazed Building Facades be Green? View Paper [1MB .pdf] http://www.cbc.ca/toronto/features/condos/pdf/condo_conundrum.pdf John Straube John Straube, a building science consultant and professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo says glass condos are a "perfect reflection" of a society that's found it easier to throw things away than to build them to last. "We have a hard time," says Straube, "thinking five years when we buy a laptop, ten years when we buy a car. With these buildings – both the skin and the mechanical systems are going to have to be redone in a 25-year time frame. The concrete structure will be there a long time but in 20, 25 years time, we are going to see a lot of scaffolding on the outside of the buildings as we replace the glazing, sealants and the glass itself." Although falling glass from the condo balconies has attracted most of the public attention during the summer of 2011, building scientists warn that the long-term failure of the glass structures – although less sensational – is much more serious. More: how thermal window failure happens Window-wall systems Most of them are built using window-wall systems which have next to no insulation value, except for a half inch of heavy gas between the two panels of glass. As John Straube points out, what glass does really well is conduct heat. "A little experiment anyone can do at home is get a glass for drinking. Pour boiling water into it, and try and pick it up. You'll burn yourself." Straube, along with building science colleagues like Ted Kesik at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture at the University of Toronto, warns that as energy costs climb, the costs of heating and cooling glass towers will increase the monthly fees. Kesik wrote a paper called The Glass Condo Conundrum (250KB .pdf) on the potential liabilities of glass towers. The Glass Condo Conundrum It's not just the energy costs. Glass structures require major maintenance much earlier in their life cycle than a traditional structure made of precast or brick. Straube warns maintenance costs will skyrocket in 20 to 25 years' time as the buildings age. The windows will begin to fog up, and the cost of replacing entire walls of glass will be prohibitive on highrise structures that can only be accessed from swing stages. Building scientists talk about the life cycle of a building, akin to a human life cycle, language that encourages people like Straube to see a building as an organism. "It has lungs," says Straube, "it has veins, all of that stuff – it has a structural skeleton." To Straube, a building is a living, breathing thing, enclosing the people who live inside. Building with glass walls is to miss the main point of a building, says Straube – sacrificing the protection that is a building's first duty for a beauty that is only skin-deep. "It's almost derogatory in my world," says Straube, "to forget about everything else that's part of experiencing a building. I like to think what is this building going to be like on a dark and stormy night. In our climate particularly, we care about that. It's life and death." Audio Introduction Matt Galloway spoke with Mary Wiens about the series. Listen (runs 6:11) Part One Mary Wiens introduces us to people concerned about the hidden costs of glass walls. Listen (runs 6:48) Part Two A developer of glass towers tells us why he will never put up another one. Listen (runs 6:28) Part Three Mary Wiens asks engineers about the rise, and repair, of the glass towers. Listen (runs 6:38) Part Four Mary Wiens tours a new condominium with a young couple and their real estate agent. Listen (runs 6:50) Part Five Mary Wiens tells us about a solution that has helped produce more efficient cars and appliances, an approach that may have potential for condominiums as well. Listen (runs 6:59) Video Part One: How glass fails John Lancaster talks to David House about the potential problems facing owners of glass condos in Toronto. Watch (runs 3:16) Part Two: Hidden costs Kamela and Jason Hurlbut are looking for their first dream home but there are hidden costs to living in Toronto's glass condos. Watch (runs 3:19) Part Three: The ripple effect If I can't sell my condo, I can't buy your home. John Lancaster looks at the possible ripple effect in Toronto's real estate market. Watch (runs 3:48)
  12. Just south of the Metropolitan in a 3 building mall where Zellers, an old Maxi and the infamous Millenium Club were doing business for years is now completely vacated and is just waiting for the wrecker's ball. This is a huge site that can easily accomodate 10 or more condo towers like the Villa Latella on Boul. des Galleries d'Anjou. Just south on Jean Talon near Provencher the 6 storey Bellavista condo building is having it's underground garage carved out. This great to see!! the whole island is rocking with development!!
  13. Skye Halifax

    http://inhabitat.com/skye-halifax-green-skyscrapers-to-be-the-tallest-towers-in-nova-scotia/
  14. Expos Office Complex (1998)

    This is a La Presse article from May 1998 regarding the Expos building an office complex to support their stadium construction project. The two towers next to Windsor station represents the two 50 floor towers that was part of the Canadiens original building plans, as mentioned in the second part of the article.
  15. Read this and you'll be discouraged at how sleepy Montreal is. I think back to the Aubin article few weeks back where he questioned the three "tall" residential towers proposed or under construction. As someone noted on that thread it just demonstrates how slow things are here. http://lapresseaffaires.cyberpresse.ca/economie/immobilier/201103/04/01-4376243-la-folie-des-hauteurs-de-toronto.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_BO4_la_2343_accueil_POS1
  16. I am currently in Caracas (actually a nearby city called Los Teques, which is sometimes considered part of Greater Caracas). In the city center of Caracas there is a very new (about 5 years old) office building called "Torre David" or sometimes "Torre Confinanzas" which was occupied by people from nearby slums during its last stages of construction. The government then proceeded to pay the developer for the building so they didn't have to take them out. Here are some photos of the building, which is 190 meters tall (that's 623 feet), making it the third tallest building in Venezuela (the first two being the twin towers of Parque Central): The one on the left is one of the twin towers of Parque Central, the tallest buildings in Venezuela (221m). The one on the right is the slum I'm talking about. The orange bricks seen in the close-ups were put there by the current occupants. I wonder if this is the tallest slum in the world.
  17. Je vais déménager à Manhattan au mois d'Août. Je garde un pied-à-terre à Vancouver et reviens fréquemment à Montréal. Je viens de voir cette nouvelle toute fraiche. Je vais habiter tout juste à côté de Washington Square, et ce nouveau développement m'intéresse au plus haut point. J'esssaierai de vous en faire part régulièrement. Voici l'article du Wall Street Journal: First Look at NYU Tower Plan University Wants 38-Story Building on Village Site; Critics Fret Over Pei Design By CRAIG KARMIN New York University on Thursday expects to unveil its much-anticipated design plans for the proposed 38-story tower in Greenwich Village, one of the most ambitious projects in the school's controversial 25-year expansion plan. Before and after: The space between two towers designed by I.M. Pei, above, would be filled by a new tower, in rendering below, under NYU's plan. The tower, sight-unseen, is already facing backlash from community groups who say the building would interfere with the original three-tower design by famed architect I.M. Pei. Critics also say the new building would flood the neighborhood with more construction and cause other disruptions. The concrete fourth tower with floor-to-ceiling glass windows would be built on the Bleecker Street side of the site, known as University Village. It would house a moderate-priced hotel on the bottom 15 floors. The 240-room hotel would be intended for visiting professors and other NYU guests, but would also be available to the public. The top floors would be housing for school faculty. In addition, NYU would move the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center farther east toward Mercer Street to clear space for a broader walkway through the site that connects Bleecker and Houston streets. The sports complex would be torn down and rebuilt with a new design. Grimshaw Architects The plan also calls for replacing a grocery store that is currently in the northwest corner of the site with a playground. As a result, the site would gain 8,000 square feet of public space under the tower proposal, according to an NYU spokesman. NYU considers the new tower a crucial component of its ambitious expansion plans to add six million square feet to the campus by 2031—including proposed sites in Brooklyn, Governors Island and possibly the World Trade Center site—in an effort to increase its current student population of about 40,000 by 5,500. The tower is also one of the most contentious parts of the plan because the University Village site received landmark status in 2008 and is home to a Pablo Picasso statue. The three existing towers, including one dedicated to affordable public housing, were designed by Mr. Pei in the 1960s. The 30-story cast-concrete structures are considered a classic example of modernism. Grimshaw Architects, the New York firm that designed the proposed tower, says it wants the new structure to complement Mr. Pei's work. "It would be built with a sensitivity to the existing buildings," says Mark Husser, a Grimshaw partner. "It is meant to relate to the towers but also be contemporary." Grimshaw Architects NYU says the planned building, at center of rendering above, would relate to current towers. He said the new tower would use similar materials to the Pei structures and would be positioned at the site in a way not to cut off views from the existing buildings. Little of this news is likely to pacify local opposition. "A fourth tower would utterly change Pei's design," says Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He says that Mr. Pei designed a number of plans about the same time that similarly featured three towers around open space, such as the Society Hill Towers in Philadelphia. Watch a video showing a rendering of New York University's proposed 38-story tower, one of the most ambitious projects in the university's vast 2031 expansion plan. The tower would be located near Bleecker Street in Manhattan. Video courtesy of Grimshaw Architects. Residents say they fear that the new tower would bring years of construction and reduce green spaces and trees. "We are oversaturated with NYU buildings," says Sylvia Rackow, who lives in the tower for public housing. "They have a lot of other options, like in the financial district, but they are just greedy." NYU will have to win permission from the city's Landmark Commission before it can proceed. This process begins on Monday when NYU makes a preliminary presentation to the local community board. Jason Andrew for the Wall Street Journal NYU is 'just greedy,' says Sylvia Rackow, seen in her apartment. Grimshaw. While the commission typically designates a particular district or building, University Village is unusual in that it granted landmark status to a site and the surrounding landscaping, making it harder to predict how the commission may respond. NYU also would need to get commercial zoning approval to build a hotel in an area designated as residential. And the university would have to get approval to purchase small strips of land on the site from the city. If the university is tripped up in getting required approvals, it has a backup plan to build a tower on the site currently occupied by a grocery store at Bleecker and LaGuardia, which would have a size similar to the proposed tower of 270,000 square feet. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704198004575311161334409470.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_MIDDLENexttoWhatsNewsForth
  18. Broccolini wins two tenders for LEED Gold office towers from the federal government Canada NewsWire MONTREAL, May 7 MONTREAL, May 7 /CNW Telbec/ - Broccolini, a recognized leader in the Canadian construction industry for over sixty years, has recently won two major tenders from the federal government to construct two LEED® Gold office towers, with work slated to begin in late summer. The firm has been awarded the contract to design, develop and build these towers totalling more than 900,000 rentable sq. ft. of Class A office space for the Department of Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC) in Gatineau, Quebec. Having successfully developed TELUS House, a 9-storey, Class A, 160,000 sq. ft. LEED® Silver certified office building in Ottawa, and with Export Development Canada's (EDC) 575,000 sq. ft. headquarters under construction, the new mandates confirm Broccolini's significant position in development and construction in the National Capital area. The new buildings will provide space for federal government departments and organizations and will attain LEED® Gold certification. This represents the tenth time that Broccolini will have delivered a LEED® certified project to the marketplace. "We are very proud to have won the mandate for these groundbreaking projects," said Anthony Broccolini, Managing Director at Broccolini. "We believe it reflects our reputation for strong development and construction capabilities, as well as the quality of the work we've previously undertaken in the Ottawa market." The 12-storey, 484,000 sq. ft. office tower, located on Carrière Boulevard in Gatineau, features architecture promoting a healthy balance between efficient planning and the preservation and restoration of natural green space. It will enhance the site's attractions, taking advantage of the extensive mature tree coverage and superb view overlooking Lac Leamy. The building's timeless architecture and cutting-edge technology will be an eye-catching reflection of Broccolini's environmental commitment, as well as its ongoing concern for the quality of its developments. The second building, a 15-storey, 690,000 sq. ft office tower, will overlook Promenade du Portage Street in the heart of downtown Gatineau, adjacent to the PWGSC's existing premises. With architecture combining heritage features and high-tech efficiency, its design will allow the building to optimize the usage of space while restoring and improving a significant element of the city's urban fabric, at the same time incorporating PWGSC's existing facilities. The know-how, experience and passion for development and construction, cornerstones of the company's success, were no doubt major factors in the decision to award the mandate to the firm. With a pristine litigation record and an enviable reputation for integrity, quality of work and flexibility, Broccolini has demonstrated its ability to deliver similar signature properties to the market. "We have major experience in a wide range of projects from office buildings and manufacturing facilities to big box stores and industrial complexes," explained Mr. Broccolini. "Our team is enthusiastic and welcomes the challenges of delivering these exciting and demanding projects on time and on budget."
  19. Ce projet remplace Écocité sur le Bois, qui a été annulé ********************* Are we sure this is the right website and name? or are the towers a distant future phase?
  20. Je me disais que plusieurs aimeraient lire ça... (Oui oui à Toronto ils ont longtemps considéré qu'il y avait une phobie des hauteurs) Toronto skyscrapers rise ever taller The city may finally be getting over its irrational fear of heights Marcus Gee Published on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 6:59PM EDT Last updated on Friday, Apr. 23, 2010 7:00PM EDT Yesterday, Mayor David Miller was on hand for the ceremonial ground-breaking of the tallest residential building in Canada. The 75-storey, 243-metre-high Aura condominium will be a dramatic addition to the city skyline, a blade-like glass-and-steel skyscraper that is the final stage of the College Park complex at College and Yonge. With 931 units and 1.1 million square feet of living space, it is the King Kong of condos, boasting more residential footage than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building. Aura is a sign that Toronto is getting over its fear of heights. New office and condominium towers are popping up downtown like mushrooms after a summer rain. The Shangri-La hotel and condo on University Avenue will rise 66 storeys; architect Daniel Libeskind’s L Tower on the Esplanade, 57 storeys. The Ice condos down by the waterfront will comprise two towers of 65 and 55 storeys. By 2014, Toronto could have close to 100 buildings over 400 feet tall, nearly double the number of a decade earlier. City councillor Kyle Rae says this city has become the “Manhattan of Canada,” a comparison that would have seemed absurd even a few years ago. For a city that used to quiver and squirm whenever a developer threatened to put up a skyscraper outside the financial district, it is a startling change. Back in the 1970s, worries about congestion and overbuilding led Mayor David Crombie to slap a 40-foot height limit on downtown buildings. In the early 2000s, the city was consumed by a debate over the Minto project, a high-rise condo opposed by neighbouring homeowners. A couple of years later, developer Harry Stinson was forced to cancel plans for the spectacular, 90-storey Sapphire Tower on Temperance Street. It seemed too tall, too big, too flashy. All that seems dated now. Though neighbours still complain about shadow impacts, traffic congestion and other often-imaginary problems with proposed tall buildings, Torontonians are coming to accept the merits of building into the heavens. The thicket of downtown high-rises fits perfectly with the drive to promote urban “intensification,” planner-speak for packing people more closely together to save energy and counteract urban sprawl. The Aura project is right on the Yonge subway line, so thousands of people will be able to get around without their cars. It will bring new life to the tatty corner of Yonge and Gerrard and kick-start revitalization of the crummy Yonge Street strip. Even so, the city at first failed to see Aura’s aura. The site was zoned for just 36 storeys and planners bridled at the notion of more than doubling that. When a City of Toronto planner first discussed Aura with Mr. Rae, a champion of urban density and downtown living, she called it a disgrace. “I turned to her and said, ‘Is that a planning term?’ and it deteriorated from there.” But the city soon realized it was on thin ice if it hoped to oppose Aura. Both Toronto’s official plan and Ontario’s smart growth policies call for increasing density around nodes such as Yonge and College. To ease the city’s concerns, developer Michael La Brier agreed to set up a five-member panel with leading U.S. and local architects to review the tower’s design. The result is a sleek and handsome building that will cost about half a billion dollars. The tower will stand on a three-storey granite-and-glass podium with high-end stores such as Bed, Bath and Beyond. More than 97 per cent of the condos have been pre-sold, says Mr. La Brier, though if you have $17.5-million in your pocket, there is still a penthouse available. That a developer can charge such a sum for a condo in Toronto is a sign of confidence in the city and its vibrant downtown. Aura was financed in the midst of the world financial crisis and more than 85 per cent of the units were sold within six weeks, sight unseen. The building’s dramatic height is a draw, not a drawback. Mr. La Brier’s remembers the fuss when College Park’s early phases went up, with towers of 45 and 51 storeys. “In those days, 51 storeys was as scary as 75 is today.” With Aura’s unabashed embrace of height, the city has moved on. If we can get over our fear of 75 storeys, why not 80 or 90 or even 100? In this new vertical city, the sky is the limit. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-skyscrapers-rise-ever-taller/article1545218/
  21. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tour_de_la_Bourse Somebody used to have a rendering with the 3 towers on SSP, but I can't find it anymore...
  22. Canada's tallest under construction by city

    Updated - Oct 26 http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=174954 Yikes... Espérons que Altitude Montréal commence bientot!
  23. Dragonfly concept aims for ecological self-sufficiency in New York The latest concept design from Vincent Callebaut Architects – the Dragonfly – has been designed with the intention of easing the ever-increasing need for ecological and environmental self-sufficiency in the urban cityscape. The proposed development, designed around the Southern bank of Roosevelt Island in New York, follows a vertical farm design which, it is hoped, would cultivate food, agriculture, farming and renewable energy in an urban setting. The unique 128 floor, 700m concept design is spread over two oblong towers and suggests building a prototype of an urban farm in which a mixed programme of housing, offices, laboratories and farming spaces are vertically laid out over several floors and cultivated by its inhabitants. The architecture of the design proposes reinventing the vertical building, so associated with the New York skyline of the 19th and 20th centuries, both structurally and functionally as well as ecologically. The functional organisation of the design is arranged around two 600m towers, symmetrically arranged around a huge climactic greenhouse that links them, and constructed of glass and steel. This greenhouse, which defines the shape of the design, supports the load of the building and is directly inspired by the structural exoskeleton of dragonfly wings. Two inhabited rings buttress around the ‘wings,’ and along the exterior of these are solar panels, which will provide up to half the buildings electricity, with the rest being supplied by three wind machines along the vertical axes of the building. While most would argue that the unconventional design of Dragonfly would be more suited to Dubailand than New York, the conceptual design tackles the contemporary dilemma of food production and agriculture in a city sorely lacking in the horizontal space required to do so, as well as attempting to achieve this in an ecologically sound and renewable way by merging production and consumption in the heart of the city. John Edwards Reporter http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=11599