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Tensions build over Roxboro high-rise project by Raffy Boudjikanian Article online since November 24th 2009, 13:00 Holly Arsenault shows the property line dividing her land from that of a developer whose potential project leaves many on Fifth Avenue North in Roxboro unhappy. Chronicle, Raffy Boudjikanian. Tensions build over Roxboro high-rise project Even as some residents of Fifth Avenue North in Roxboro, a dead-end street lined with single-unit bungalows, are concerned over the possible development of a multiple-storey condo at the end of their street, Pierrefonds officials at a lively public meeting last Wednesday night were at pains to explain nothing could move ahead yet. "Before the project can be accepted or acceptable, the developer must present plans that conform to our legislation. For now, that isn't the case yet," said Pierre Rochon, urban planning and business services department director, in answer to citizen questions. However, residents are concerned after seeing land surveyors walk into the swampy wooded area over the last few weeks. Holly Arsenault, who lives in a home right on the property line of the area, even said one of them told her the owner, Jacob Wolofsky, has already acquired all necessary permits and construction will begin in February. "If that's true, he's dreaming in colour," Rochon replied. When The Chronicle went to visit the street last Thursday, Arsenault showed a row of rocks that separates her yard from Wolofsky's property. Planted alongside both sides of that makeshift border are 45 trees, which Arsenault said play a large role in keeping her home from flooding when nearby Rivière des Prairies rises in the spring. "He said he's going to cut them down," Arsenault said, adding about half of them are on the developer's side. Another Fifth Avenue North resident, France Marsant, voiced her displeasure at the Wednesday meeting too. "Our street had a very peaceful, very calm character," she said. "We find it unthinkable to have a big block of eight floors on the street, which could lead to 300 cars going into the street by the summer." Borough Mayor Monique Worth insisted Pierrefonds was doing all in its power to ensure legal norms force the developer to create a reasonable project. "Our norms are getting higher and higher," she said. Rochon said previous bylaws allowed a 12-storey high project on the site, but the borough's revisions have already cut that size down to eight. At least one resident of the street was skeptical anything could be built at all. "I wouldn't even invest a cent into that land, it's a swamp," said Michel Davuluy, who has been living there for several years. After the meeting, Worth conceded the city of Montreal would, in an ideal world, like to buy up that land and turn into green space. "I think, in a way, we would like it to be a part of green space that would start, let's say, west of the Rapides du Cheval Blanc and end with that piece of property," Worth said. "But we can't force him to sell at a lower price because we would like to. It's up to him, it's his decision," she said. Though the land is valuated at about $188,000, a purchase by Montreal would cost millions because it is a public body, Worth said. Montreal had a right of expropriation on the property in question up to last May, but did not renew it after it expired, Marsant mentioned at the meeting. Wolofsky did not return calls for comment.
Local architect pledges to stop the ‘joke’ of high-rise Rotterdam World War II saw the destruction of many cities around Europe and not least hit was the city of Rotterdam. While devastating on a human and financial scale this allowed the city to evolve into what is now considered as the ‘high rise city of the Netherlands’. But local architect Jan Willem van Kuilenburg, principal of Monolab Architects has derided this label as ‘a joke’ calling for an extension to the local authorities’ planned high rise zone to the south and proposes Rotterdam's first super-tower, the 450 m high City Tower. “Rotterdam is too hesitant, too defensive and too much like an underdog. After the Erasmus bridge we are in need of a real skyscraper of European scale of which Rotterdam can be proud,” says Kuilenburg, “All currently realised towers in Rotterdam are of mediocre quality and very primitive. As we should save in prosperous periods, it makes the current economic crisis the right time to invest.” Kuilenburg proposes City Tower as the leader in this campaign. The 450 m mixed-use tower with a photovoltaic skin would be built in the water by the Maas Harbour. According to Kuilenburg it would allow the high-rise zone to serve the whole city and help to connect Europe’s largest port to the rest of the city. The tower would be connected to land via a steel pedestrian boulevard to a separate parking lot with the capacity for 1000 cars. Kuilenburg believes this element of the project could aid the local authorities’ plans to liberate the downtown area of traffic by creating a 6th park and ride zone with its close proximity to the Metro. Asked about the likely response from the people of Rotterdam to what would be a very bold visual landmark, Kuilenburg said: “I don’t know. In general Rotterdam people are proud of the skyline, they are energetic and ready to go for new proposals. It has always been a scene for experiment. Rotterdam was bombed in the Second World War and so new buildings emerged, since then people are used to change.” Kuilenburg is currently in talks with developers and calling for international investment for the project. Niki May Young News Editor http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10909
MVRDV and ADEPT win Copenhagen high-rise competition with design ‘Sky Village’ The municipality of Rødovre, an independent municipality of Copenhagen, Denmark, announced today MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT winner of the design competition of the Rødovre Skyscraper. The 116 meter tall tower accommodates apartments, a hotel, retail and offices. A public park and a plaza are also part of the privately funded scheme. The new skyscraper with a total surface of 21,688 sq m will be located at Roskildevej, a major artery East of the centre of Copenhagen. It is, after the Frøsilos, MVRDV’s second project in Copenhagen. The skyscraper is shaped to reflect Copenhagen’s historical spire and present day high-rise blending in the skyline of the city, it further combines the two distinctive typologies of Rødovre, the single family home and the skyscraper in a vertical village. Consideration of these local characteristics leads to Copenhagen’s first contemporary high-rise. Responding to unstable markets the design is based on a flexible grid, allowing alteration of the program by re-designating units. These ‘pixels’ are each 60m2 square and arranged around the central core of the building, which for flexibility consists of three bundled cores allowing separate access to the different program segments. On the lower floors the volume is slim to create space for the surrounding public plaza with retail and restaurants; the lower part of the high rise consists of offices, the middle part leans north in order to create a variety of sky gardens that are terraced along the south side. This creates a stacked neighbourhood, a Sky Village. From this south orientation the apartments are benefitting. The top of the building will be occupied by a hotel enjoying the view towards Copenhagen city centre. The constellation of the pixels allows flexibility in function; the building can be transformed by market forces, however at this moment it is foreseen to include 970 sq m retail, 15,800 sq m offices, 3,650 sq m housing and 2,000 sq m hotel and a basement of 13,600 sq m containing parking and storage. Flexibility for adaptation is one of the best sustainable characteristics of a building. Besides this the Sky Village will also integrate the latest technologies according to the progressive Danish environmental standards. Furthermore the plans include a greywater circuit, the use of 40% recycled concrete in the foundation and a variety of energy producing devices on the façade. A public park adjacent to the Sky Village is part of the project and will be refurbished with additional vegetation and the construction of a ‘superbench’, a meandering public path and bench. A playground, picnic area and exercise areas for elderly citizens are also part of the plan. Lead architect MVRDV and co-architect ADEPT Architects won the competition from BIG, Behnisch and MAD. Winy Maas and Jacob van Rijs present the plan today in Copenhagen together with Anders Lonka and Martin Krogh from local office Adept Architects, Dutch engineering firm ABT and Søren Jenssen act as consultants for the project. Earlier MVRDV realised the Frøsilos / Gemini Residence in the port of Copenhagen: a residential project marking a new way in refurbishment of old silo’s which was highly acclaimed and received international awards. http://www.worldarchitecturenews.com/index.php?fuseaction=wanappln.projectview&upload_id=10584
2005 Findings 1. New York City 4. Paris 14. Chicago 30. Montreal It's some old findings from the end of 2005. List