I know, I know - put a glass dome on it, figure out some way to install walls while preserving the exposed concrete spiral and turn it into an art museum - sort of our own downmarket hommage to the Guggenheim! Now THAT would be cool, albeit bizarre.
Parking on city’s chopping block
March 21, 2012 | Paige Desmond | Waterloo Chronicle | LINK
The city is struggling with the fate of its 17 parking lots and facilities — and may sell them off to keep development in uptown going.
“We keep asking for an economic development solution for this problem and we keep getting a parking solution,” Coun. Karen Scian said.
Waterloo’s finance committee received a report Monday outlining how parking needs could grow by more than 500 spaces in the next five years.
But with implementation of the LRT in 2017 and the city’s need for infill, councillors questioned the numbers and how to use parking lots as an economic development driver as opposed to banking the land and waiting for LRT to drive values up as staff recommended.
DUKE & ONTARIO GARAGE FAÇADE TREATMENTS
REPORT TO: Community & Infrastructure Services Committee
DATE OF REPORT: April 4, 2012 | DATE OF MEETING: April 16, 2012
SUBMITTED BY: John McBride, Director Transportation Services
PREPARED BY: John McBride, Director Transportation Services & Cory Bluhm, Manager Downtown Development
REPORT NO.: INS-12-037
That Council consider the inclusion of a coloured façade treatment for the Duke & Ontario Parking Garage; and further,
That staff be directed to undertake the public consultation process as proposed in this report and report back to a future Community and Infrastructure Services Committee meeting.
The last phase of structural repairs in the Duke & Ontario Garage is about to commence. Council approved the low tender as submitted by Canadian Construction Controls Ltd at their meeting of March 26, 2012. The structural repairs will consist of new external post tensioning on two levels, new asphaltic membrane on the helix and the repair and sealing of the façade of the garage. It is the nature of the façade work that is the focus of this report.
The Duke & Ontario Garage was constructed in the mid 1960’s, and with the prominent helix design, is somewhat unique in this part of the country and for this reason, it has been featured in a number of commercials and advertisements. Heritage Kitchener has also recognized its architectural importance and has listed its status as a non-designated structure on the Municipal Heritage Register.
The Duke & Ontario Garage is approximately 45 years old and the vast majority of previous repairs have been focused on the structural slabs, beams, helix and the introduction of waterproofing membranes. While this last phase of the repair program deals predominantly with those issues, it also includes repairs to the façade of the structure.
Concrete delaminations around columns, slab edges and parapet walls on the façade must be repaired to prevent, not only further delaminations, but also the risk of falling concrete. When observing the façade from all sides, numerous locations of exposed, rusted reinforcing steel can be observed. These delaminations had previously had all loose material removed to prevent falling hazards, but if it is not repaired, further deterioration will occur.
Façade repairs will include the removal of all loose concrete, preparation of exposed reinforcing steel and the patching with a suitable concrete mix of all areas showing signs of deterioration. The resulting appearance of the garage will be somewhat pockmarked as new whiter concrete will be visible against the older greyer concrete. A sealer will then be applied which will prevent the intrusion of moisture into the concrete, which contributes to the corrosion of the reinforcing steel as well as address issues of carbonation of the concrete.
Installation of the elastomeric coasting (sealer) will greatly improve the protection of the reinforced concrete by acting as a carbon dioxide diffusion barrier and a waterproof membrane with crack bridging capabilities.
One of the advantages of the elastomeric sealer is that it can be coloured. This gives us the opportunity to not only hide the visual difference between the old concrete and the new repairs, but also to substantially change the appearance of the garage and create a landmark building that could become the visual focal point of this portion of the downtown.
Different colour combinations that accent the helix, the columns or the parapet walls have the potential to turn an older grey structure into something that is more lively, interesting and even provocative.
Staff see this opportunity as an architectural enhancement to the garage as opposed to a public art project, although it is recognized that some members of the public may view it otherwise.
The pallet of colours available and the combination of colours is considerable. For this reason, should Council agree to consider colour alternatives for the garage, a very public process is proposed. Timing will be critical in order not to delay the repair program and a final decision will be required by the end of May.
It is proposed that the following process be followed in order to engage not only stakeholders, but also the public, in choosing a suitable façade treatment for this parking structure.
It is suggested that a small working group be formed, made up of two members of:
- The Public Art Working Group
- Heritage Kitchener
- The Grand Valley Society of Architects
- The Kitchener Business Improvement Area
- The Downtown Advisory Committee
This committee would work with staff to prepare a maximum of four different options that would then be promoted through the City’s website where the public could vote for their favourite design. The results of the working groups efforts as well as the on line vote of residents would then be brought back to Council for ratification before proceeding.
ALIGNMENT WITH CITY OF KITCHENER STRATEGIC PLAN:
This initiative falls under both the Quality of Life and Dynamic Downtown priorities in that it will build greater public appreciation, understanding and protection of our cultural heritage resources and foster vitality in the core.
The elastomeric coating (sealer) is already included in the Duke & Ontario Garage repair tender. There is no additional cost to colour the sealer. Any minor costs related to the public consultation process will be covered by the structural repair budget.
A working group made up of numerous interested groups will be invited to participate in creating potential façade scenarios for presentation to the public. The public will then be invited to vote online for their preferred façade treatment. The results of both the working group and the public input will be brought back to Council for their consideration.
Have say on look of parking garage facade
April 18, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
With the last phase of structural repairs in the Duke and Ontario parking garage about to commence, city councillors injected some fun into the construction project on Monday by endorsing a plan that could brighten up the building façade - and give residents a say on the new look.
As part of a series of repairs that must be made to the façade, which include the removal of all loose concrete, preparation of exposed reinforcing steel and patching of all areas showing signs of deterioration, a sealer will also be applied to prevent the intrusion of moisture into the concrete.
The sealer can be coloured, which will hide the visual difference between the old concrete and the new repairs, substantially change the appearance of the garage and create a landmark building that could become the visual focal point of this portion of the downtown.
A small working group, made up members of the public art working group, Heritage Kitchener, the Kitchener Business Improvement Area and the downtown advisory committee, will work with staff to prepare up to four colour options for the public to consider. Those options, along with a voting and feedback form, will be posted on the city’s website - www.kitchener.ca - when complete.
The results of both the working group and the public input will be brought back to city council for consideration.
“I really like this idea - it’s very creative,” said Coun. Scott Davey.
With its prominent helix design, the Duke and Ontario parking garage is somewhat unique in this part of the country. For this reason, it has been featured in a number of commercials and advertisements.
Heritage Kitchener has also recognized its architectural importance and has listed its status as a non-designated structure on the Municipal Heritage Register.
Having just looked at this garage again, I am strongly against painting it. Brutalism is about raw concrete, and painting it over really covers up one of the main things that distinguishes this structure.
Here's a quick mockup I made of a very colourful version. I'm not sure what I'd recommend colour-wise, but the helix lends itself well to a gradient. From this angle it looks like the starship Enterprise.
I'm for the idea of a gradient, but perhaps something a bit less highlighter-fluorescent :P
I actually like it that way, precisely because the colours are so over the top. Like in Andy Warhol's Marilyn coloured photos.
Colour chosen for Duke and Ontario parking garage
May 29, 2012 | City of Kitchener | Link
After a two-week consultation with the public, a colour has been chosen for the Duke and Ontario parking garage. The community and infrastructure services committee supported the choice of 31 per cent of respondents who chose a chartreuse accent. Chartreuse will be painted on the helix and entryway to the building, while the architectural features of the building will be painted with a variety of grey tones.
A total of 207 persons responded to the online survey, which offered choices on where to add colour to the garage, and what colour to use.
"I like it," said Mayor Zehr of the colour. "It adds a contemporary style to the building, and respects the features of the architecture at the same time."
Structural repairs on the Duke and Ontario garage include sealing the façade of the garage. The elastomeric sealer that will be used on the concrete can be coloured at no additional cost, thus allowing the opportunity to hide the visual difference between the old concrete and the new repairs, and substantially change the appearance of the garage. Accent colours will make the building a landmark or visual focal point of this portion of the downtown.
In late April, council directed staff to hold a public consultation to gather input on what, if any, colour options should be considered as part of the façade repairs in the Duke and Ontario garage. A small working group was formed to define the basic options for consideration to put forward for public input.
The working group consisted of representatives of:
- Arts and culture advisory committee/public art working group
- Heritage Kitchener
- Downtown Kitchener Business Improvement Area
- Downtown advisory committee
- A member of council
While the parking garage is mostly recognized for the helix (circular parking ramp), the remainder of the building also has some distinct architectural features that the general public rarely notices. The working group was sensitive to these features and wanted to ensure that any colour options highlighted these features. By adding a vibrant colour to the helix, while adding different shades of grey to the building’s prominent features (such as the exterior column structure), the general public will hopefully gain a greater appreciation for the building’s distinct features.
Four different options were promoted through the city’s websites and social media channels where the public could vote for their favourite design.
Well, that will certainly be..... different. Anybody have a link to the designs? I couldn't see anything on the City's website.
I think any colour would inject some brightness to a very drab corner. I do prefer the mock up of the different colours but this will add some life to Ontario & Duke St.
You may be right, MonkeyGirl, but there is something about covering the original concrete that bothers me. Even though it shows cracks and is not "pretty", something in me thinks that it should be left as it was originally built.
Seeing this angle again, do you not think there is some room for a streetfront eatery? What exists there now is just a dead park.
Last edited by dunkalunk; 05-31-2012 at 08:48 AM.
Id be all for that. It's a shitty public space as is.