From the Skyway Bridge, the High Level Bridge, the escarpment and James Street North, a towering building on Hamilton’s waterfront will be lasting, elegant and timely, says architect Bruce Kuwabara.
The renowned architect made the statement at a city of Hamilton planning committee meeting today. The proposed residential tower for the west harbour Pier 8 development is making its way through the regulatory process including potential zoning and official plan amendments. It will have to win approval by council after being scrutinized by a special design review panel and the public.
For now the drawings show a 45 story residential building connected by a bridge to another 31 story building. The tower will add more family size units to the Pier 8 development but will not increase the total number of resident units capped at 1,645.
Kuwabara’s firm KPMB working with Waterfront Shores and other partners in the design, describes their vision as guided by the city’s desire for design excellence, quality of life and sustainability.
New tower design shows a sleek cylinder
Renderings shown to the committee show the main tower as a sleek cylinder. As Kuwabara noted the building site, not far from the Hamilton Waterfront Trust building (formerly Sarcoa and the Waterfront Discovery Centre), is in a windy location.
“The rounded surface of the building minimizes wind acceleration around the building.” Landscaping and wind screens could also improve pedestrian comfort around the building. The tower he said would be built to WELL standards certification, with design focused on quality of life.
As the councillor for Ward 2 where Pier 8 is located, Jason Farr said he anticipates lots of “tower talk” leading up to a public meeting in March. Historically tall towers in residential neighbourhoods meet with resistance. After hearing Kuwabara’s presentation Farr noted the architect’s description of the project as a single tower that speaks back.
“You caught my attention on some of your architect speak,” Farr said.
Kuwabara grew up in the North End of Hamilton not far from the harbour
. “In Hamilton it’s all about the water,” he told the committee.
Public meeting on waterfront tower coming up
After a public meeting in March which will likely be online, the proposal goes to a special design review committee, where Kuwabara and partners will have to submit three different designs for the building. The design review meeting will also be online, the public can attend but must register.
The option to put a tall tower on the Pier 8 development came after an OMB appeal put forward by Harbour West Neighbours and Herman Turkstra. A resolution to the dispute included the city agreeing to a zoning change to allow mid-rise or hi-rise building on the parcel of land called Block 16 located near the former discovery centre and skating rink.
It will like be sometime in September before staff make a recommendation to the planning committee on the official plan and zoning changes, and their preferred design for a tower.
Information on upcoming meetings
A public information session on the proposed tower for Pier 8 will be held virtually March 8 at 6:30 pm
Design Review Panel will meet virtually March 10, and April 27 at 6:30 pm. Public must register to attend.
Updates and links to these meetings will be placed on the city of Hamilton website at:
Previous stories on Pier 8