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Design Panel Drills Down on Tall Tower for Pier 8

Design Panel Drills Down on Tall Tower for Pier 8

  A 45 story residential tower proposed for Hamilton’s West Harbour faced another round of scrutiny during a Design Review Panel discussion last night.

  The open to the public online meeting was a more technical discussion of the towers finer points, then the previous public meeting on Tuesday night.

  While the public was concerned with potential blocked views, traffic disruption and even plumbing issues, last night’s meeting focused on green building techniques and surprisingly- public access.

High Rise debate continues

  The 45 story building with an attached 31 story wing is being considered for the Pier 8 land in the West Harbour. That land will also be developed by the Waterfront Shores Corporation with mid-rise townhouses. In total 1,645 residential units will be located on the waterfront land located close to Williams Café and a public skating rink.

  Lead architect on the project, Bruce Kuwabara of KPMB once again explained the three potential designs for the towers, called Cylinder, Waves and Lily. The tower he said would be a beacon, a civic statement, visible from the Skyway Bridge, the Thomas B. McQuesten High Level Bridge. LaSalle Park and the escarpment.

Technical questions about Pier 8 Tower

Proposed residential tower for Pier 8
KPMB photo

  Curiously, design review panelists, comprised of architects, planners and technologists weren’t as interested in the design of the potential landmark, as they were in very specific elements such as sustainability, quality of life for inhabitants, green roof technology and even the recipe for the concrete mix used in the construction of building.

  Kuwabara, ever the patient presenter, underscored that the building is at the very earliest stages of design. It is a long way from detailed drawings and in fact as the city’s waterfront boss, Chris Phillips repeatedly said at meetings this week, it may never happen because the city owns the land, controls the zoning and could pull the plug on a high-rise for the site.

  One question from the panel that seemed to cause Kuwabara to pause, was around public accessibility.  Was there a provision for the public to have entry into the building so that  “all of Hamilton could experience the landmark.”

  Kuwabara indicated it will after all be a residential building, and the idea that the lobby would be open to the public is a challenging proposal.

  The Design Review Panel is an advisory body only and sends comments to the planning department at city hall. They meet again April 27th for round two on the tower. That meeting will be open to the public.

More reading-

More information at the City of Hamilton

https://www.hamilton.ca/city-initiatives/priority-projects/key-project-pier-8-block-16

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