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As "new levels piled on top of an older building" go, methinks the first design worked better. The new design looks too blocky and too plain, almost industrial. The ultra-plain treatment of the roofline also seems like a mismatch for the neighbourhood. The first design was much better in that regard.
Maybe I'm misreading the cladding and the glazing as it appears in the illustrations, but the new design looks like it has nothing to do with that particular stretch of Quadra Street. I can see it in Rock Bay or the Railyards, maybe even Dockside Green.
I realize any notions about truly harmonizing the old and new parts are always going to be questionable with this sort of development. When you boil it down you're talking about a whole lot of new construction glued onto an older building. I'm just saying, even though the new version is smaller and seemingly less bulky, the overall effect is much more incongruous to my eye. There's no way I could ever convince myself that new design somehow grew out of that old podium.
I would agree. The new design feels very out of sync with not only The Abbey, but the whole neighbourhood. The initial design was very avante garde, but it still worked, I thought.
Another rendering of the updated proposal.
Proposed 10-storey Quadra Street rental tower will incorporate 111-year-old North Park heritage asset
91-unit rental complex will rise above The Abbey apartments on Quadra and Fisgard streets.