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Would the siding panels on the Oak Bay Avenue garden centre proposal be the same sort of stuff? In moderation I wouldn't have a problem with such cladding on neighbourhood projects, as long as different projects use different colours and panel sizes, etc. But methinks "in moderation" is the key phrase. For example, on this Esquimalt project it would have looked much better if the balconies hadn't been covered with it as well. Why make the cladding such an all-or-nothing bet?
It seems like the upper levels of the building in RFS's pic above were supposed to be clad in something different than the rest of the building (or if same stuff, different colour).