The architectural proposal juxtaposes three quintessential forms - square, octagon and circle - and develops their volumetric spaces to make a strong formal resolution of the competition program within the evolving morphology of a growing city.
The building is ordered and thoroughly articulated to form a clear spatial hierarchy to accommodate the distribution of the various components of the general program. The scheme brings to full expression the urban aspirations of the competition and displays qualities that we believe are inherent in all buildings and spaces of civic importance: order, public amenity, a sense of permanence, civility and symbolic value.
The scheme confirms the idea that a square will provide a stable focus of both everyday use and a public ceremony at the City Centre. The square is an ideal urban artifact, a generous courtyard theatre, and the « space of appearance. » Figure A shows the primary architectural figures to be expressed materially in granite and limestone: the square, the walls, the council chamber and its outdoor counterpart, the amphitheatre, elevator cores, service towers, council offices and meeting rooms, portico and arrival courts.
An octagonal order mediates between the square and the circle. Figure B shows the commons, a continuous, three-story-high convertible space which gives public access at grade to the three elevator cores: central, east and west. The lobby is the most important part of the commons. The commons provides a climate-controlled space for promenading, diverse public activity and café settings where people may spend more time at City Hall. In the summer, large, upward-sliding glazed doors at the arcade openings allow the commons to be opened to the square in favorable weather.
The City Hall is comprised of three, seven-story buildings surrounding the square, which share a large curved outer surface made in state of the art curtain wall technology, the resultant form gives the building a striking presence in the context of the existing and anticipated building typologies of shopping centre, office tower and apartment block. Figure C shows the curved outer wall with its large portal entrances which break the curved surface to reveal the service courts.
Figure D illustrates the intensification and interaction of public activity around the lobby which connects these elements vertically and horizontally. The elements are the council chamber, council offices and meeting rooms, the portico, speaker's rostrum, council lounge, art gallery and the conservatory.
Floors four, five and six of either the east or west wings provide the required tenant space, or alternatively, the whole sixth floor could be leased out in the short term and phased out as space demands grow. The general articulation of the building into smaller spatial units allows for a planning flexibility to accommodate both short and long term needs without sacrificing departmental identity within the larger whole.
(From official publication)
The architectural qualities of the submission were admired by most jury members, but even its strong admirers felt that in the disposition of certain key elements of the program, it was less successful in meeting the intent of the program than the First Award winner. In addition to this, reservations were expressed regarding the capability of the submission to meet the cost and energy budgets without significant modifications.
(From jury report)
6 scanned / 4 viewable
- Site Plan
- Photograph of Model