LETTER – A blocked view and other comments on Station Plaza building

Your article of April 27 began with “Sometimes I think there isn’t an architect in Kamloops with imagination…” – overly heavy broad-brush Mel?

I am a Kamloops-based Architect (45 years) – although I have few projects of my design in evidence in Kamloops – but that may be because I do have imagination – and a strong design sense which is a more instrumental attribute. Kamloops has been notable in decrying architectural projects of merit for as long as I have been here.

Your comments regarding the “approved” design (Form and Character) adjacent to the historic Rail Station are appreciated – as are the comments from the City planning staff which you had diligently retrieved from the Development Permit discussions.

Unfortunately, the “kind” observations recorded by City staff rely on Council members to “pick up” on the message of inappropriateness of the design. This “design review” did not provide Council with a deliberation – just some academic attributions of the design.

So – what happened in the recent “appraisal” of the project – which appears to be of a stridently idiosyncratic design ?

This “appraisal” would appear to have been conformance (or not) of the project to the “Development Permit Guidelines” published by the City. In a nutshell, a project, if sufficiently variegated in materials, colours and roofline, will achieve the “approval” of the “Design Review Committee” – which is made up of “internal resources” – assumedly members of City planning staff.

I contacted the City Planner assigned to the processing of this project and was provided a link to the Development Permit Application file which I have provided a link to.

I notice that the project also will block the view of the North Thompson valley from some of the adjacent existing apartments. The City Planner assigned to the project advised me that the City does not formally protect views in its vetting procedures.

The “review” protocol of the City reminds me of my favorite tv ad – wherein a young girl asks – “if my mother washes the dishes before she puts them in the dishwasher – what does the dishwasher do” ?

BRIAN NELSON, Architect AIBC (# 993 – 1978)

About Mel Rothenburger (9634 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on LETTER – A blocked view and other comments on Station Plaza building

  1. Alan Kuhnert // April 30, 2023 at 9:59 AM // Reply

    How ironic that readers are complaining about the ‘style’ of the new project by the Railway Station. Having just spent 7 weeks in Australia to my untrained eye the architects there are much more adventurous when it comes to building design. How àbout designing some new buildings with panache instead of boring us to death.

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