Letter to the Editor:
Interesting, attractive, and inspiring designs
This second of two open letters attempts to address the uninspiring designs of the buildings being proposed by the second set of consultants attending the open house held at the Heritage Train Station on April 5.
After talking to these consultants, I learned that the mediocre building designs presented resulted from a change in the terms of reference which transferred the design responsibility to a local engineering firm instead of maintaining that responsibility with HTFC Design and Planning Consultants from Winnipeg, who have an international reputation for producing outstanding designs in their projects.
Some examples of their work are the new and exciting Kenora waterfront, the beautiful and extensive Forks Area in downtown Winnipeg, and closer to home, the Ignace highway entrance sign as well as their municipal building.
Designs these days, in a world full of the dull and the ordinary, need to be functional, yes, but also interesting, attractive, and inspiring. And yes, I know it takes more effort and money to do something imaginative, but not that much more. And it’s worth the effort! Steel trussed chicken coop designs are, in my opinion, not the answer. Options, as examples, are to cut down the number of buildings proposed (do we really need a kayak kiosk?), eliminate the costly items (like an extensive dock system requiring a rock/ rubble breakwall to be built in 30 feet of water versus parallel docking system from the beach (one or two for boats and one for swimming).
We should be treated to pleasant and attractive designs for the band shelter, simple, bright, clean, easy to hose down/ disinfect (maintain) washroom facilities, and maybe some simple and effective pavilion shelter.
HTFC Consulting was originally mandated to provide our community with some interesting design work. Now, with the terms of reference changed they seem to be relegated to the landscaping design work. If we are to see some interesting results, municipal council needs to change the terms of reference and give back to the HTFC Consultants the responsibility to design the buildings, and rework the priorities so that the end result will fall within the limiting budget.
It takes a certain amount of will, openness, and understanding to get us back into the right direction.
After all, is this not why we have these open house sessions in the first place?
Michael Quince, concerned citizen