At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday night, the development agreement for the new Coast Guard building on the east pier was approved. That means that work can start soon: two months are needed to award contracts then demolition of the existing buildings would be done in November/December. Construction of the new building would be done over the winter so that the new facility would be ready for the boating season. Weather permitting, this would be April/May but could stretch into summer. Directors Glenn McGlashon and Dean Hustwick said that this work would not clash with other work on the east Pier. Dean clarified that East Pier work would be in two parts – repairs and enhancements – and is subject to availability of funds as decided in budget deliberations.
The time line for the East Pier is that costing is expected by February 2021, tender documents would then be issued, then (subject to Council approval) the earliest work could start would be late summer – after the Coast Guard work is completed.
If any option gets implemented that area will look really different.
The Coast Guard Building design has not noticeably changed since first proposed and shown at an Open House on February 13, 2020 with about 20 people attending. Briefly, “the new building includes a two-storey residential module and a single storey garage and workshop. The parts of the building are linked by a single storey connection that accommodates an office and ancillary functions.” The reason for the re-development is that “the existing buildings have been deemed outdated and unsuitable for modern use and operation by the Coast Guard. The detached workshop is uninhabitable due to health and safety issues.” The new buildings are designed to “enhance the visual appeal of the area.”
Given the prominent nature of the site, the form of the building is both domestic in scale and feeling, while conveying a modern professional image for the Canadian Coast Guard. The roofline is treated as a sculptural element, with triangular forms suggestive of abstracted sails. The simple form will be legible and easily identifiable, even from a distance. It will serve as a marker for boaters and as a visual boundary between the beach and harbour areas. The design is intended to harmonize with the character of Cobourg’s Heritage Waterfront.
Glenn commented that although Cobourg’s Harbour is a Heritage Harbour, the architect deliberately avoided a faux heritage look [my phrasing]. (If it’s genuinely old and Heritage, that’s good – pretending to be Heritage is bad.)
The building will be to the Passivhaus standard which means that the building will consume 80% less energy than a conventional building, and will rely primarily on sun-shading and high insulation levels to remain cool in summer months.
Although the project was approved, final approval is subject to approval at next week’s regular Council meeting.
- Planning Report Re Coast Guard Building – from Glenn McGlashon
- Coast Guard Plans a New Building on East Pier – 7 August 2019
- East Pier – Public Meeting (Virtual) – 6 September 2020