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North Aud Block, Buffalo

The North Aud Block’s intent is to implement the city’s vision of the Canalside as becoming part of a vibrant, diverse and highly livable community of Buffalo. Canal Side (the “Project”) is a new mixed-use neighborhood that will reconnect Downtown Buffalo to the Lake Erie waterfront through a network of streets, canals, and public spaces, evoking the City’s history.

2018 - 2020
TY Lin International
Sjoerd Soeters

A&B: Connection downtown - Erie waterfront

Restoring the connection between downtown and the Erie waterfront is an important starting point. Historically, Pearl and Main street are the main connecting streets from downtown to the waterfront. Rebuilding these streets is the basis of this plan. The public space of these streets must guide the pedestrian. The size and scale of the buildings along this route must be tailored to the human scale. Erie Canal Harbor Station on Main street is an important transport hub for the planning area. Restoration of Lloyd street will contribute to good walking routes from this transport point to the waterfront. This route should be similar to Pearl street attractive for the pedestrian. Varying construction height and guidance of the facade walls are important. Active uses that engage pedestrians shall be located along these street frontages.

C&D: Public space waterfront

Restoring the original canal system is part of the urban development plan. The bridges and the watercourse along Canalside have already been realized. A good connection to this already realized public space is important. The location of this side is favorable for hospitality and recreational use. The public space must be in line with this use: possibility of closed terraces (buildings max 4 to 5 stories) space sheltered and oriented to the sun. A square in connection with the waterfront is preferable. Minimum dimensions for this square are 65 x 100 ft.


These guidelines provide, among other things, rules for how the volume of the plan area is divided. The size and scale of the built volumes is largely determined by the desired program (retail, parking and residential use) The starting point for this plan area is the construction of the parking garage. The grid determines the volumes of the buildings (retail and residential). The volume of the buildings largely determines the character of the public space.  

Central Wharf of Buffalo’s was a picturesque and vibrant commercial center and one of the greatest intermodal transportation centers of 19th century America. The buildings contained warehouses, saillofts and offices. Most of the individual buildings were built of brick, four stories high, and (although they presented a variety of roof lines and window arrangements) they all maintained a uniform front wall line along the docks.

The historic Canalside is characterized by individual building volumes of various sizes and scales. These volumes together form the public space. This special character is the starting point for the design of this plan area. The scale and size of these buildings determines the character of the plan area. To give identity to the plan area, we are looking for references in the historical context of Buffalo. The public space was determined by individual buildings of different scales and dimensions. Together these volumes form the public space.

The volume and granular size of the historic buildings are the reference for the new urban development. The basis for the urban development volume is the grid determined by the program and the urban design, the street layout. Historically characteristic volumes together form the new public space