A comment worth bringing forward by Alex Botta:
(In Puerto Madero) the adapted old brick warehouses and new modern buildings of a similar scale together along one side of the waterfront are very attractive indeed. I think the three elements that make this work as a great community within itself are scale, public space as public amenity on the waterfront, and a respect for heritage. Of course its connectivity to the city is also crucial externally, as Gordon mentioned.
It’s also noteworthy that the respect for heritage masonry buildings was achieved not by replicating their architecture, but by contrasting them purposefully with sleek glass and metal buildings using reflective surfaces and darker colours. As the result, the brick structures really stand out proud of their original purpose and new uses. This would not work as well if the scale of the new buildings was significantly different, in my opinion, or if everything new replicated the old red Italianate buildings ad nauseum.
Alex is right about this. It’s one of the things that Vancouver megaprojects lack: contextually scaled mid-rise buildings that had a more horizontal balance to the forest of green-and-grey highrises.