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Urban design awards

The Ottawa Urban Design Awards is a biennial awards program that celebrates projects built in the City of Ottawa that achieve urban design excellence. In our seventh installment of the program, the awards this year will honour exceptional projects built in Ottawa between September 1, 2015 and September 1, 2017.

Winners of an Award of Excellence will be sent forward as the Ottawa entry to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's Urban Design Awards competition in 2018.

2017 Award Winners

Award of Excellence: Urban Infill, Low Rise (Civic)
National Arts Centre Rejuvenation

Image of National Arts Centre Rejuvenation

The Rejuvenation Project at 1 Elgin Street to transform and expand the National Arts Centre (NAC) sought to engage with the surroundings, enliven the streetscape and enhance the visibility and identity of the NAC. Three wings wrapping around the west, north and east sides of the complex express the rigorous hexagonal language of the existing building. Materially, the addition is a strong foil to the original. Where the Brutalist building is heavy and opaque, the new construction is light and transparent.

The new building opens its interior to the city, sharing its activity with the public. New interior spaces frame and enhance the views to Parliament Hill, the Chateau Laurier and the greenery of the Rideau Canal parkland. NAC patrons can now appreciate the building’s idyllic setting.

Project Team

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects
  • Fast + Epp
  • ERA Architects
  • Barry Padolsky Associates Inc.
  • PCL Ottawa
  • National Arts Centre; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The Rejuvenation offers a tremendous benefit of public façade and entrance on Elgin. The project animates the streetscape and the new façade adds transparency to the NAC that engages the public in a way that is sympathetic to the geometry to the old building. The quiet treatment is beautifully detailed but doesn’t overwhelm the site of national significance where town and crown meet. The Rejuvenation is successful in creating public and semi-formal venues for the city – and offers a successful interior public space.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Low Rise (Civic)
Rideau Center Expansion

Image of Rideau Center Expansion

Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, the CF Rideau Centre (at 50 Rideau Street) is a transit hub and landmark destination that draws 22 million tourists and shoppers per year. First opened in 1983, the shopping centre embodied an architectural expression that was quickly becoming dated as compared to its rapidly modernizing urban context. The Client, Cadillac Fairview, wanted to revitalize and elevate the shopping centre’s street presence and interaction with the public realm through a renewal of the existing building while adding leasable retail space though a 4-storey, 238,000 sq. ft. retail expansion to the existing 745,000 sq. ft. structure. The resulting design outcome strengthens the CF Rideau Centre’s connection with its urban context while re-establishing itself as a main tourist attraction and Ottawa’s leading shopping destination.

Project Team

  • Stephane Raymond; B+H Architects
  • Rob MacGowan; PCL Constructors Canada Inc. 
  • Ritchard Brisbin; bbb architects ottawa inc.
  • Barry Padolsky; Barry Padolsky Associates Inc.
  • Cadillac Fairview (CF); Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

This expansion project is a massive transformation of Rideau Street that draws you in through its many new street facing store and mall entrances. The interior renovation is transformative – turning the shopping centre into a contemporary experience and is on par with international shopping experiences. The integration of the rooftop garden element contributes to the diversity experiences the Centre has to offer.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Low Rise
Mutchmor Public School Addition – 185 Fifth Avenue

Image of Mutchmor Public School Addition – 185 Fifth Avenue

Mutchmor Public School, at 185 Fifth Avenue in the Glebe, was built in 1895 as a four-room school in the Romanesque Revival style. With various expansions taking place over nine decades within a constrained urban site, the school was left with limited options for further expansion.

While the addition connects directly with the existing school on both levels, this interface is downplayed and kept to a modest corridor width. Recessed 25 m from the street and glazed on both sides, the connecting hall forms a negative space for the school’s new front entrance. This connection was possible thanks to a 1911 addition which incorporated mirrored stairwells, allowing the west side to be converted into a corridor connection. Important original features of the entrance architrave and second floor detailing are reworked into the interior walls of the connecting link. Approaching the front doors beneath a long, floating canopy, visitors witness the transition from old to new as they enter the building. Opposite the front entrance is an outdoor teaching courtyard which again celebrates the historic facade in the context of the modern addition.

Project Team

  • Sandy Davis, Barry J. Hobin, Todd Duckworth, Reinhard Vogel, Scott Labrosse; Hobin Architecture Incorporated
  • Dave Lashley; Lashley & Associates
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

School typologies have been under designed in the past, but this is a good example of what can be achieved. The project creates highly successful architecture and public realm spaces that sensitively deals with the Heritage of the building. The jury was very impressed.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Low Rise
853 St. Laurent Boulevard

 Image of 853 St. Laurent Boulevard

This project is a renovation to an existing mixed-use building with a popular restaurant on the ground floor. Among the more significant gestures in the design of the restaurant was the removal of the front balcony, which was supported by a number of columns and gave the building an unappealing presence on the street. The new design has allowed the building to have greater visibility from the street while providing increased soft landscaping at the pedestrian level. The masonry cladding provides an element of sophistication to the design and also gives a sense of permanence to the project. The building now looks and feels well built, like it will be an enduring element in the urban fabric of this part of the city.

Project Team

  • Project1 Studio
  • Revelstoke
  • Joe Thottungal; Owner

Jury Comments

A successful project situated in a less than cohesive neighbourhood that goes a step above. This small move can make a big impact and will hopefully have a ripple effect on the street; it is a transformative element to the street.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Low Rise
Affordable Housing – 211 Lees Avenue

 Image of Affordable Housing – 211 Lees Avenue

This 16-unit apartment building replaces a 14 unit building that was destroyed by fire in 2013. It sits on the original foundations that were not damaged by the fire. Accepting this constraint, the new building was completely redesigned to maximize the potential of the site. The building design is sympathetic to, and compatible with the scale and character of the neighbouring residential buildings. The architects used a range of materials and forms to establish a scale that mediates between the smaller single-family homes and the larger townhouse blocks in the area. Increased soft landscaping screens the front yard parking and complements the building, to provide attractive and useful amenity spaces. The goal of this project was to provide healthy, comfortable affordable housing units while reducing maintenance and operation costs.

This building makes a positive and forward looking statement in a semi industrial urban landscape. It fills a gap in the streetscape with a cheerful contemporary design reinforcing the residential character of the street. It is a positive statement of renewal in a pocket of the City that is central but isolated by the development of Highway 417.

Project Team

  • Jessie Smith, Alex Sargent; CSV Architects
  • David Lashley; Lashley & Associates Landscape Architecture
  • Patrick McDonald; McDonald Brothers Construction
  • William P. McElligott; William P. McElligott Photography Ltd.
  • Ottawa Community Housing; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

A program that elegantly addresses the landscape and building design on a difficult site. It is the type of project that is important in City building and proves that a tight budget doesn’t need to restrict good design. The Jury particularly liked how the surface parking was designed as parking with a central mid-block pedestrian walkway that leads through the building.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Low Rise
Pinhey Quartet

 Image of Pinhey Quartet

These innovative front-to-back, semi-detached homes at 63 & 65 Pinhey Avenue were informed by a strong appreciation for the eclectic neighbourhood and community. The massing of the homes and their placement on the unusually wide lot was carefully considered so as not to overwhelm the streetscape. Pulling the two masses apart assists the new development in harmonizing with the existing rhythm of the street, where slim buildings on narrow lots are typical. The small ground floor footprint allowed for the creation of an internal parking courtyard. A single driveway serves the four units; following the street’s existing parking pattern. This move addresses the relationship between the buildings and the street, enhancing the public realm by dedicating the prime space adjacent to the sidewalk to people and not vehicles. Each unit has a covered porch, providing opportunities for human interaction to animate the street, connecting public and private spaces.

Project Team

  • Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc.
  • Larco Homes; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

An impressive infill solution that creates a courtyard condition while still addressing the individuality of the units. The proportions of massing and the detailing of the project are extremely elegant.

 

Special Jury Prize for Tall Building Design Excellence
The Rideau at Lansdowne

Image of The Rideau at Lansdowne

The Lansdowne Redevelopment sought to reinvent its edge with a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly treatment that would extend the Bank Street commercial corridor while integrating a number of key elements in honour of the site’s past and protecting key sightlines into the site. The Rideau building at 1035 Bank Street is at a transition point between the extended Bank Street commercial sector to the north and the existing recreational corridor along the Rideau Canal to the south. It also forms an east-west buffer between the street and the sports stadium. As such, the project receives a number of different treatments to address its varied context.

In the case of the Bank Street frontage, a low-rise treatment of townhouses with a fine-scale massing of stone piers and accent panels is more compatible with the pedestrian-oriented corridor and residential neighbours across the street. Meanwhile, the tower floats above, set back and dressed in a lighter palette of glass and bright aluminum. Even the guardrail edge of the rooftop terrace at the third floor level is recessed, allowing the townhouse articulation to be expressed with a reduced height.

These measures contribute to a more effective separation of the tower element when viewed from the street level and from the recreational pathway to the south.

Project Team

  • Barry J. Hobin, Marc Thivierge, Doug Van Den Ham, Rheal Labelle, Doug Brooks, Jeff Chaput, Alison Michelin, Leila Emmrys; Hobin Architecture Incorporated
  • Minto Communities; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The typology of this project is done extremely well. The building pushes into the civic space well, particularly on the canal side of the project. The Jury felt that as a building type, this project exemplified a level of design and detailing which was an exemplar for other tall buildings to follow. The Jury noted the sophisticated detailing of its base, which juxtaposes noble materials such as smooth as well as rusticated lime stone as well as the articulated glass window wall system which culminates in the sculptural building top, which screens the mechanical systems while creating a visible skyline landmark.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Mid to High Rise
Tribeca Lofts

 Image of Tribeca Lofts

The Tribeca Complex features three residential buildings located in the heart of Centretown. The first stages of the complex involved constructing two condominium buildings, each 27-storeys high. The third and final stage of the project saw the development of a low-rise building with 20 lofts. The Tribeca Complex was built with a Sobeys Urban Fresh grocery store and Nutella Café at its center. The commercial properties join each of the three residential buildings at ground level and are extremely popular among local residents and office workers. To strengthen the character of the Centretown community, a large paved area was implemented in front of Tribeca Complex. Furnished with picnic tables, the area is commonly used to enjoy a good book, a quick bite to eat, or to simply soak up the sun. The public realm provides an open space to enjoy the outdoors yet still be surrounded by the beauty of the city.

Project Team

  • Nathan Godlovitch; Dan S. Hanganu Architects
  • James Lennox; James B. Lennox and Associates Inc. 
  • Peter Goodeve; Goodeve Structural Inc. 
  • John Morton; Quadrant Engineering Ltd.
  • John Riddell; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.
  • Bill, Neil, and Shawn Malhotra; Claridge Homes (Gladstone) LP; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The project integrates a challenging program of a grocery store in an urban setting that is sensitive and successful. The scale of the building steps down to create the POPS. The project has two different edge conditions that are both successful and the blank wall is articulated and interesting.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Infill, Mid to High Rise
The Eddy

 Image of The Eddy

Located on the acutely-angled corner of a major arterial road, and adjacent to neighbouring residential zones, the project site presented equal parts opportunity and challenge. The Eddy at 1000 Wellington Street West was tasked with mitigating the impact of a 6-storey project inserted into an existing typically 2-3 storey commercial area, bordered by single-family homes. The articulation of the facades by way of breaking out elements to create massings similar to adjacent properties, as well as stepping back the building at key points, allows for an elegant transition into the existing fabric of both the commercial corridor and residential area. Seeking to relate to the main street surrounding of Wellington Street West but also to the single-family homes of Irving Avenue, the step backs and warm coloured boxes are asymmetrical from Irving to the Wellington. Higher on the Irving side and lower on the Wellington side, The Eddy’s façade visually swirls down to street level of the traditional main street. Use of colour in the design of The Eddy also reduces the scale of the 6-storey building to be in keeping with the visual impression of surrounding buildings. The bulk of the building is white, allowing it to blend into the sky on an overcast day.

Project Team

  • Scott Demark, Rodney Wilts; Windmill Development Group
  • Rick Shean; Christopher Simmonds Architect Inc.
  • Patrick Hebert; Pomerleau Inc.
  • Mike Cowan; Alliance Engineering
  • Mike Cleland; Cleland Jardine Engineering

Jury Comments

This is a challenging site that creates a successful mid-rise infill. The project feels contemporary and has a playful use of colours that is beautiful and speaks to the public realm. It has become an iconic project in the neighbourhood that identifies the place

 

Award of Excellence: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Bank of Canada Renewal

Image of Bank of Canada Renewal

The transformation for Canada’s Central Bank provided an opportunity to augment the public realm around the bank, improving and animating landscape and public amenity at a significant location in the parliamentary district. This new landscape edge improves the perimeter streetscapes of Wellington, Kent and Sparks, and provides a new public gathering space at the corner of Bank and Wellington streets.

The design for the new landscaped plaza was inspired by Arthur Erickson’s own obsession with the Canadian landscape through a set of abstracted elements that integrate architecture and landscape to shape a new space as the foreground for Erickson’s mirrored towers. The three raked landforms integrate the museum entry and skylight, existing mechanical infrastructure and underground exiting requirements while providing casual amphitheater seating and a sheltered microclimate for year-round use. Two vertical light towers create landmarks for the plaza while providing secure high-level ventilation. A gently-sloping plaza surface integrates with the corner of Bank and Wellington streets opening sight lines from the museum and plaza to the Parliament buildings. The new plaza is designed to frame the museum entry, provides staging for busloads of school children and tourists, and functions as an accessible, multi-faceted public realm throughout the year.

Project Team

  • Andrew Frontini; Perkins+Will
  • John Hillier; DTAH
  • Tony Cook; PCL Constructors Canada 
  • Bank of Canada; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The project adds a complex geometry of site and opens access to new space below; a new amenity space in downtown core. It incorporates a thoughtful treatment about what the space would look like in the evening.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Canadian Building Trades Monument

 Image of Canadian Building Trades Monument

The Canadian Building Trades Monument is a permanent public art installation located on a 100m² site in Major’s Hill Park, Ottawa, ON. The monument honours and celebrates the men and women who build Canada every day and commemorates the losses they have endured in the workplace. It was unveiled on May 16, 2017 by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The monument consists of a public plaza, sculptural and topographical elements, engraved benches, lighting and a commemorative plaque. Its most prominent feature is a pair of oversized plumb bobs made of Cambrian black granite and mounted on stainless steel pins. Plumb bobs have been used as tools in construction projects since ancient times and here they symbolize the intersection of earthly gravity and human ingenuity.

Project Team

  • John Greer; Intercontinental Sculpture Inc.
  • Duncan Patterson; MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Ltd.
  • Annie Hillis; Annie Hillis Consulting
  • Dorota Grudniewicz; National Capital Commission
  • Canada's Building Trades Unions; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The elegant shape used in the installation is human scaled and is like a tool. The project is thoughtfully detailed, contemporary and provides simplicity of a special idea that is open to interpretation. It creates a destination along a key route.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Optimist Park Reimagined

 Image of Optimist Park Reimagined

Optimist Park, at 43 Ste Cecile Street, is a very popular, well-used urban park located just steps from Vanier’s main street. In response to the emerging population of this growing neighbourhood, the municipality sought to reimagine Optimist Park in its entirety to ensure that the recreational needs and desires of the local residents were being met. A new master plan for Optimist Park prioritized safe, universally accessible circulation routes through and around the site. The primary entrances were redefined and highlighted with ornamental planting, decorative paving and signage. Larger facilities like the skating rink, multi-sport courts and playgrounds were more sensibly situated on the site and their size and quality significantly improved in the process. The rearranged facilities allowed space for the addition of a self-directed fitness circuit in a shady location, which now sees regular use by teens and older adults. Numerous picnic areas were retained or relocated in the redesign and a picnic “plaza” was also added; the design team’s response to a locally specific cultural need. The plaza is used regularly for large family picnics, celebrations and children’s parties.

Project Team

  • Doug Fountain, Sarah Marsh, Stuart Paterson; F.D. Fountain Inc.
  • Guy-Olivier Mauzeroll; McKee Engineering
  • Stephen Dunlop; Golder Associates Ltd.
  • Steven James; James Landscaping
  • Maryanne Swinimer; Playground Planners
  • Joanne Moran, Renee Proteau for City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The project creates a dynamic and interactive place for different age groups; it successfully stitches together the pathways throughout the community.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Pindigen Park

 Image of Pindigen Park

Pindigen Park occupies a unique location in Ottawa, bringing together public, residential, institutional and commercial domains. Adjacent to the Canadian War Museum / LeBreton Park, the National Holocaust Monument, the Canadian Firefighters Memorial, LRT transit expansion, and existing and future development of the LeBreton Flats, Pindigen Park creates an exciting experience drawing both local users and tourists to this intersection. Park elements and layout create a pedestrian friendly intersection, improving connections to the adjacent uses and future development. The expanded intersection leads to an interior open space that is welcoming the public – Pindigen – Algonquin for ‘Come in, all are welcome’.

The creation of Pindigen Park is a collaboration between two indigenous communities, federal government agencies and design firms. The theme of the park is the Anishinabe philosophy of living well, which is finding a harmony between the land, the water, the air and the people. If these elements are not kept in balance, the whole suffers. Expressing this theme, a series of four interpretive panels with text in Algonquin, English and French feature colourful illustrations depicting Anishinabe people interacting with each element. There are full-scale steel animal silhouettes of a moose, a black bear, a river otter, an eagle and a turtle in the park. These artistic elements were created by visual artists from an indigenous community.

Project Team

  • Richard Daigneault, Pat Bunting, Rene Tenasco; National Capital Commission, Owner / Developer
  • Yumi Webster; Canadian Heritage
  • Marietta Ruhland; Ruhland & Associates
  • Ron Bernard; Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation
  • Anita Tenasco; Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg

Jury Comments

The Jury appreciates how the project is carved into the landscape and creates beautiful landforms. The use of native species creates an interesting park for the new Lebreton Flats.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Museum of Nature - Landscapes of Canada

 Image of Museum of Nature – Landscapes of Canada

The 100-year-old Victoria Memorial Museum Heritage Building and National Historic Site underwent an intensive 5-year restoration between 2004 and 2010. From 2015 – 2017 this same bold approach was applied to the exterior landscape of the Museum grounds. The vision for the site design was to reflect the bio-diversity that exists in our Canadian landscape, allowing visitors to explore these aspects as well as providing informal and formal learning opportunities. Equally important to this theme was the role of Canada’s artic, with its environmental changes recognized as the single most significant natural history event of our lifetime.

Project Team

  • Martha Lush, Sheri Edwards; CSW Landscape Architects Ltd.
  • William Lishman; William Lishman
  • Ian Rowbotham, Tim Luker; Exel Contracting Inc.
  • Meg Beckel, President and Chief Executive Officer, Museum of Nature; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The project is a great exploration of different Canadian landscapes and expressions, and adds an intense landscape element and creates a rustic character. It is playful and interactive and you can imagine how children might enjoy this space. The project brings forward an aspect of Canada that might not be known, creating an educational landscape that is complex.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
West Carleton War Memorial

 Image of West Carleton War Memorial

The site has both poetic and poignant significance. This unique triangular piece of land is at the base of ‘Falldown Lane’ a place to remember the fallen. The site is bounded by three roads including what was once the TransCanada Highway. A unique intersection of rural and village life and notably the location of an earlier communal well: a gathering place, a source of life, sustaining water, fresh and free, drawing folks, drawing water. Among the young who once drew water here, were those that left well to fight and some to die, that we taste freedom now. The Memorial Project portrays a journey of remembrance. On the path of remembrance, we first pass a large field piece (howitzer) painted bronze - a very real memory of war. Moving onward and upward the procession passes the ‘old well’, a source of life sustaining water. On the final approach to the pavement we see ahead of us a life-sized bronze soldier sitting quietly on and among broken pieces of concrete at the end of the gently curving wall.

Project Team

  • Malcolm Wildeboer; Vandenberg and Wildeboer Architects Inc.
  • Ron Cowle; Ron Cowle Fine Art and Sculpture
  • Greg Winters; Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.
  • Farley Smith and Denis Surveying Ltd.
  • Fineline Perspectives Inc.
  • Jim Lennox; James B. Lennox and Associates Inc. Landscape Architects
  • Stuart Hodge; Carp Village BIA - West Carleton War Memorial Committee Chair; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

Simple and elegant. The project is a good use of an inherently challenging shape; that of a placeless traffic island. It is a piece to interact with that adds a human quality to the space. It’s intimate – a space not just to look at, but a sophisticated and thoughtful design that is beautiful.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Ogilvy Square

Image of Ogilvy Square

Nicholas Street, from Rideau Street to Besserer Street, has been transformed from a low volume arterial road with substandard sidewalks and an asphalt surface typically used for transit staging, into a new pedestrian plaza in the heart of Ottawa's Fashion Arts and Theatre District. The new public space has been designed to accommodate extensive year-round heated patios along the northern perimeter and highly adaptable artistic programming toward the south. To support the City's open call for artistic programming, Ogilvy Square's underground infrastructure has been designed with extensive audio visual capabilities to key programmable spaces and has a 100amp power supply to support a wide range of installations and proposals. In the 2017 pilot programming year, the space has already received more proposals from the artistic community than can be accommodated. Other landscape improvements include enhanced surface treatments designed to highlight the adjacent architectural features, new LED pedestrian lighting, benches, high capacity bike racks, and a series of large urban street trees set in structured soil trenches.

Project Team

  • Sebastian Greenall; The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd.
  • Stephane Raymond; B+H Architects
  • Ritchard Brisbin; bbb architects ottawa inc.
  • Ron Clarke; Parsons Inc.
  • David Leinster; The Planning Partnership
  • The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd.; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The landscape stitches together the fabric of the area and brings new life to south of Rideau Street. The project promotes place-making, opportunity for art installations and contributes a programmable space that can add pageantry. It brings people into a space that was otherwise occupied by vehicles.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Main Street Renewal

 Image of Main Street Renewal

Nestled in the historic neighbourhood of Old Ottawa East, between the Rideau Canal and Rideau River, Main Street has been transformed. This transformation is the result of a high-profile design and infrastructure investment project from the City of Ottawa; the Main Street Renewal Project. This $39M integrated road, sewer and watermain project offered a unique opportunity to reconstruct Main Street as a fully accessible ‘Complete Street’ with grade-separated cycle tracks, wide pedestrian sidewalks, innovative streetscaping, public art, transit stops, and parking; all while maintaining the flow of traffic. The guiding design concept for the Main Street Renewal was to link the street together as a unified corridor, creating memorable places along it, while recognizing and supporting the character of its various parts. Main Street is the backbone of a community along which there is a rich local history and institutional heritage. The design objective was to not only link places and spaces along the corridor, but to sustainably join Old Ottawa East to adjoining neighbourhoods. Intersections and side streets now usher in people from surrounding communities; connections being celebrated by Old Ottawa East and the city as a whole.

Project Team

  • Main Street Renewal Design Team; City of Ottawa
  • Parsons
  • CSW Landscape Architects Ltd.
  • City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer
  • Barry Padolsky Associates
  • Stuart Kinmond, Artist

Jury Comments

The project successfully weaves together the movement of pedestrians, cyclists, transit and cars. The design thoughtfully negotiates every intersection, providing a good precedent for Ottawa.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
George Street Plaza

 Image of George Street Plaza

George Street Plaza is located on the north side of George Street between William and Byward Market Streets. The renewal of this public space is the first step in the City of Ottawa’s plan to invest and reinvigorate the public realm within this heritage district.

Since its official opening in May of this year, the Plaza has come alive; offering a vibrant and inviting gathering place for young and old. As Ottawa’s oldest farmer’s market, it was desirable that the district’s historical roots be represented in the project’s design and materials. The result, influenced by a contemporary narrative, fuses together long-standing themes reflective of both the market’s history and its surrounding urban context. A handshake, a hug or a high five occurs when people meet under the clock in the plaza. The replica heritage clock, which has quickly become a coveted landmark for Market visitors, pays homage to the area’s long history of iconic shops. Reminiscent of a clock manufactured by watchmaker D. Wolfson in his William Street shop, the clock celebrates bygone eras of the ByWard Market. The timepiece’s history also invites visitors to reflect on the many merchants and business-folk that have contributed to the growth and economic success of the Market over time.

Project Team

  • Kaja Cerveny; Studio Red Landscape Architecture
  • Andrew Harvey; Consultant - AAPQ, CSLA
  • Frederic Lacasse; Parsons
  • Nic DeSocio; Colizza Bruni Architecture
  • Rick Cunliffe; Cunliffe & Associates
  • Guy-Olivier Mauzeroll; McKee Engineering
  • Project Team for City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

Is a transformational public square for the Byward Market and uses the theme of the area well. The project opens a great new space in a very busy location while creating a highly animated place. It has a cool, industrial aesthetic.

 

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces
Global Centre for Pluralism

 Image of Global Centre for Pluralism

Canadians will remember the former Canadian War Museum (CWM), with its exhibitions of military tanks proudly displayed in front of the building on Sussex. Until it relocated to LeBreton Flats in 2004, the CWM had occupied 330 Sussex Drive for decades. The Global Centre for Pluralism (GCP) sought to restore and rehabilitate the building to serve as its new home and headquarters. A priority was to rethink how the stretch between Rideau Canal to Rideau Falls could be reconnected into the extensive network of Capital Pathways.

The urban design objectives focused on how the building would achieve urban presence viewed from across the river; and how the building would catalyze new relationships to the river. In the first phase of building, the forecourt of the GCP has been transformed from a surface parking lot into a gracious urban living room and garden. The forecourt rebalances the asymmetrical massing of the heritage buildings through new landscaping: with rows of red sunset maples that line the perimeter of the forecourt. The formal garden includes a series of intimate seating arrangements to invite pedestrians to sit and engage in dialogue. The spacing between facing benches was carefully considered to allow for conversations within the urban acoustic environment that surrounds the site. The centre of the forecourt offers a large open space with integrated electrical infrastructure that allows for flexible programming on site, including outdoor lectures, film screenings, temporary installations and exhibitions, markets, concerts, etc. At the entrance, a ramp provides universal accessibility.

Project Team

  • KPMB Architects
  • Imara (Sussex Drive) Ltd.; Project Owner / Developer
  • Barry Padolsky Associates
  • Halsall 
  • PFS Studio
  • Greenberg Consultants
  • Smith + Andersen
  • Turner & Townsend
  • Engineering Harmonics
  • Aercoustics
  • Suzanne Powadiuk
  • Morrison Hershfield
  • Kaizen
  • Soberman
  • Delcan

Jury Comments

A successful public space that adds a new public room and people place. The project incorporates elegant details, including formal plantings and gardens, which are not typical in today’s designs.

 

Award of Excellence: Urban Elements
Urban Renewal of the North Perimeter Wall on Parliament Hill (Phase 3)

Image of Urban Renewal of the North Perimeter Wall on Parliament Hill

The North Perimeter Wall, defining the northern edge of the hilltop Parliament Hill site, is a historical landscape feature that acts as a separation between the public grounds and the wild landscape of the escarpment. The North Perimeter Wall was the last type of barrier constructed along the perimeter at the edge of the escarpment (former constructions included a wooden fence, shrub hedge, and a metal fence). The main design of the wall was likely part of the original Scott and Vaux landscape plan for Parliament Hill, however, the wall was only constructed during Thomas Fuller’s term as Chief Architect between 1886 and 1916.

While the existing masonry was beyond repair and had to be replaced with new compatible stone of a similar aesthetic, the ironwork and original wall footprint were preserved and existing health and safety and design deficiencies were addressed. The architects respected the original wall design while making the wall visible again and integrating new features to accent the hierarchy of spaces (ex. piers introduced at the lookout) and improve the visitor experience. Similarly, the custom layout of limestone pavers for the pedestrian walkway was designed to emphasize notable viewpoints and features along the wall (ex. shape of pavers doubled at the lookout). Existing landscape features were also incorporated in the new pathway design and given new life (ex. the Sundial and the Victoria Bell). This project has improved both design and safety features of the wall, enhancing the overall visitor experience of the northern grounds at Parliament Hill and the views that lay beyond the wall.

Project Team

  • Robert Martin, Cristina Ureche-Trifu - Robertson Martin Architects
  • John Mazzarello, Enzo DiChiara - Prestige Design and Construction
  • Public Services and Procurement Canada – Project Owner/Developer
  • John G. Cooke and Associates
  • Craig Sims
  • Trevor Gillingwater
  • Groupe BC2
  • McIntosh Perry
  • Heritage Grade
  • Smith and Barber

Jury Comments

A project of national significance that shows design doesn’t need to be avant-garde to express a pride of place for the Nation’s Capital. It uses a rich material palate that is distilled to a refined sense of public place. This project goes beyond urban elements and becomes a transformative public place, reinforcing one of the most important walks in the City, around parliament on the escarpment.

 

Award of Merit: Urban Elements
A View from Two Sides

 Image of A View from Two Sides

“A View from Two Sides” is a City of Ottawa public art commission located on the Adawe Crossing Pedestrian Bridge. The artwork features two 1.5m diameter reflective stainless steel spheres, suspended at eye level above the water. Each sphere presents the observer with an ever-changing panoramic view that includes the sky, river, shores, bridge, pedestrians and cyclists. The artwork is an “Urban Element” on a major pedestrian and cycling connection between the Vanier and Overbrook communities with Sandy Hill, the University of Ottawa and Ottawa’s downtown core.

The bridge provides access to the natural beauty of the surrounding parks, river, and community from the middle of the river. “A View from Two sides” condenses that broader visual experience into two locations and places the viewer in the middle, both visually and figuratively, enhancing the human experience of a beautiful location. The artwork offers a place to meet the surrounding environment and experience the sensuality of engagement.

Project Team

  • Kenneth Emig; Artist - Emig Research
  • Paul Mace; Leibe Engineering Associates
  • Robert Schneider; Cintube Ltd.
  • Lynda Hall; formerly of the Public Art Program, City of Ottawa
  • Public Art Program; City of Ottawa
  • City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The project offers a focal point along the new pedestrian route that emphasizes an interaction of space and allows us to become part of the view. It is a simple idea that is bigger than what it is. A clever play on perspective

 

Award of Merit: Urban Elements
Erractic Field

Image of Erratic Field

Over 10,000 years ago glaciers scattered large boulders, commonly known as erratics, across the landscape. Inspired by clusters of ancient stone found in the Ottawa region, Erratic Field transforms the suburban environment with carefully executed minimal sculptures, each varying in size and design, arranged in an apparently random order.

Gracing the landscaped escarpment on Trim Road between Old Montreal Road and Antigonish Avenue in Orléans, the artwork transforms the space with a group of contemporary sculptures constructed from Cor-ten steel. As the surface weathers over time a rich purple brown patina will cover the surface, bringing the sculptures closer to nature, beautifully complementing the surrounding urban green-space. As viewers gather and move through the space they become a part of a constantly changing configuration suggestive of an ancient site of reverence akin to megalithic standing stones. The artwork enriches the identity and character of the natural site, adding visual interest for vehicle and pedestrian commuters alike.

Project Team

  • Shayne Dark; Artist 
  • Lloyd Treneer; George A. Wright & Son
  • Kristine Dimoff; WSP
  • Paul Jakowec, Kelly Lalonde; Robinson Consulting
  • Luc Chevrier; Coco Paving
  • Melissa Black, Hannah Kingscote, Joe Mojsej; Ingrid Coney; City of Ottawa
  • City of Ottawa; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

An Ottawa moment and vernacular. This is a piece with different material planes that play with light and express the natural heritage of the area, like a glacier falling back, and captures the colours of Fall. It will also stand out in the winter against a white backdrop; remaining beautiful in a changing landscape. A success given that sculptures along highways are difficult to engage with.

 

Award of Merit: Visions and Master Plans
Greystone Village - The Oblate Lands Redevelopment

 Image of Greystone Village Master Plan

Over time, the subject site has become a community landmark and recreation space for residents of the neighbouring communities. However, the Oblate Lands in combination with inward-focused institutional neighbours to the north and south, have inhibited Old Ottawa East in reaching its full community potential. While Old Ottawa East is served by a traditional street grid, a strong central avenue and two beautiful flanking waterways, the concentration of institutional use has created a gap in the urban fabric. The development of the Greystone Village master plan has provided a unique opportunity to fill this gap and preserve the cherished values of the site while building community. Perhaps most importantly, it has been done through a collaborative process involving the City, the Developer, Sustainable Living Ottawa East and the Old Ottawa East Community Association.

The historic interventions and patterns of use established by both the Oblate Fathers and the Community have shaped the site and given it meaning. The preservation and repurposing of these elements become the central organizing principles to the whole master plan.

Project Team

  • Gordon Lorimer, Barry J. Hobin, William Ritcey, Rheal Labelle, Steve Clifford, Todd Duckworth, Benoit Maranda, Kent Bugatsch; Hobin Architecture Incorporated
  • Murray Chown, John Riddell; Novatech
  • The Regional Group/eQ Homes; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

The plan knits into the fabric of the established neighbourhood and is respectful, keeping the grand allee, forecourt and Deschâtelets building. It understands the sensitivity of the area and recognizes the river’s edge. The Deschâtelets building dictates and influences the surrounding buildings, although it is somewhat crowded by the new development. The project creates a new vibrant community that recognizes the heritage of the area.

 

Award if Merit: Visions and Master Plans
Central Parkway

 Image of Central Parkway

The urban freeway concept is outmoded and fails every rush hour. The Queensway is a blight. It compromises our natural and historic heritage, wastes land, divides and degrades neighborhoods and reduces property values. What if the Queensway was developed differently? The answer to this question can be seen as an elegy for what might have been, or an illustration of what might be.

The Central Parkway design is to: remove the Queensway from the traditional core of the city; transform the land; build a new Central Parkway; and, enable development and intensification. The Plan describes an opportunity to make Ottawa the most livable city in the world by enabling a sustainable future, supporting tourism, creating open space for urban schools, encouraging redevelopment…and, essentially changing life in Ottawa.

Project Team

  • GRC Architects Inc.; Project Owner / Developer

Jury Comments

An interesting work of speculation for transforming Ottawa while continuing to be part of the area.

 

Award of Merit: Visions and Master Plans
Canada Science and Technology Museum – Parks Master Plan

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 Image of Canada Science and Technology Museum – Parks Master Plan

The Canada Science and Technology Museum (CSTM) is situated at the intersection of three neighbourhoods: East Industrial, Elmvale-Eastway-Riverview-Parkview and Hawthorne Meadows-Sheffield Green. The redevelopment of the museum is underway and anchors the eastern edge of the park. The renewal will allow the museum to better showcase its world-class collection, while integrating interactivity throughout. The park master plan is an opportunity to create an experiential sequence for residents and museum-goers as they traverse, rest, chat and play in the open space.

The Museum Park is unique community space infused with science and technology. It embraces the ideas of forward-looking events by engaging and delighting visitors and the community, immersing them in science and technology experiences, while making no demands on learning. The park allows visitors to play while at the same time inviting them to approach and enter the museum. It’s not that the park is missing an opportunity to teach. It is creating that opportunity by acting as a conduit, a visual, playful and physical overture to the museum itself. Importantly, it is much more than science and technology: the space is community-friendly, beautiful to look at, and an attraction in the nation’s capital. The Museum Park is not limited to science and technology; it is emotionally stimulating, active not passive, fun not dutiful. Yes, engage; but delight first. The park integrates Art in to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics - STEAM not STEM

Project Team

  • O2 Planning + Design
  • VLAN Paysages
  • Earthscape
  • Beakerhead
  • Canada Science and Technology Museum (Project Owner)

Jury Comments

The project offers active and interactive programming for institutional spaces, with a focus on physical fitness and engagement; a living experiment for people to actively participate.  

 

Award of Excellence: Student Projects
Inter-City Bus Terminal Redevelopment

 Image of Inter-City Bus Terminal Redevelopment

This project proposes a redevelopment of the intercity bus station in Ottawa’s Centretown on its existing site within the Catherine Street Corridor. Immediately north of the prominent Highway-417, this area suffers from noise and air pollution, a lack of pedestrian-friendly streetscapes, vacant and deteriorating buildings, under-utilized properties, and little greenspace.

The student project proposes a sloping roof responds both to community access as well as contextual sensitivity, establishing a less imposing built form adjacent to the established low-rise residential communities. A linear public park is proposed on-site as a beneficial transition area between dense development and the established residential area. Transparent, open spaces define the most prominent programmes, with abundant glazing and high ceilings. Light filters into the building through a 3.5 storey skylight. The floor slabs are discernable through the façade, establishing exterior visible markers of the interplay of interior spaces. The cladding of the two towers establishes a parametric relationship based on proximity to the highway in an effort to control noise and air pollution. Additionally, vertical fins are strategically implemented for privacy and daylighting measures. As a notable feature and identifying landmark, the taller tower is crowned with a series of rotated floor plates, directing views towards the Parliament buildings.

Project Team

  • Justin Spec
  • McGill University
  • School of Architecture

Jury Comments

This project takes a typically problematic program (i.e. what to do with a city transit hub) and elegantly weaves together a new program while also creating a vibrant streetscape and adding density to an area. It’s a model that other cities grapple with and could be applied beyond Ottawa.

 

Award of Merit: Student Projects
Adapting Existing Parking Structures

 Image of Adapting Existing Parking Structures

Ottawa currently has an abundance of void lots and structures designated for public parking. In and around the downtown, there are 70 lots, structures, and underground spaces that are used for parking. While these spaces are being used during the day, they serve no purpose overnight, as well as on weekends and holidays. In addition, with the evolving changes in sustainability and technology, the need for parking spaces will gradually subside. It is projected that due to carpool apps such as Uber, the development of more efficient public transit, the driver-less car and the encouragement for walking and biking, most cars will be on the road rather then parked. This opens a lot of space that can be used for new architectural projects or adapted into other more functional uses. This student project focuses on possible solutions to adapt these parking structures for use as they become obsolete. Finally, it develops one hybrid suggestion which can be utilized to better reuse these built forms. To turn them into more functional, adaptable, and aesthetic pieces of the urban fabric.

Project Team

  • Tiffany Tse
  • Carleton University
  • Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism

Jury Comments

An elegant proposition that is a good attempt to address a major urban issue.

 

Award of Merit: Student Projects
Feedmill Innovation District Master Plan

Image of Feedmill Innovation District Master Plan

Feedmill Innovation District examines urbanism as the cross-section of various fields of design and strategies. The project is built on three intersecting layers: (a) regional reprogramming strategy, (b) urban massing and (c) streetscape strategy.

Massing is centered along “Innovation Way”, a proposed smart-road of the future. The hypothesis here is that when driverless cars become the de-facto choice for personal mobility, the physical interactions of road-street-vehicle will consequently change. Almost rendering vehicles “invisible” to the pedestrian. This opens up the opportunity for commercial streets to become high-functioning woonerfs.

Project Team

  • Ian Dayagbil
  • Carleton University
  • Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism

Jury Comments

The project is an interesting speculation of a master plan to integrate notions of infrastructure and sustainable streetscapes. An elegant proposition.

 

Enter an Award Submission

The submission deadline is 4 p.m. on August 10, 2017. For more information regarding the Ottawa Urban Design Awards, email jillian.savage@ottawa.ca.

Submission Form

Award Categories

1. Urban Infill

Sub-categories:

  • Low rise (1-4 storeys )
  • Mid to high rise (5+ storeys)

A building or group of buildings, of high architectural standard, that achieves urban design excellence and creativity due to a thorough and sensitive understanding of the context, site plan, massing and pedestrian amenities. The building(s) will enhance the urban fabric of the neighbourhood.

All types of buildings are eligible, whether 'landmark' or 'background', new construction or a restoration/transformation. Building types may be mainstreet, mixed-use, residential (detached, attached, multi-unit) commercial, institutional or industrial.

2. Public Places and Civic Spaces

A place defined by adjacent buildings or a natural area or park that exhibits sustainability, and that enhances, extends and embellishes an accessible public realm. These shall be public indoor or outdoor spaces and may include streets, courtyards, plazas, forecourts, trails, parks, bridges, streetscapes and mews.

3. Urban Elements

A designed piece or pieces of a building or landscape that makes a positive contribution to the character of the neighbourhood at a human scale. It adds amenity, enhances the public experience and contributes to the quality and accessibility of the environment. Urban Elements can include an innovative solution that embodies the principles of universal design and may be street furniture, permanent works of art, doorways, gateways, fountains, railings, façades, light fixtures, canopies, walkways and signage, etc.

4. Student Projects

A theoretical or studio project that specifically relates to Ottawa. Students that attend local universities offering degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and industrial design can submit submit an entry.

5. Visions, and Master Plans and/or Design Guidelines 

An unbuilt vision for the City, studies and master plans that are inspiring, trend-setting and significant for the future development of the City.

Eligibility

All types of publicly visible/accessible urban development projects are eligible:

  • Projects completed between September 1, 2015 and September 1, 2017 
  • Buildings (Residential, Mixed-use, Recreational, Commercial, Institutional and Industrial)
  • Building Additions and Exterior Renovations
  • Parks and Open Spaces
  • Civic Structures
  • Public Utilities
  • Street Improvements

The following projects will NOT be eligible for the Urban Design Awards:

  • Interior designs
  • Private spaces not in the public domain (i.e. private gardens, backyards etc.)
  • Plans or proposals not located within the boundaries of the City of Ottawa
  • Heritage and historic preservation/adaptive re-use (these would be directed to the Ottawa Architectural Conservation Awards program, deadline of which is in the Fall every two years.

The competition is open to urban designers, planners, landscape architects, architects, engineers, developers, contractors, consultants, owners, students and the general public who have contributed to Ottawa's urban design landscape.

 

 

Judging and Jury Members

Submissions for the Ottawa Urban Design Awards will be juried on September 8, 2017 by independent outside expert judges. . The applicant on the submission form of a winning project will be contacted on September 15, 2017 by email. All other entrants will receive an email thanking them for their participation. It is the responsibility of the winning applicant to inform all members of the team of the winning project, including the consultants, owner etc., of the awards event in October 2017.

An Award of Excellence may be presented in each category. A maximum of 3-framed awards will be presented per project. Additional unframed certificates will be available upon request. Winning projects of an Award of Excellence will be sent forward as the Ottawa entry to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's Urban Design Awards competition in 2018.

An Award of Merit may also be presented in each category to the authors of projects deserving recognition. More than one Award of Merit can be awarded in each category and a maximum of 3-framed awards per project will be presented. Additional unframed certificates will be available upon request.

At the Awards ceremony/reception in October 2017 each project author/team winning an Award of Excellence or an Award of Merit will receive their framed awards.

Important Note: The number and type of awards given is at the discretion of the jury and their decision is final. The jury has the right not to present awards in every category and can re-allocate an entry into another category (instead of the one that it was submitted in) if deemed appropriate.

Jury Members

David Leinster, OALA, CSLA

David Leinster is a landscape architect and partner at The Planning Partnership in Toronto. With expertise in public realm planning and design, and having extensive experience as a design critic and juror, David is a former member of the City of Ottawa’s Urban Design Review Panel for the Downtown Design Review Pilot Project and a former juror for the Ottawa Urban Design Awards.

James Parakh, OAA

James Parakh is a Licensed Architect and the Manager of Urban Design for Toronto and East York District, City of Toronto Planning Division. During the last decade, James has led the urban design studio that has helped guide the review of all development in Downtown Toronto and surrounding urban areas. James also has experience working in the private sector as an urban designer, project designer and project architect for both national and international projects. He is the recipient of numerous awards and has received an Ontario Association of Architects Award in 2008 for introducing the 1:50 program and has recently led the initiative to launch Toronto's Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) branding. In 2014, James was appointed to the Advisory Group of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, an international body in the field of tall buildings and sustainable urban design. He holds graduate degrees in architecture and urban design from the University of Houston and Columbia University, respectively.

Emmanuelle van Rutten, B.Arch, OAA, OAQ, MRAIC, LEED AP BD+C

Emmanuelle is a Licensed Architect in the provinces of Ontario and Quebec and Director at the Moriyama & Teshima Architects' Ottawa office. Her professional focus has been on large-scale institutional buildings in Ottawa. These projects are exemplified by their exceptional designs and staunch project delivery.

Over the years, she has earned a reputation as a remarkable communicator (in both official languages), a meticulous project manager and an excellent designer. Her most notable projects include the Canadian War Museum and the Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat on Sussex drive.

Emmanuelle is actively involved in Ottawa's design community. She maintains a close relationship with her alma mater - the Azrieli School of Architecture at Carleton University where she is frequently invited as a Guest Lecturer and Guest Critic.