Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada Joint Facility - Public Art Opportunity
Updated March 21, 2019
This competition is now closed. Learn more
Are you on the list? To receive emails about new commissions, email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “subscribe – commissions.” Calls to artists and announcements are emailed directly to subscribers.
1.1 City of Ottawa, Public Art Program
Established in 1985, as one of the first in Canada, the City of Ottawa Public Art Program is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of the visual arts in Ottawa by collecting, commissioning and exhibiting works of art. A renewed Public Art Policy incorporates the strengths of past decades in Ottawa and reaffirms the objectives of commissioning professional artists to create original works of art for integration into public places. The Public Art Policy mandates one percent (1%) of funds from municipal development projects to be set aside for public art in order to enhance public spaces and make art accessible to everyone.
1.2 Public Art Opportunity
The City of Ottawa invites professional artists or artist teams to submit qualifications for the opportunity of Artist on Design Team to work collaboratively with the Architectural Design Team of the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Joint Facility to design, fabricate and install a permanent, site-specific artwork integrated into the facility. This two-stage competition is held in accordance with the Public Art Policy. This Request for Qualifications document provides important information, details and submission requirements related to the OLP-LAC Joint Facility and to this public art competition.
1.3 Acknowledgement - Honouring the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
Ottawa is built on unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The people of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation have lived on this territory for millennia. Their culture and presence have nurtured and continue to nurture this land. The City of Ottawa would like to honour the people and land of the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation. The City of Ottawa would also like to honour all First Nations, Inuit and Métis people, their elders, their knowledge keepers, both young and old, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.
1.4 Request for Qualification (RFQ) Eligibility
This request for qualifications is an equal opportunity, open to local, national and international professional artists and artist teams with experience in creating permanent public art and working on multidisciplinary design teams. City of Ottawa employees are not eligible to apply.
The City of Ottawa supports cultural activities that are inclusive of Ottawa's diverse communities including people from diverse ancestries, abilities, ages, countries of origin, cultures, genders, incomes, languages, races and sexual orientations. Applications from First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists are welcome and encouraged. The City of Ottawa recognizes both official languages (English and French) as having the same rights, status and privileges.
2. Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Joint Facility Project Background
2.1 OPL-LAC Facility - Project Vision
The OPL and LAC Joint Facility will contribute to the ongoing transformation of Canada’s capital into a world-class city through the creation of a modern, prestigious facility that brings together and showcases a new Ottawa Public Library’s Central Library with Library and Archives Canada’s public services in a new combined municipal/national institution.
The collaboration between the OPL and LAC is based on shared values of intellectual freedom and access to information, and will result in the creation of an iconic and meaningful destination in the nation’s capital. This destination will reflect Ottawa’s and Canada’s heritage and origins, and at the same time acknowledge the future through the creation of an experience that is both local and national.
The objective of the project is to bring together, in a shared facility, a new Ottawa Central Library and Library and Archives Canada’s public programs and services in the National Capital Region. The project will be a defining image for 21st century Ottawa, celebrating community vitality and the history of Ottawa, the greater Ottawa area, and Canada.
The value in the OPL and LAC collaboration will be realized through:
- Creation of a civic and national landmark;
- Richer customer experience for all visitors to a joint facility;
- Unique opportunities for shared programming, including exterior programming and events;
- Enhanced access for OPL customers to national collections and resources; and
- Increased visibility and exposure for LAC public services due to the high volume of visitors to the Ottawa Central Library.
2.2 OPL-LAC Joint Facility - Project Description
The overall size of the facility will be approximately 20,000 gross m2 (216,000 ft2) with 61% or 12,080 m2 (133,000 ft2) allocated to OPL, and 39% or 7,710 m2 (83,000 ft2) to LAC. The Project will be located at 555 Albert Street, a site owned by the City of Ottawa that is approximately 250 m from the Pimisi light rail station. It is conservatively anticipated that the joint facility will have an average of 5,000 visitors each day.
The City of Ottawa and the Government of Canada are committed to sustainability in their facilities and strive to reduce the environmental impacts of their operations. To demonstrate leadership in sustainability, the facility will obtain a minimum of level Gold certification under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) v4 for the Build Design and Construction.
The Project contains 21 functional components made up of OPL-only spaces, LAC-only spaces, and shared spaces. The shared spaces will enhance the complementary but unique nature of OPL and LAC services, and will include:
- Exterior Spaces - a shared outdoor space for programs and activities, acting as an interface between the building and the public realm;
- A Main Entrance and Town Square - a shared entrance space with access to OPL and LAC spaces, and meeting spaces, featuring a café and Friends of the Ottawa Public Library (FOPLA) Shop;
- Public Forum and Meeting Spaces - large multi-purpose spaces for programming and events for the community, as well as both OPL and LAC;
- An Exhibition Gallery - museum-quality spaces featuring exhibitions of rare and unique LAC collections, travelling exhibitions; and OPL and Ottawa community exhibitions and;
- A Genealogy Centre - a one-of-a-kind research space offering OPL and LAC services and collections.
2.3 OPL – LAC Joint Facility - Site
The OPL-LAC Joint Facility will be located at 555 Albert Street near residential and mixed-use areas, the Pimisi light rail station, and green spaces. The site offers excellent sightlines and connectivity to the surrounding cityscape and natural environment, with views of the historic LeBreton Flats, aqueduct and Fleet Street pumping station, the Ottawa River, Gatineau Hills and the downtown Ottawa skyline. The OPL-LAC Joint facility will also be located in close proximity to Chaudière Falls, a traditional sacred site for the Algonquin Anishinabe Nation and other First Nations. The site and its surrounding area and views will be important considerations for both architectural design and public art development. The facility will be positioned to maximize the site’s historic views and enhanced topography of the escarpment.
2.4 OPL-LAC Project Schedule
3. Public Art Opportunity
3.1 Artist on Design Team
As Artist on Design Team, the selected Artist or artist team will work collaboratively with the architectural team during the design development process of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, allowing for seamless integration of public art and artistic enhancements into the project design and construction. The preferred design team is the consortium of Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects and procurement of professional design services is currently in the negotiation and contract finalization phase. This public art opportunity is conditioned by a desire to leverage the Artists’ talent, vision and experience and to realize artistic concepts early in the design development of the OPL-LAC Joint Facility.
The selected Artist or artist team will bring creative energy, professionalism, design excellence and innovation to the OPL-LAC Joint Facility design process and will develop a public art concept to be integrated into the architecture and/or landscape. In addition, the Artist on Design Team will be required to attend and participate in public and stakeholder engagement sessions as part of the Architect’s Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan, to engage and inform the development of a public art proposal.
Public art may take the form of a standalone or architecturally integrated artwork, digital artwork and other visual art forms. The fabrication and installation of artwork(s) may be managed directly by the Artist or by the Architect depending on the selected Artist(s) approach. Regardless, the Architect shall be responsible for the engineering and design coordination of the base building modifications, such as structural and electrical modifications, necessary to support the installation of the selected artwork(s) as required.
3.2 Scope of Work
The proposed period of contract for the Artist on Design Team for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility will be approximately five (5) years from 2019 to 2024, with the peak period of productivity occurring during design development and construction coordination of the artwork. The contracted Artist(s) will be required to adhere to the responsibilities as set out in the Public Art Terms of Reference, issued to shortlisted artists, and to the Artist Supply Agreement that will include but are not limited to the following scope of work:
- Act as an integral member of the design team in all phases, championing the importance of artistic excellence;
- Participate in meetings with the Design Team, public stakeholders and or Client Advisory Team (CAT) as required;
- Identify locations suitable for artwork installation(s) in collaboration with the Architect with an approach to the facility design that holistically considers site, architecture, art, landscape, signage and wayfinding;
- Collaborate with an Indigenous Art and Placemaking Program, a separate art opportunity for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, to assist with site identification and for a coordinated and holistic approach to art at the facility;
- Develop artwork concepts, such as drawings and 3-D models or maquettes, including cost estimates, material samples, fabrication, installation, maintenance plans and conservation reports;
- Present artwork concepts for review and approval by the Design and Curatorial Review Panel and Technical Review Panel during key design review milestones;
- Manage the fabrication and installation of artwork, or inspect and oversee the artwork fabrication as coordinated by the Architect, as appropriate.
3.3. Public Art Vision
Public art for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility should add distinctive visual character to the facility, enhance user experience and be universal in appeal to the diverse patrons of the facility. The public art should elevate the OPL-LAC Joint Facility and the City of Ottawa Art Collection to an international level of design excellence, engaging in dialogue with the architecture and the site.
Public art for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility should be original, site-specific, iconic, visually striking and representing the highest standards of contemporary artistic excellence. The artwork should create discussion and excitement attracting people to the new facility. The artwork should have a strong connection to place, be respectful of the site context and reflect OPL-LAC goals of creating a library and archives for the future that inspires learning, sparks curiosity and connects people.
3.4. Public Art Budget
The total budget for the Artist on Design Team contract is approximately $600,000 in Canadian Dollars (CAD) plus Harmonized Sales Tax (HST). The public art budget is approximate and is subject to change. This budget includes all costs required to consult, collaborate, design, fabricate, store, transport and install the public art, including the Artist’s time, travel and attendance at meetings and events. The cost for engineering of the artwork for integration will be assumed by the Architect and costs for associated artwork infrastructure (anchoring, foundations and/or electrical) will be assumed by the Project, within reason and subject to negotiation.
4. Request for Qualifications (RFQ) Process
4.1 RFQ Process
The Artist on Design Team contract will be awarded following a two-stage, arms length, competitive process as follows:
Request for Qualifications: Stage I - Submissions will be evaluated by a Peer Assessment Committee consisting of artists, arts professionals and peers with public art experience, the Design Team lead Architect and project representatives. This committee will review and evaluate all submissions in accordance with the evaluation Criteria listed below, and will shortlist a maximum of six (6) artists to advance to Stage II. Shortlisted artists must meet all of the requirements of 5.3.1 Gated Requirements, score a minimum of 70% and achieve the highest scores out of 80 points as per 5.3.2 Rated Requirements.
Presentation and Interviews: Stage II - Shortlisted artists will attend an Information Session with key members of the Design Team and the Project Team (in person or remotely) and will be issued a Terms of Reference with key information and details on Stage II competition requirements and the Artist Supply Agreement. Shortlisted artists (maximum six) will be paid an honorarium of $500 for the preparation of a presentation to the Peer Assessment Committee and will be reimbursed up to $1,500 CAD for travel to interview in Ottawa. Shortlisted artists will deliver presentations and will be interviewed by the Peer Assessment Committee (in person or remotely). The successful applicant will be awarded from a combined evaluation score from Stage I qualifications and Stage II interviews.
4.2 Request for Qualifications (RFQ) - Schedule
December 14, 2018
Deadline to submit inquiries on RFQ
January 21, 2019
Last day for issuance of Addenda
January 28, 2019
Deadline for Submissions – RFQ closing date
Monday, February 4, 2019, 4:00 p.m. E.S.T.
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 1
Shortlisted Artists notified and Terms of Reference issued
Information meeting for shortlisted Artists
Peer Assessment Committee Stage 2: Presentations and Interviews
Kick-off meeting with Design Team
5. RFQ Requirements and Evaluation
5.1 RFQ Requirements
Applicants are required to address the following requirements in sufficient depth in their submissions. The onus is on the applicants to demonstrate that it meets the requirements specified in this RFQ.
- Demonstrated experience with managing and leading projects over $300,000 CAD;
- Experience working on complex public art projects integrated within large-scale architecture or landscape projects;
- Innovation and problem solving;
- Excellent written and oral communications skills;
- Knowledge and ability to read and interpret architectural drawings;
- Experienced in the requirements for engineering preliminary design, final design and construction, as well as fabrication and installation of public art, including the tendering process;
- Demonstrated ability to create scaled, digital design drawings;
- Experienced working with stakeholders or others involved in the projects as required;
- Availability to deliver the project for the durations as set out in the project schedule.
5.2 Evaluation Criteria
Submissions will be evaluated based on two parts, first on Gated Requirement and then on Rated Requirement. Submissions that do not meet all of the Gated Requirements will not be further considered or evaluated.
5.2.1 Gated Requirements: (Pass/Fail)
Applicants’ résumés must demonstrate the minimum requirements listed here in order to be considered for this Request for Qualifications. For applicants applying as a team, the lead Artist must demonstrate the minimum requirements; a combination of team members’ experience will not be considered.
The minimum requirements are as follows:
- Demonstrated seven (7) years or more of professional experience creating permanent public art;
- Demonstrated experience working on three (3) or more projects as Artist on Design Team and or lead Artist on a multidisciplinary team.
7. RFQ Conditions
7.1. City Rights
The City of Ottawa reserves the right to reject any or all submissions, or any part thereof, or to terminate or re-advertise the Call to Artists. The decision of the Peer Assessment Committee is final.
7.2 Disclosure of Information
Applicants shall not issue a news release or other public announcement pertaining to details of the RFQ, their RFQ Submission, or the selection process, without the prior written approval of the City Of Ottawa.
7.3 Copyright and moral rights
Copyright, including any and all designs, drawings and final works of art, shall remain the property of the Artist. Moral rights remain with the Artist.
7.4 Confidentiality of Information
City of Ottawa employees and Peer Assessment Committee members are required to treat both the content of submissions and the deliberations of the committee as confidential.
Information provided by the applicant may be available to City of Ottawa employees and members of the peer assessment committee. Personal Information in your submission is collected under the authority of the City Council approved Public Art Policy. Personal information will only be used for evaluating your submission and administering the City of Ottawa’s Public Art Program.
Artist on Design Team, an Artist, embedded as a contributing member of the Design Team, to integrate public art concepts early in the design.
Artist Supply Agreement, the contract between the City of Ottawa and the selected Artist for the public art opportunity of Artist on Design Team.
Client Advisory Team (CAT), the group consisting of representatives from the City of Ottawa, OPL, LAC, and a third-party Project Manager (City) representative. Each group may include additional organizational representation as required throughout the life of the Project to supplement the CAT.
Design and Curatorial Review Panel, responsible for reviewing the selected Artist(s) public art proposal in regards to artistic and conceptual merit, composed of members of the peer assessment committee or other public art/curatorial professionals, CAT and the Lead Architect.
Design Team, Architecture and/or Landscape Team, forming part of OPL-LAC Joint Facility Project. This Team is responsible for the development of the joint facility design, architecture and related landscape elements.
Design Process Engagement and Consultation (DPEC) Plan, prepared by the Architect, outlines a public engagement plan for the entirety of the project that is flexible and allows for responsiveness to the information and ideas received by various stakeholders.
Indigenous Art and Placemaking Program, a separate but coordinated art program for the OPL-LAC Joint Facility, is open to First Nations, Inuit and Métis artists in response to recommendations from Ottawa Public Library’s Response to Truth and Reconciliation Report.
Integrated public art, artworks that are designed as an integral element of the architecture and/or landscape design. These works of public art are a permanent and fixed component of the construction of the site and are not transient or mobile in nature.
Peer Assessment Committee, a group of individuals with expertise in diverse parts of the arts sector, including disciplinary knowledge and other expertise. Such committees review and assess applications as part of the public art procurement process.
Professional Artist, an artist who:
- Has specialized training in the artistic field (not necessarily in academic institutions).
- Is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition).
- Is committed to devoting time and resources to artistic activities.
- Has a history of public presentation or publication.
RFQ, Request for Qualifications
Site-specific art, whether long-term or temporary, functional or aesthetic, standalone or integrated and in any media, is an original work that is created in response to the immediate context of the building and or landscape within the site.
Standalone (non-integrated) public art is not a physical part of a building, structure or landscape, and is developed independently from the construction of the facility.
Technical Review Panel, to be composed of conservation, design, engineering and project technical experts, responsible for reviewing the selected artist(s) public art proposal in regards to feasibility, maintenance, conservation and other technical considerations.