Award of Excellence: Urban Infill, Low Rise (Civic)
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.
- Diamond Schmitt Architects
- Fast + Epp
- ERA Architects
- Barry Padolsky Associates Inc.
- PCL Ottawa
- National Arts Centre; Project Owner / Developer
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 Excellence: Public Places and Civic Spaces
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 amphitheatre 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.
- Andrew Frontini; Perkins+Will
- John Hillier; DTAH
- Tony Cook; PCL Constructors Canada
- Bank of Canada; Project Owner / Developer
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 Excellence: Urban Elements
Urban Renewal of the North Perimeter Wall on Parliament Hill (Phase 3)
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.
- 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
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 Excellence: Student Projects
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.
- Justin Spec
- McGill University
- School of Architecture
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.
Special Jury Prize for Tall Building Design Excellence
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.
- 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
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.