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2015 Ottawa Urban Design Awards

2015 Award Winners

Award of Merit: Urban Infill Mid-High Rise

James Michael Flaherty Building

James Michael Flaherty Building. Urban infill mid-high rise; award of merit.

The James Michael Flaherty Building at 90 Elgin Street is an office tower built on the original site of the National Gallery of Canada.

The building is organized in two volumes with a lower 8 storey pavilion fronting Elgin Street and a
17 storey tower behind that addresses the high?rise condition of the downtown core. The massing, expression and proportions integrate with both the urban condition on Confederation Boulevard and the higher built form of Ottawa's central business district.

Significantly, 90 Elgin Street follows the precepts of the Greber Plan by providing a symmetrical
composition for the termination of views along the MacKenzie King Bridge. In so doing, it anchors the
backdrop to a future National Monument on the MacKenzie King Bridge triangle at Elgin Street.

The main entrance on Elgin features a four?storey atrium lending itself to the display of public art.
The ground floor is purposefully designed to encourage active use and vitality at street level, integrating retail areas and designed to improve and enrich the urban experience for occupants and visitors.

Project Team

David McRobie, James Salem - David S. McRobie Architects Inc.
Martin Sparrow, Gerry Doering - DIALOG
James Lennox - James B. Lennox Landscape Architects
The Great West Life Assurance Company/Public Works and Government Services Canada - Project Developer/Owner

Jury Comments

MA: This is one of the few projects that engages two different scales and speeds of the city: the vehicular and the pedestrian one. It's axial composition responds in a simple but effective way to its location at the end of McKenzie King Bridge, which generates in return powerful perspective views as you enter the City of Ottawa. It's massing, composed of a lower eight storey pavilion and a seventeen-storey tower behind, not only maintains relevant urban alignments with the neighbouring buildings but also successfully enhances the human experience at street level.

CP: This podium and tower typology is executed in a manner that is particularly befitting of Ottawa's Parliamentary Precinct. The use of symmetry is appropriate as an axial termination of the MacKenzie King bridge. The scale, materiality and proportion of base are respectful to the surrounding building context. The glass tower is executed with a sense of solidity and the penthouse treatment gives the peak of the tower a sense of termination at twilight, a very considered use of glass. The project reinforces the character of the Precinct and acts as a bridge between its heritage neighbour to the south and contemporary neighbour to the north.

GS: This project speaks of a modern interpretation of federal architecture; symmetrically composed for gravitas while at the same time more animated and uplifting than its 20th century federal office neighbours. The building's symmetry takes advantage of its prominence related to McKenzie King Bridge; offering the potential for urban design connection between the downtown core and the neighbourhood and university campus at the east end of the Bridge.

Award of Merit: Urban Infill Mid-High Rise

The Vibe

The Vibe. Urban infill mid-high rise; award of merit.

One of the central notions behind the redevelopment of Lansdowne Park was the creation of an "urban village in which to live, work and play."

The Vibe consists of a commercial base and recessed nine-storey residential tower above. The master plan strives to capture the character of the surrounding neighbourhood which was a key element in the building's resolution.

The corner tower element is dressed in glass and metal fins. Projecting cubes, staggered balconies and windows provide uniqueness and identity for the building. The tower is set back from the base in order to respect the urban design guidelines for 'right to light' and continuity of building scale. Tiered planting beds soften the transition from public to private realm, and imply the sense of a front lawn. While the Vibe is not the only residential entity on the Lansdowne site, nor is it the tallest, it was seen as a key intervention in the skyline.

It contributes to the presence of the redeveloped Landsdowne Park while respecting the fabric of the neighbourhood and reinforcing a special area within the city.

Project Team

Barry J. Hobin, Doug Brooks, Marc Thivierge, Rheal Labelle, Doug van den Ham, Jeff Chaput - Barry J. Hobin & Associates Architects Inc.
Carmen Dragomir, Cassandra Richardson, Interior Designer - esQape design inc.
Mike Allen - Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Ltd.
André Drouin, Josephine Jordan - Smith + Andersen
Doublespace Photography
Minto Communities - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

GW: The building marks a departure from one neighbourhood type to the retail/sports focus of Lansdowne Park. The two storey retail base is noteworthy.

CP: The Vibe drew a lot of discussion for its self conscious attempt to create activity in the body of the building itself. I found it unnecessary considering that the base could have benefitted from more care, variety, openness and public space. However the building is really the gateway building to Lansdowne Park and as such is a critical piece of the overall urban revitalization. Its merits are in its density and mixed use programme. Its secondary role as an entry beacon to the Park seems to temper and give value to the eclectic nature of the execution. It contributes to the destination character of the site.

GS: Setting aside the hyperactive articulation of this building, the overriding big moves in terms of massing and step backs create a strong presence; providing both a sensitively defined street wall and a distinctive gateway signature that marks a vibrant new development.

Award of Merit: Urban Infill Low Rise

Springfield Towns

Springfield Towns. Urban infill low rise; award of merit.

Springfield is a collection of modern town homes in the Lindenlea neighbourhood in Ottawa. The three units share a consistent, simple, contemporary form and respect the massing, material and context of the neighbours. Parking at the back off the side street ensures an attractive front and pedestrian-friendly streetscape. Within walking distance there are restaurants, retails shops, boutiques, supermarkets, schools and parks.

Springfield makes a modern statement in the neighbourhood, the bright splashes of orange outlining some of the unique window shapes puts it in a 2015 vocabulary. Rising just above its neighbours, Springfield stands out while still respecting the street's average height. The Springfield Towns are LEED Gold Certified.

Project Team

Andrew Reeves, Jennifer Janzen - Linebox Studio Inc.
The Lake Partnership Inc. - Builder
ModBox Developments - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: The strength of this project is its ability to create an intimate yet friendly and open interfacing zone that mediates the private and public domain. This soft threshold is achieved simply and seamlessly through material differentiation as opposed to the usual more forceful signals such as fences, low wall or green edges.

GW: A good example of townhouses that add vitality to a neighbourhood while understanding the elements that make up the existing fabric.

CP: This project just felt 'right' on approach from foot. It nestled itself into a residential street and did all the right things to promote a healthy neighbourhood life, with small gardens on the street, parking tucked away and reinforcing neighbourhood vehicular patterns without sacrificing the privacy of the occupants. The project did use too many materials in the building execution, while this was distracting to me it did not hurt its merits. The project is a very good example of modest intensification. It has succeeded bringing contemporary architecture into a traditional street in a very complimentary not contrasting way.

GS:  This infill project brings a finely tuned sensitivity to its surrounding context, combined with thoughtfully crafted design moves. Careful attention paid to features such as front gardens, well-defined public/private transition and discrete parking all contribute to an engaging modern addition into a mature neighbourhood.

Award of Excellence: Urban Infill Low Rise

Sir John A. Macdonald Building

Sir John A. Macdonald Building. Urban infill low rise; award of excellence.

The former Bank of Montreal (a federally recognized heritage building) as well as an adjacent empty lot to the west has been transformed into a new facility for the House of Commons to house parliamentary functions. The design for the infill and renovation restored the somewhat dilapidated former bank to its original glory and filled in the adjacent empty lot with a contemporary insertion. The addition is deliberately separated from the heritage building by a glass-enclosed atrium that is set back from Wellington Street to ensure that the three-dimensional character of the existing building composition is visible. The lower level of the pavilion is pulled back to create a small forecourt area where the transition from the falling elevation of Wellington Street up to the main ground floor of the complex is elegantly handled through both stairs and a barrier free ramp. The need to accommodate loading off of Wellington, adjacent to the main entrance, has been skilfully addressed through a drive-in loading bay concealed behind a bronze clad wall.

The overall detailing and character of the addition is inspired by an analysis of the existing heritage bank, but reinterpreted in a complimentary but contemporary manner that creates both an appropriate relationship with the bank as well as the surrounding parliamentary context.

Project Team

David Clusiau - NORR Limited
Mark Thompson Brandt, Chris Warden - MTBA Associates Inc.
John G. Cooke, Grazyna Materna, Jonathan Dee - John Cooke & Associates Ltd.
Public Works and Government Services Canada - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: This is a timeless and beautifully quiet infill that successfully adds to the original Bank of Montreal through a play of mass and void. Its best qualities reside in some of the most essential aspects of architecture: elegant composition, choice of the perfect material palette and refined detailing.

CP: The Sir John A. Macdonald Building is an elegant addition to Wellington Street. It is a careful, distinctive, contemporary and contextual addition. The details are executed with care and dignity using heritage materials, stone and bronze, yet handled in a clearly contemporary way. The loading and barrier free access are cleverly handled. The building also has the potential to bring new life to the street and a new relationship to parliamentary functions by showcasing activity through the generous glazed connection and large picture window on the second floor. This appears to be a new opportunity and a rarity for the historically solid Federal buildings.

GS: This is assured and elegantly crafted urban infill; combining deference to and reinterpretation of the heritage building it is connected to. This is a strong example of how contemporary design can engage and enhance the Parliament Hill precinct.

Award of Merit: Public Places and Civic Spaces

Winston Square

Winston Square. Public places and civic spaces; award of merit.

Winston Square is the new outdoor living room of the Westboro community.

Located at the intersection of Winston Avenue at Richmond Road and dovetailed between the Royal Canadian Legion, the Dairy Queen and The Piggy Market, this previously dead-end street has been transformed into a new public place. The Square is defined by free-standing metal walls (clad in foliage) in shapes inspired by the outlines of existing houses and rooflines found along Winston Avenue. The new facades preserve the character and proportions of old Westboro homes while framing the new urban space that celebrates the community context.

Virginia creeper vines will line these walls in green in the summer and red in the autumn. In the winter, the galvanized frames and wire mesh will be exposed, accentuating the facades and the single strand of LED lights which trace the rooflines around the perimeter of the Square.

A whimsical chandelier, part of a City-led public art competition, will replace the existing cobra head light fixture in the fall.

Winston Square is a versatile and fun people place with abundant programming and entertainment potential for all ages, for all seasons.

Project Team

Kaja Cerveny, Kelly Wojnarski - Douglas & Ruhland Landscape Architects Ltd.
Rick Cunliffe - Cunliffe & Associates
Guy-Olivier Mauzeroll - R.J. McKee Engineering Ltd.
City of Ottawa - Project Owner/Developer

David Lewis, one of the visionaries of Winston Square

Jury Comments

GW:  A surprise in the urban fabric that adds connectivity and a sense of place.

MA: This project demonstrates the possibility of creating significant spaces at the scale of the neighbourhood out of a dead-end empty lot, a minimally built intervention and plantings. The most successful and creative aspect of this project is its architectural program: urban living room and a multi purpose space for yoga, dancing, concerts and painting.

CP: Winston Square was a strong example of transformation. The project did not read well in photographs, it was best understood by being there. This little space at the end of a residential street seems to support both the homes that dead end onto the space and the vibrant pedestrian scale commercial street. The urban moves were deft, seating at the edges of the space, screening devices that hide building utilities and services while creating opportunity to store outdoor furniture and act as a growing medium bringing green into the urban environment. We could imagine block parties, small street markets, or music, (someone had placed a piano in the space). The project transformed an unused interstitial space and the attention to create a 'living room' was achieved successfully.

GS: A left over in-between space has been turned into a sparkling example of "connective tissue" urban design; taking full advantage of a pedestrian desire path between a shopping street and the neighbourhood it serves. A high achieving multi-tasking square that goes beyond a pedestrian space to include an outdoor living room, public piano parlour and green oasis with a nod to local built form.

Award of Excellence: Public Places and Civic Spaces

Art of Rock Balance Sculpture

Art of Rock Balance. Public places and civic spaces; award of excellence.

Located on the shores of the Ottawa River at Remic Rapids Park, the Rock Balance Sculptures provide a free participatory, exploratory art experience for the general public who can walk among the semi-abstract sculptures situated along the rock flats at river's edge. They are built in harmony with their spectacular natural setting and the site attracts Ottawa's citizens from many cultures, using it as a gathering place, drawn by its social and aesthetic presence and contemplative atmosphere.

The site is located on a well-used bike and pedestrian path along the Ottawa River. It includes a natural rock amphitheatre overlooking the shoreline with spectacular sunsets seen across the river.

Most of the sculptures echo human figures and their relationship to one another, while others resemble birds. They are built by hand, balanced and stabilized with small masonry shims, providing the public with a safe, artistic experience. The project's objectives are to promote environmental, aesthetic and social experiences in the natural landscape and enhance the 'green' beauty of the city for its citizens.

Public programming includes free improvisational workshops in the Art of Rock Balance, and a section of the site is allocated specifically for the public's rock sculpture creations.

The site has a tremendous historical value including the geological imprint which has numerous fossils. There is an obvious historic connection to indigenous peoples and the heritage of French explorers with remains from the portaging pathways. The Art of Rock Balance site also attracts numerous groups involved in acro-yoga, meditation, tai chi, environmental & health interests groups, and tourists from all over the world.

The property is supported and managed by the National Capital Commission.

Project Team

John Felice Ceprano - Artist
Isabelle Hughes, Michael Muir - National Capital Commission
Angelo Filoso - Italian Canadian Community Centre of the National Capital Region
Ottawa Rock Art Inc. - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: "If you build it, they will come". Although the shore of the Ottawa River (Remic Park) is a beautiful natural site, it is the addition of this poetic, cyclical and participative installation that transforms the space into a meaningful place for gathering. The changing rock art sculptures not only remind us of our own cyclical and ephemeral nature, but also create a powerful resonance with the city in the background, which is also a man-made construct.

CP: This project was my favourite submission and the site visit did not disappoint. This project marks place in such a meaningful way that it inspires use as a backdrop for civic activity, such as art performances, and inspires others that attempt their hand at rock balancing....creating true engagement with the site. The intervention is cyclical and temporal, measuring seasons, human activity and tides. It feels nothing short of spiritual.

GS:  This excellent submission transcends the tradition of urban design; with a concept that is profound, highly participatory and very much of its place. Although in the most natural and least urban setting of all of the projects this submission has an unique intrinsic relationship with the things that make Ottawa... the physical geography of river, shoreline and open space, the human built form of the city's skyline and the culture of communities past and present.

Award of Merit: Visions and Master Plans

Rideau/Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan

Rideau Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan. Visions and master plans; award of merit.

Ottawa's Rideau/Arts Precinct is an area of the downtown undergoing enormous change due to several coinciding projects, including Ottawa's Confederation Line construction, the revitalization of the Rideau Shopping Centre, the Ottawa Art Gallery and Arts Court Expansion, the Shaw Centre, continuous investment on the University of Ottawa campus, and ongoing residential and commercial development.

As a result, a unique opportunity to support this precinct with a comprehensive Public Realm Plan emerged.

The Rideau/Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan will guide the implementation of improvements to the public realm, with a particular focus on a revitalization of the streetscape of downtown Ottawa's premier shopping district of Rideau Street/The Rideau Centre. The public realm reflects a high quality urban streetscape consistent with the precinct's critical role as a zone of connectivity between some of Ottawa's most important destinations. Recommended improvements include prioritizing space for pedestrians, narrowing road widths where appropriate, extending bicycle facilities and safety for cyclists, significantly increasing tree planting, and ensuring effective bus operations.

Project Team

David Leinster - The Planning Partnership
Ron Clarke - Parsons Corporation
Ken Greenberg - Greenberg Consultants
City of Ottawa, Cadillac Fairview - Project Owner/Developer

Jury comments

CP: The master plan objectives to bring pedestrian linkages to the major anchors of the downtown is very commendable and very much needed. The canal itself presents an attraction but also a division between areas, the heavy vehicular focus is also a detraction. To enhance the pedestrian experience with narrower streets, wider sidewalks and bike lanes is a really positive measure and facilitating access particularly with the new traffic from the Convention Centre. The implementation of the master plan really seems to be taking advantage of new development and the LRT to redefine the city streetscape. It is difficult however to gauge the success of the plan with only parts constructed and some, while well meaning, could be improved including the bike lane to the University of Ottawa, which should have a physical divider. This was an important point to make in that we could not help but look at the Rideau/Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan without considering the uOttawa plan. The two are linked and their successes are mutually reliant, therefore the link to uOttawa should be seen as a more key element.

GS: The city precinct tackled by this submission includes some of downtown Ottawa's most vital links but least pedestrian/bike friendly environments. While more needs to be achieved the submission's urban design vision takes positive steps towards addressing the challenges, and along the way elevating the precinct to a higher quality setting for all users. As an extension of the above two other submissions in this year's programme draw attention to a particular part of the Plan; McKenzie King Bridge, which forms a key connector between the James Michael Flaherty Building (and downtown core) and the University of Ottawa campus. Serious effort is needed to ensure that the Bridge and Laurier Avenue East become continuous, high quality landscaped pedestrian/bike routes from campus to core.

Award of Merit: Visions and Master Plans

University of Ottawa Campus Master Plan

University of Ottawa Campus Master Plan. Visions and master plans; award of merit.

The University of Ottawa holds a prominent place nationally and internationally as one of Canada's leading universities. Located in the heart of downtown Ottawa, it is a key contributor to the City's economy, culture and quality of life. The University of Ottawa Campus Master Plan will guide the evolution of the campus by providing a framework for the development of buildings, open spaces and infrastructure to create an inviting and memorable campus.

By creating complete community hubs with a range of amenities and open spaces, the plan promotes a sense of attachment to the campus as a place not only to attend classes, but to stay and socialize, eat, sleep, study, attend a sporting event, or enjoy art and culture. The new University Square, slated for completion in fall 2015, will mark the heart of the campus and become iconic for its beauty and for the special events and daily social interaction that will occur there.

The core of the campus will become car-free, green, and pedestrian friendly, and will draw people in to enjoy the campus or to attend cultural events. A new campus cycling network will complement, complete, and be integrated with the City's network. The future uOttawa and Lees LRT stations will be embedded within the campus, and access to these stations will be improved for both the University population and the broader community.

The plan respects the character of surrounding residential neighbourhoods. As the main campus evolves, the relationship to Sandy Hill will be enhanced, with King Edward Avenue planned to become a vibrant, mixed-use street and the strong residential character of Henderson Avenue to be maintained.

Project Team

George Dark, Eric Turcotte, Tim Smith, Sirous Ghanbarzadeh, Inger Jenset, Julia Cziraky - Urban Strategies Inc.
Ron Jack, Kate Whitfield - Parsons Corporation
Université d'Ottawa | University of Ottawa - Project Owner/Developer

Jury comments

CP: Progressive cities are currently looking at urban campus master plans that take advantage of the town and gown synergies. The uOttawa plan is distinguished by giving character to the neighbourhood by reinforcing campus identity, protecting some of the campus defining spaces while allowing for mixed use synergies to infiltrate the campus. This has potential to create a healthy symbiotic relationship between the energy, population and demographic of the university and everything the city offers: service, culture and industries. This master plan could not be considered without the Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan and at this point in the execution it was difficult to discern the success with only parts completed. One area of question was the Taberet Lawn, it was unclear if the fences around the green were to remain which would inhibit flow at the same time we saw well executed pedestrian streets.

GS: The Master Plan for this campus works hard to enhance the University's built form/space identity, create a sustainable precinct and meaningfully integrate with the broader city context, while reconciling challenging site conditions. Given the progressive stature of the University and its proximity to the heart of the City further development of the Plan is encouraged to realise full potential. This includes establishing engaging, animated presence along the northwest edge of the campus, and taking full advantage of the vision embodied in the Rideau Centre/Arts Precinct Public Realm Plan.

Award of Excellence: Visions and Master Plans

Lansdowne Urban Park & Public Realm

Lansdowne Urban Park and Public Realm. Visions and master plans; award of excellence.

The park is conceived of as a constellation of spaces from intimate to grand in scale, all prepared as flexible venues for everyday enjoyment by local residents and a diverse year-round programme of special events, returning the park to its rich continuum of exhibition, display, and recreation.

The park features an Event Square on axis with the Pavilion and addresses the centre of the park to Bank Street; the Aberdeen Square north of the Pavilion as a versatile urban square and for use by the Ottawa Farmer's Market; the East Court for smaller events and an adjunct outdoor space to the Pavilion, Civic Demonstration Gardens representing the gardens of Ottawa, the Heritage Orchard within the shuttle loop to feature heritage apple trees of the region and furnished with picnic tables; the refrigerated Skating Court to celebrate the park's winter months and converts to events like basketball in warmer months; the Children's Garden focused on the play needs of pre-teens with a small skateboard feature, colourful seating groups for social play, a 'great big green climbing piece', a chalk wall (concealing the park's mechanical facilities) and the Teaching Circle; the South Court which extends like a great porch from the Pavilion outward toward the lawn and canal, composed of densely planted islands filled with seating and spaces between serving as more intimate event venues; the Great Lawn providing the main greenspace of the park for the widest variety of uses from informal picnicking up to large scale performance events of up to 15,000 people; the Water Plaza flanking the lawns east side with a surrounding 100m length bench facing the sun and overlooking the lawn, with the artwork Uplift at its focus.

A network of pathways and public plazas creates a diverse park circulation system which also extends through the mixed use development to Bank Street, re-linking the neighbourhood with the canal. Pedestrian movement is prioritized, with automobiles treated as guests within the park and mixed use zones. Shared pathways and extensive bicycle parking extends throughout the site, and future water landings on the canal are also envisioned to diversify connections to the park.

A series of interpretive elements bring the story of the Algonquin People to the site. The paving pattern of the Square is inspired by an ash basketry pattern, a teaching circle in the Children's Garden incorporates seating in the colours of the medicine wheel and is surrounded by text representing the Seven Grandfather Teachings and seven associated trees, and ethnobotanical plantings are incorporated in the demonstrations gardens and in various planting palettes throughout the park.

The park is designed with universal accessibility measures embedded in all aspects of its design including clear travel paths, seating with backs, tactile wayfinding paving and multi-lingual signage including Anishinaabemowin and braille.

Project Team

Greg Smallenberg, Jeffrey Staates - PFS Studio
Julian Smith - Julian Smith Architects
Jill Anholt - Jill Anholt Studio
Larry Morrison - Stantec
City of Ottawa - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: Although Lansdowne Park encompasses a very large area, the planning strategies successfully create a series of intimate places that offer a great variety of usage and flow with ease from one to the other, through different scales and soft topographies.

CP: We moved this project from Civic Places to Master plans as it's reach and impact was greater than the place itself. This project has to be understood, the presentation did not do it full justice. The park is a comprehensive programmed park with good consideration of heritage buildings, natural systems, recreation, community gardens, ecology and spectacle. The treatment of the issue of event parking is very well handled. The park itself follows strong principles of reinforcing edges and creating pockets of intimacy that allow the park to have the potential to thrive when events are not occurring while creating interventions for large gatherings. Together with the surrounding intensification of the residential community, the revitalization of the stadium and the zoning that must have been reconsidered to revitalize this place, the Park seems as much a success in partnership as it is a success in consideration and execution.

GS: This submission is an excellent example of revitalizing development that balances social, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability. It fulfills the concept of "mixed use" in the truest meaning of the phrase; a vibrant blend of residential, retail/commercial, recreation/entertainment, civic and green space programme. A high quality pedestrian-first public realm is evident throughout; and built form scale and transition is particularly successful.

Award of Merit: Urban Elements

TD Place Stadium - The Veil

TD Place Stadium ‘The Veil’. Urban elements; award of merit.

Drawing upon the concept of a 'stadium within a park', the extensive application of wood in the new South Grandstands serves not only as a reminder of the national capital's past as a logging and lumber town, but it also pays symbolic tribute to the canal that once played an important role in facilitating the Ottawa River timber trade and waterway for transporting commercial goods.

The stadium was envisaged as an exuberant entity that would integrate itself dynamically into the park rather than being a static monument in isolation from its immediate context. This is expressed with a public concourse that encircles the stadium, providing visitors with opportunities to flow through the stadium while still in the park.

The South Stands possesses an undulating skin - the 'veil' - that opens up at particular moments to allow for physical and visual connections between the stadium and the surrounding park, enabling visitors to exist in both places at once. The veil was envisioned to be fabricated from Alaskan yellow cedar right from the inception. The frames of the veil are designed rhythmically with protuberances allowing for peeled openings at various moments to frame exceptional views of the surrounding park and the canal.

The design of the TD Place Stadium drastically departs from the traditional notion that a stadium is an inert building and, instead, takes on a position that architecture is a temporal and dynamic event-based art in which people and built form intersect. The new South Stands were conceived of as emerging from the park, perhaps most evident in the veil, which serves not only as the stadium's signature element, but also as a beacon that draws in visitors from its surroundings. It promotes a strong sense of connection to its picturesque surroundings through the notions of transparency, porosity, accessibility, and new programming.

The idea was to create a new image that would enhance the history, identity, and vitality of Lansdowne Park alongside the canal, effectively transforming the former stadium in a parking lot to a true stadium in a park.

Project Team

Robert Fatovic, Yasmeen Bebal, Kevin Hinchey - CannonDesign Ltd.
Robert Claiborne, Project Designer, formerly with CannonDesign Ltd.
Guillermo Gabrielli - WSP Group
David Moses - Moses Structural Engineers
André Drouin, Dan Larson - Smith + Andersen
Brock Strapper; Bai, LLC - Audio Visual
Philippe Goulet; Pomerleau Inc. - Contractor
City of Ottawa, Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: The wood screen structure of TD Place Stadium is another project that works successfully at both scales of the city: it creates an iconic structure as viewed from the car at high speed and a more refined filigree enclosure that allows the users views on the Rideau Canal. This is a skilled re-interpretation of the traditionally hermetic and field-centred stadium typology.

CP:  This project is an elegant and artful response to the problem of the muscular expression of a stadium and is particularly strong on the banks of the Rideau Canal. The Veil is poetic, delicate and appropriately fluid. This was a rich category of quality submissions and the success of The Veil actually displaced the 'Moving Surfaces' submission which was very commendable but formally had a very similar visual impact. TD Place Stadium was more impactful, nuanced and appropriately scaled to have a dialogue with the river.

GS:  This submission has achieved a daunting feat; transforming an austere stadium into an elegantly flowing veil, miming the seductive sweep of the nearby Rideau Canal. The design concept elevates a major civic amenity to graceful environmental sculpture, all the while accommodating the demands of a large assembly facility. A signature design fitting to the revitalization of one of the prime sites in Ottawa.

Award of Excellence: Urban Elements

Blanding's Turtles of the South March Highlands

Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highland. Urban elements; award of excellence.

The concept for this winning public art proposal was to highlight the endangered Blanding?s turtles which exist just next door to the Beaverbrook Library in the South March Highlands. In 2013 a conservation study was completed where it was determined that there existed a survivable population of Blanding?s turtles highlighting two objectives, to improve local and global knowledge and raise public awareness.

Every turtle shell is comprised of 13 plates. The Algonquin believe that each plate represents one moon in a full moon year. 13 concrete turtle sculptures were installed parading into the Library and Mlacak Centre entrance. The Algonquin name for each moon/month is inscribed into the back of each turtle. The grand mural backdrop on the library wall behind also consists of 13 turtles amidst the natural environment of the South March.

The artist's other objective was to create something fun and interactive for the kids and adults who frequent the public library and adjacent recreation centre. According to the librarian and custodial staff, the turtles are continually ?crawling with kids?. It is the rare child who enters the Library without at least touching, petting, climbing onto or otherwise engaging with the sculptures, both on their way into the library or on their way out. The local high school kids have their favourite turtle on which to perch and eat their lunch.

Volunteers were needed to create these 13 sculptures. 48 local individuals donated their time to help apply concrete to the turtles. It is their hand prints and human touch that will always be visible on the final sculptures. There is a greater sense of ownership and community because of this engagement.

The mural and sculptures complement each other. The sculptures are larger than life yet at a human scale to be approachable and accessible. Together these two elements combine to create a unique and educational environment, a surprising and fresh experience - even magical - and a dramatic addition to the urban landscape

Project Team

Christopher Griffin - Christopher Griffin Art Studio Inc.
Emmanuelle van Rutten - Moriyama & Teshima Architects
Bill Riseborough - Constructive Behaviour
Ottawa Public Library, City of Ottawa - Project Owner/Developer

Jury Comments

MA: This installation is very rich in its ability to operate at many different levels. It is, at its most simple expression, a wonderfully lucid and unusual encounter as you enter the library. The turtles marching in line ignite the most curious scenarios in the children's minds. As an artwork, its material and tactile qualities are remarkable. And finally, and not least, the installation does raise public awareness about our first nation's culture and the numerous threats to our natural environment.

CP: This playful yet robust installation was really delightful. The project did everything that public art has the potential to do, invite curiosity, tell stories and create new experiences. The two pieces, visual and sculptural, are in strong dialogue with consistent materiality speaking to the potential and malleability of an artists' medium. In the context of a library with a strong community visitor ship, this family friendly installation is very strong.

GS: A delightful installation that eloquently speaks to the plight of an endangered species while nurturing reflection and curiosity in all ages. The design skilfully works on so many levels... a parade of turtles artfully draws people towards the library's entrance and offers enticing places to sit and read; while the etched mural provides an elegantly simple background story. The design never descends into cartoonish parody, which makes the concept all the more compelling.

Award of Merit: Student Projects


Milieu. Student projects; award of merit.

Milieu is a social and data driven software application that democratizes city planning and development. Milieu expands opportunities for public engagement, and fosters urban transformation that will help tackle the challenges that cities face by producing better urban and architectural products.

When wandering through the city, abandoned spaces under development are everywhere. Highly prized and diminishing fast, the possibility to design and construct innovative solutions that respond to what a city needs remains. As cities change against the backdrop of increasing urbanization, the explosion of open data and information communication technologies (ICT), development and planning processes are steps behind.

Can these spaces be more than something we see and pass daily? Is there a way that people can contribute to the development and planning process and consequently, the design and construction of the city tomorrow?

The challenge is to create new ICT platforms for open data, and to connect and enable public participation in urban development and planning. This involves creating conditions of transparency, predictability, and accountability by deploying tools that inform, engage, and empower people to be part of the conversation.

Project Team

Lee-Michael Pronko, Thaly Crespin, Luisa Lu Yao Ji, Ema Graci - Carleton University

Jury Comments

MA: This project represents all we should expect from the next generation: the ability to expand the field of architecture and exploit the endless power of digital platforms to create new ways for large scale participation. This particular proposal is a refreshing reminder that we build cities for people and that their voices are important in making our work as architects and planners meaningful.

CP: In the context of Urban Design Awards, this project was inventive and really realizable. Showing how community involvement, community feedback and needs and a creative culture could take responsibility for shaping cities.

Award of Excellence: Student Project

6 Homes for Canadians

6 Homes for Canadians. Student projects; award of excellence.

Although the popularity of the suburb has remained, recent design projects have taken a more inventive approach with infill housing, laneway housing, and low rise apartments in place of a singular dwelling. Dissecting a block within Ottawa's Alta Vista neighbourhood, the housing patterns from CMHC's 1948 publication 67 Homes for Canadians' reveals an outdated vision for the Canadian family.

The new '6 Homes for Canadians' creates an inner block laneway that showcases the six different households represented in the 2011 Canadian Census. Physically the houses are raised and connected to respond to the struggle with Canadian weather and represent the community relationships founded within the suburb sixty years before.

Project Team

Desirae Cronsberry - Carleton University

Jury Comments

MA: This analysis is very interesting and rigorous. Its historical depth and pragmatic approach convincingly proposes new theoretical housing models based on multiple parameters such as demographics and energy consumption. It also raises the question of the ability of architects to solve alone this type of multi-facetted problem and demonstrates the necessity for multidisciplinary research and project in the field of housing.

CP: This student presented a thorough project, pushing research and imagination with a strong sense of presentation. The project proposed an alternative to suburban sprawl to address the aspiration of owning and building your own home. The project begins with a critical position, progresses by reassessing the current demographic need and proposing simple typologies that could be customizable and made site specific in infill manner. The project proposes options while drawing critical attention to both suburban development and condominium culture. The project was excellent in its rigour, it displayed research and referenced historic precedent and committed clever and appropriate graphics. The presentation was evocative of a generic everyman owner's manual or poster that also had a 50's nostalgia calling attention to the project's suburban critique.

GS:  This submission outlines a fresh and provocative take on providing homes that are relevant to the current dynamics of Canadian families and cities. While on one hand at the strategic level it rethinks and replaces old assumptions, it counterbalances grand vision with on the ground testing within real Ottawa context. It deftly considers both personal and community aspects; with balanced attention to social, cultural, environmental and economic considerations.