Ottawa City Hall Competition, Ontario (1987-1988)
Part of:
  • Kuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg Architects (archive creator)

Ottawa City Hall Competition, Ontario (1987-1988)



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 424 drawings (including reprographic copies)
    5 paintings
    2 photographs
    1 model
Scope and content:
This project series documents a competition entry for the design of Ottawa City Hall in Ottawa, Ontario from 1987-1988. The office identified the project number as 8711.
This competition for Ottawa's new city hall called for a contemporary building that would integrate the old city hall, originally built in the 1950s and located on Green Island in the Rideau Canal. Set between Sussex Drive and Union Street, this project consisted of 1 building with 6 distinct parts: the old office building, the new office building, the City Room, the Council Chamber, the podium, and the daycare centre. The old office building was the original modernist-style city hall that would now serve as office spaces for civic workers. It would be renovated to create better circulation with the new extension. The new office building, serving a similar function, would sit behind the old one to create an L-shape on half of the perimeter. It had a large civic tower on one end that would serve as an observation deck. The City Room, a three-storey element in the centre of the structure, had a distinctive roof made up of more than a dozen small pyramids. Whitton Hall would be used as a ceremonial space, the building's lobby, a major central assembly hall, and meeting rooms. The council chambers were located in a self-contained rotunda, which also had press offices on the ground floor. The daycare centre consisted of a rectangular pavilion, set on a diagonal axis from the rest of City Hall. All of these elements sat on a raised podium that had landscaped terraces and gardens around the building's exterior. The terrace offered stunning views of the Ottawa cityscape across the canal. The podium contained one level of parking, with two additional levels below ground. This project was conceptualized to have two distinct fronts, one with its formal address on Sussex Drive that had a ceremonial entrance called the Plaza of Nations, and one off Union Street beneath the podium and underneath the Peace Bell. KPMB's entry proposed a building that would integrate with the existing system of green parks and walkways already present on the island. However, this was not the winning design for the competition and the project was eventually realized by architect Moshe Safdie.
This project is recorded through drawings, photographs, a model and watercolour paintings dating from 1987-1988. The drawings are mostly originals and include sketches, surveys and site plans, floor plans, elevations, sections, perspectives and axonometrics of the design. There are also a number of presentation panels that show the final competition submission with short texts about the design intention and construction phasing. The watercolours present the building's exterior and photographs show different views of the project model.
Reference number:


Materials in this project series have been compiled from multiple accessions and some have been arranged by material type.

Ottawa Ontario Canada


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