The Senate of Canada Building Ottawa Project, Canadian Beaux-Arts Architecture Images

The Senate of Canada Building

Beaux-Arts Central Train Station Redevelopment in Canada – design by Diamond Schmitt Architects

Updated 9 Mar 2020 + 28 Feb 2019

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa News

Design: Diamond Schmitt Architects

Location: 2 Rideau Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 8X5, Canada

Diamond Schmitt/KWC honoured with Civic Trust Award

The Senate Canada Building

The award recognizes projects that make an outstanding contribution to the quality and appearance of the built environment. “Award level schemes demonstrate excellence in architecture or design, whilst being sustainable, accessible and provide a positive civic contribution,” the program said in a statement. The Senate is one of only two projects from North America to win the award.

The Senate Canada Building
photo : doublespace photography

The Senate of Canada Building opened in 2019 as the interim home to the upper house of Parliament while Centre Block is refurbished. Ottawa’s landmark Beaux-Arts central train station (1912) has been restored, renewed and reimagined to accommodate the Senate with a modern architectural language that both complements and contrasts the celebrated features of the original building.

“A bold re-use of an old building which recognises the gravitas of the original can be repurposed for social and environmental benefit, with a strong identity and a real architectural clarity,” remarked the judges in their comments.

The Senate Canada Building
photo : doublespace photography

“The historic fabric is refurbished and revealed and stands in comfortable juxtaposition with modern interventions. A breath-taking restoration project with highly refined new build intervention which knits into the existing architecture with serious skill,” they added.

Formerly the Government Conference Centre, the building required a complete overhaul of major building systems as well as compliance with seismic codes, accessibility, and life safety upgrades. Two committee rooms have been inserted into the monumental and finely detailed General Waiting Room while the Concourse now houses the Senate chamber. Offices and public space are added to a building that had largely been off limits to the public for 50 years.

“This project provided a remarkable opportunity to investigate and engage in a range of design innovations to introduce a new program in a historic building and to and convey Canadian identity through contemporary interpretations of landscape and iconography,” said Martin Davidson, principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) has an extensive portfolio of academic facilities, commercial and residential projects as well as recreation and performing arts centres. Current projects include the re-imagination of David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center in New York and Ottawa’s new central library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility.

The Senate Canada Building

The Senate of Canada Building Opens

February 28, 2019, Toronto – A historic landmark in Ottawa has opened in a new role as interim home to Canada’s upper house of Parliament.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

The Senate of Canada Building beautifully restores and transforms the Beaux-Arts central train station (1912) with an architecture and craftsmanship that both complements and contrasts the celebrated features of the original building.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

The design by Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects introduces a contemporary language of interventions and insertions within the monumental and finely detailed General Waiting Room and Concourse. The program also adds committee and meeting rooms, offices and public space to a building that has largely been off limits to the public for 50 years.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

“This project provided a remarkable opportunity to investigate and engage in a range of design innovations to introduce a new program in a heritage building, to represent and raise the profile of the Senate’s role in Parliament, and to convey Canadian identity through contemporary interpretations of national symbols and iconography,” said Martin Davidson, principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

Working with the Dominion Sculptor of Canada and further employing digital technologies, a dialogue between traditional craft and contemporary fabrication techniques emerges to inform material selection and the design of myriad details.

The Senate of Canada Building
photo : doublespace photography

The leaf pattern of ten native maple trees are hand-carved, scanned, then CNC-carved and appear in the wooden doors to committee rooms and the Senate Chamber. Perforated bronze panels frame committee rooms with large-scale photographic images of landscapes rendered as half-tone images. The most detailed design elements find expression in the Senate Chamber, the former station Concourse.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

The building, which became the Government Conference Centre in 1973, required a complete overhaul of major building systems as well as compliance with seismic codes, accessibility, and life safety upgrades.

The Senate of Canada Building Ottawa
photograph : Martin Davidson, Diamond Schmitt Architects

On the exterior, the long neglected blank east facade is now reimagined as a modern interpretation of the building’s stone-columned, Beaux-Arts facade.

The Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa
photo : Tom Arban Photography

The Senate will occupy the building for ten years during restoration of Centre Block on Parliament Hill, after which the building is designed to accommodate conference and office use. This transformation secures the future of a legendary building in the heart of the nation’s capital.

Ottawa train station concourse 1939:
Ottawa train station concourse 1939
photo : Library and Archives Canada

Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) has offices in Toronto, Vancouver and New York City. The firm’s extensive portfolio includes performing arts centres, post-secondary facilities, and residential, institutional and commercial buildings.

The Senate of Canada Building
photo : doublespace photography

Current projects include Ottawa’s new central library and Library and Archives Canada joint facility; Robarts Common at the University of Toronto, and Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts & Sciences in Texas.

The Senate of Canada Building
photo : doublespace photography

The Senate of Canada Building images / information received 280219

Diamond Schmitt Architects

Previously on e-architect:

The Senate of Canada Renewal, Ottawa
Design: Diamond Schmitt Architects with KWC Architects
The Senate of Canada Ottawa Building
image from architect
The Senate of Canada Building Ottawa

Address: 2 Rideau St, Ottawa, ON K1N 8X5, Canada

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