Ottawa

Latest Château Laurier design tweaks headed for panel

The developer behind the Château Laurier's proposed expansion is back with another version of the design, promising more stone and bronze to make the addition blend better with the century-old hotel.

Proposal adds more stone, bronze to rear addition

The proposed addition would have much more limestone than earlier versions of the design. (architectsAlliance)

The developer behind the Château Laurier's proposed expansion is back with another version of the design, promising more stone and bronze to make the addition blend better with the century-old hotel.

Council approved the redesign last year, but mandated the developer Larco Investments make more changes and come back for a final approval.

The new design posted online on Monday turns the addition into three separate pieces instead of the solid facade seen in previous designs.

This new version of the hotel expansion adds more stone to the design. (architectsAlliance)

There will now be two pavilions on the east and west corners with a glass and bronze passageway bridging them.

The new structure will replace the hotel's parking garage sits, adjacent to Major's Hill Park. The developer is promising the trees at the edge of the park won't be damaged in the process.

The pavilions — as designed by the firm architectsAlliance — will have more limestone, as councillors called for last year, and the connector will be set back to break up the building.

Better balance 

A cultural impact statement from an independent architect found the new design does a better job of protecting the hotel.

"The proposal balances conservation of the Château Laurier with other broad project goals, including revitalizing the hotel through new uses, intensification of this site in Ottawa's downtown core, and financial feasibility," wrote Michael McClelland, a principal with E.R.A. Architects.

McClelland wrote the building fits into the area and blends with the hotel, but doesn't try to copy it.

"We find this latest iteration of the proposal to represent a context-sensitive design evolution that draws considerable inspiration and details from the Château Laurier, while remaining distinctly of its time and distinguishable from the heritage hotel," he wrote.  

The addition to the Château Laurier would have three distinct elements with the centre piece set back from the other two to break up the massing of the building. (architectsAlliance)

Heritage advocates have consistently been unimpressed with the proposed revisions.

The new design will go to the city's urban review panel in March. City staff will then prepare a report for the heritage committee and a decision on the changes will be made at planning committee.

The design must also be approved by the National Capital Commission. 

Clarifications

  • A previous version of this article said the design had to go to council for final approval. It will actually go to planning committee for a final decision.
    Feb 26, 2019 4:27 PM ET

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