This 1932 RAIC Gold Medal winning, FHBRO “Classified” building is a significant Canadian architectural icon of Classical Modern and Art Deco styles with its largely intact exterior and interior. PWGSC Parliamentary Precinct Directorate retained NORR Architects & Engineers in association with MTBA Associates Inc. to undertake a major $99M adaptive reuse and rehabilitation project to accommodate the relocation of House of Commons’ Confederation Room.
As Associated Architects and Heritage Conservation Architects, MTBA played a lead role in an integrated team of 32 professional disciplines and specialists to execute this complex project, through responsibility for all heritage conservation work. With very high level materials, craftsmanship, and integrity, the design process required extensive research, building condition assessment and design review to achieve a detailed understanding of the building to ensure that the “spirit” of this significant place informed subsequent phases and all interventions and its character and value were preserved.
The remarkable heritage materials and finishes were rehabilitated with MTBA preparing documentation and leading a large group of leading heritage material specialists including metals, plaster, plaster finishes, fine stone and fine woods. The rehabilitated materials and existing building characteristics served as a reference point for the integration of modern functional requirements (i.e. mechanical, electrical, building envelope, life safety, blast, seismic and structural, acoustics, multi-media, landscape, security, lighting, civil), especially within primary heritage spaces.
The project approvals and review process involved extensive coordination with various Authorities Having Jurisdiction including the Federal Heritage Building Review Committee, the National Capital Commission, the City of Ottawa and various client-side design committees.
A key urban site opposite the West Block of Parliament has been rehabilitated, revitalized and preserved for all Canadians.
The building features the following green initiatives (from the PSPC web site:
- a green roof with a variety of plants atop the annex to absorb rainwater, provide added insulation and reduce energy consumption and costs;
- energy-efficient LED lights with sensors that turn off the lights when no one is in the office;
- water-conserving features, such as new faucets and low-flush toilets;
- automated building control systems for ventilation, heating and cooling;
- the reuse of limestone and other materials to repair the masonry and refurbish the interior; and
- the reuse of the former marble tellers’ counters as counters and benches throughout the new building.