CBC NEWS: Back Again—New Château Laurier design tweaks headed for Urban Design Review Panel

Rendering: architectsAlliance

Monday, February 25, 2019

Following today's release of the latest design for the Chateau Laurier addition, the following report was posted to CBCNews.ca

CBC NEWS, By Ryan Tumilty

The developer behind the Château Laurier's proposed expansion is back with another version of the design, promising more stone and more 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 from previous designs.

There will now be two pavilions on the east and west end with a glass and bronze connector bridging the two. The new structure will go where the existing parking garage sits, right up against 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.

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.

Heritage advocates have consistently been unimpressed with the proposed revisions.

The new design will go to the city's urban design review panel on Friday. It will then have to go back to council for a final approval.

Feb 26, 2019 4:27 PM ET - 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.