Revised Design for Château Laurier Addition Heading to Committees and Council

Top: Proposed addition approved by Council in 2019. architectsAlliance (2019), Compositing: Barry Padolsky Associates Inc Architects / Below: New proposed design for which permits will be sought. architectsAlliance (2020) 

Saturday, January 9, 2021

HERITAGE OTTAWA

The city’s built-heritage subcommittee and planning committee will meet jointly on February 5 to consider the revised design and site plan for the Château Laurier hotel addition. The city staff report on the heritage permit will subsequently be considered by Council.

Representatives for Larco Investments, the hotel owners, are scheduled to meet with the National Capital Commission’s advisory committee on planning, design and realty in late February, in advance of the NCC board meeting in April.

After approvals from Council and the NCC, and the formal conclusion of legal matters at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, Larco can obtain a  permit to construct the revised design for the 159-room addition.

Released to the public in November, the latest revised design by Toronto-based architectsAlliance is the result of a compromise negotiated between Heritage Ottawa and Larco. The negotiation followed the legal challenge mounted by Heritage Ottawa to stop construction of the design approved by Council in 2019.

Heritage expert Julie Harris, who had been highly critical of the Council-approved design, told the Ottawa Citizen this week that she sees "a definite improvement in the latest renderings of the addition, especially when it comes to the tower-like extensions of the hotel wings designed at roughly the same height as the hotel’s roofline."

Heritage architect and built-heritage subcommittee member Barry Padolsky, who was involved in the negotiations between Larco and Heritage Ottawa on the redesign,  told the Citizen that "The Château Laurier file has illustrated the importance of civil society groups in matters of urban planning and heritage protection."  While acknowledging that the end result may not be the world's best example of an addition to a heritage building, Padolsky called it a "solid compromise" while adding that it’s a “monumental achievement” for a community group to effect significant change to a major project.

Once commenced, construction of the revised addition is expected to take three-and-a-half to four years.

Related Reading:

Chateau Laurier design controversy checkout out after four-year wakeup call | Ottawa Citizen, by Jon Willing, Jan. 8, 2021

For extensive coverage, visit the Château Laurier Addition section of our website at  https://heritageottawa.org/chateau-laurier-addition