Phyllis Lambert to Mayor Jim Watson: Architects of Proposed Château Laurier Addition "Have Not Found a Viable Approach"

Architect Phyllis Lambert. Photo: New York Times via The Globe and Mail

Saturday, June 23, 2018


Architectural visionary Phyllis Lambert, widely considered one of the world's most influential figures in architecture, has written a letter to Mayor Jim Watson to express her concerns about the proposed addition to Ottawa's Château Laurier hotel.

Best known by many for her role in the appointment of modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe to design the Seagram Building in New York City, Ms. Lambert worked as Director of Planning on the project (1954-1958), and subsequently acted as architectural consultant on the Mies-designed Toronto Dominion Bank (1962).   She also consulted on the new atrium for the National Bank of Canada in Ottawa to ensure it would respect the original design.

Ms. Lambert joins a growing chorus of experts who have voiced their opposition to the proposed addition to Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. 

In her letter, Ms. Lambert states that the proposed Château Laurier addition "makes mockery of the Ontario Heritage Act" and "urbanistically and symbolically destroys a fundamental part of our national identity."

Ms. Lambert founded the Canadian Centre for Architecture in 1979.  Among her many honours, Ms. Lambert is a Companion of the Order of Canada and recipient of the prestigious Vincent Scully Prize which recognizes exemplary practice, scholarship or criticism in architecture, historic preservation and urban design.

Current owners of the Château Laurier hotel haved filed an application under the Ontario Heritage Act seeking necessary City approval to construct the proposed addition.  The application was considered by Ottawa's Built Heritge Sub-committee (BHSC) on Monday, June 18.

BHSC's recommendations will be considered by Planning Committee (PC) on Tuesday, June 26.  Members of the public are permitted to submit written remarks or register to speak at the Planning Committee meeting.

Ottawa City Council will have the final say on the Château Laurier application when it votes on the morning of Wednesday,  June 27.


Heritage Ottawa Link | Updated June 25, 2018:

Share Your Views with our Elected Officials: VOICE YOUR OPINION | Château Laurier Addition

LAST CHANCE before Planning Committee and Ottawa City Council vote on June 26 and 27!