The proposal submitted by PCL Constructors and Brisbin Brook Beynon Architects (BBB) was selected over the competing proposal by EllisDon Corporation and Parkin Architects Limited.
“After careful analysis and review, the Board concluded that the proposal from PCL and BBB best demonstrated the capability to create an iconic landmark for the city of Ottawa,” said Jim Durrell, Chair of the OCC Board. “This proponent met the rigourous specifications set out in our Request for Proposals, and in many instances exceeded them.”
The core design features a complex, crystalline building, shaped in a tulip form laid on its side, to reflect one of the most prominent and beautiful symbols of the city of Ottawa. The elegant crystal building is 300 feet in length, with an airy, inviting ambience. Its modern design is intended to sit gracefully in the historic downtown core of Ottawa, and enhance the beauty of the east side of the Rideau Canal.
“The crystal design is in such stark contrast to the gray, concealed building we now have as our convention facility,” said Patrick Kelly, President of the OCC. “We will, in effect, finally balance the beauty of the west side of the Canal with a facility and landscaping deserving of the location.”
One of the key elements of the design is the ability for visitors to Ottawa to look out on the Parliament Buildings, the Rideau Canal, the National Art Gallery, and the many beautiful historic sites that define the city of Ottawa. Meeting and convention participants will be visible within the building, and organizations will be able to market themselves to all who pass by the new centre.
“All people coming to Ottawa will be constantly looking out at Ottawa,” said Mr. Durrell. “It will not be long before visitors to the new facility will be telling others across Canada, and around the world, about their experience in Canada’s new meeting place. We couldn’t be more delighted with the outcome.”
The colour palette within the interior of the facility will reflect the colours of the Ottawa- Gatineau landscape throughout the four seasons, particularly during the fall season when the scenery in the Ottawa-Gatineau region is among the most vibrant anywhere in the country.
The OCC had several objectives and key success criteria for the winning proponent to meet. They include working within a budget of $159 million to deliver a state-of-the-art convention centre, and the creation of an iconic solution in a sustainable design and development that is energy and environmentally efficient.
The redeveloped facility is expected to meet or exceed every specification set out in the Request for Proposals, and be completed on time and within budget. The proposal needed as well to include new, innovative revenue sources, and serve as a catalyst in the revitalization of Ottawa’s downtown core.
Roadwork on Colonel By Drive is expected to begin imminently. Preparation for demolition is expected to start at the end of October. Demolition will take approximately six months, with construction of the new facility expected to begin in March 2009. The new OCC will open in the spring of 2011.
GBA, under the leadership of Graham Bird, is responsible for directing the redevelopment process of the OCC. Ongoing information on this process is available at www.gbassociates.ca.