2.9.09

Understanding Lansdowne Park

Lansdowne Park is a historic sports, exhibition and entertainment facility in Ottawa, owned by the city. It is currently in desperate need of an update and there are a lot of heated debates on what the "New Lansdowne Park" should look like and how it should be used. I didn't realize how passionate some people are about this project until I started reading about it and decided to attend a presentation by architect Lester Johnson last week on the subject. There was a lot of people. The media was there, some councilors as well. Johnson had prepared a few documents for people to keep and scaled drawings of his proposal. It was quite interesting to see. What I got so far is that it seems like back in 2007, the city launched a design competition for Lansdowne but the competition was put on hold while the city evaluated an unsolicited proposal from the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) group, proposing the much debated Lansdowne Live which includes an upgraded 25,000 seat state-of-the-art stadium, a refurbished arena and exhibition hall, an aquarium in the Aberdeen Pavilion, green areas including soccer pitches, event lawns, ultimate-disc field, formal gardens and ponds, 2000-seat outdoor amphitheater and 200,000 square feet of retail and restaurant complex instead of the Coliseum Building. Johnson presented a proposal for the retrofit of the space in order to encourage the reopening of the general competition to redesign Lansdowne and inspire people to be a bit more open-minded when it comes to the redesign of Lansdowne Park. His proposal included an outdoor theater, residences, offices, businesses, a new concert hall, a reflecting pool that converts into a skating ring in the winter, the restoration of Sullivan's building, farmer's market, pedestrian bridge, cobbled street, kids play area, underground and surface parking. It was a very interesting presentation with a lot of interesting ideas. I also learned there had been another presentation for a concept proposal by John Martin earlier that day. I had a chance to talk to him as well and he has some interesting ideas as well. It's good to see that there are people here in Ottawa who wants more for the city. It will be interesting to see the outcome.

2 comments:

  1. WOw very informative! I am really excited to hear about this, it's about time, landsowne needs a total rehaul. I am excited of what could become of this location. I am also excited about Laurentian High School being demolished! Thanks for your comment! xox

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  2. Lansdowne really has become very shabby over the last few decades. It needs a real revitalization. It's such a great location it would be a shame to just hand it over to developers to turn into a condo and retail development.

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