New Exhibition Centre in Ottawa

With the upcoming changes to Lansdowne park, the new site will no longer be appropriate for large exhibitions like the Home and Garden Show. Fortunately there's a new exhibition centre currently being built by The Shenkman Group, designed by David S McRobie Architects. The Capital Exhibition Centre is schedule to open at the beginning of the year and is located next to Ottawa’s Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.

The site is huge and because it's all on one floor it will be easy to bring in large items to the site like model homes. The building is also a candidate to LEED Silver certification.

Inside it looks pretty standard. I hope they use more interesting colors indoors. The color palette used on the picture (gray, beige and burgundy) is very old, conservative and uninspiring. Specially compared to the Palais de Congrès in Montreal, which is colorful, lively and fun. You can feel the energy when you enter the building and it puts you in a good mood. Color can do that. It would be neat if they would use a more current color palette to inspire visitors.

Trends in Design : Night 4

trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design
Last week, for night four of the Trends in Design presentations, Rob Claireborne, lead architect of Lansdowne Park Stadium talked about the design process in architecture. What I got from his presentation is that "architecture is not just about form but about the gathering process over time" and it's that gathering process that gives you the inspiration to create something unique and interesting.

trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design
Of course the Lansdowne project was used as an example to explain that process. Based on Clairborne's knowledge of Ottawa, he knows that the current stadium and is not a pretty site. So for him it was important that the new site would make a good impression not only for the people living here but for all the visitors from all over the world. He was inspired by the movement of things around the stadium and wanted to create a stadium in a park. As opposed to the typical stadium surrounded by parking lots, the proposed stadium will be surrounded by trees and the goal is to have it open at all time for people to be able to enjoy the park as well.

trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design

I really like the wooden veil over the structure of the building, it's very organic. It definitely softens the look of the site. The wood to be used is called Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It's a Canadian tree that grows in BC and it's probably the strongest and most resistant tree we have here in Canada. It doesn't rot and has been used in various outdoor applications in Canada, including the awesome wave deck in Toronto (below). For the stadium the wood will "emerge of the landscape like trees dancing over the stadium".
trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design Wave deck Toronto

The Frank Clair Stadium was apparently designed by the same company who constructed the Champlain Bridge in Montreal, so essentially "it's a bridge", as Claireborne pointed out. The shape of this building clashes with the Aberdeen building : Mid-century constructivism steel frame against a gentile Victorian facade. It doesn't work.
trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design

One thing I thought was a little concerning during the presentation is that the budget for the project is $85 million. Claireborne pointed out that a previous stadium project in New York cost $500 million and $700 million in Dallas. Typically, small neighborhood arenas cost $30-40 million. So the budget for Lansdowne is a bit of a challenge.

Nevertheless, it's a great change for Ottawa. Hopefully everything works out great and this will become a building for the city to be proud of... oh and hopefully whoever is designing the towers on the side of the stadium (I think they might be condos) come up with a better design than three gray towers, as shown in the picture below. To me they ruin the organic concept of the site and stick out like a sore thumb.

trend in design night central modern Ottawa Lansdowne park Rob Clairborne Cannon Design

Photos: Cannon Design | Wikimedia Commons | skyscrapercity | OSMO Canada | MOOT |


WHY NOT IN OTTAWA ? | fun bus shelter

ambient ad bus shelter Colle+McVoy photographer Terry Brennan
I'm a big fan of creative ambient advertising. I think it's a great way to grab people's attention and make their day a little more interesting and fun. Take this latest ambient ad from Colle+McVoy in Minneapolis. They turned a bus shelter into a giant heating toaster oven for Caribou Coffee to advertise their new hot breakfast sandwiches. People waiting for the bus can not only see the ad, but they can also benefit from some heat during the cold weather.

photo by Terry Brennan via Ads of the world


cardboard wall at Bridgehead

Bridgehead Minto cardboard art
Bridgehead Minto cardboard art

Over the holidays I came across this neat little project in the Bridgehead coffee shop downtown Ottawa : Cardboard pieces attached to a wall arranged like art. As per the shop's blog, this is a nod to the Ini Ani Coffee Shop in New York designed by LTL Architects. They used cardboard on the walls as a way to meet their tight budget, site limitation and time frame (shown below).
LTL Architects Ini Ani Coffee Shop in New York cardboard walls

Cardboard is a eco-friendly and inexpensive material to use in a space to add texture and interest. Check out these other neat spaces using cardboard on the wall.

Wall Wave from Splace and designer Tung Chiang (via Mocoloco)
 Wall Wave cardboard walls

Istanbul Santral (via tom$ Flickr)
 Istanbul Santral cardboard

Papercut shop by darchstudio
 Papercut shop by darchstudio cardboard walls
 Papercut shop by darchstudio cardboard walls


Old wall for a new building

Central Condo Urban Capital facade attached Modern Ottawa

The construction of Central condos is showing progress. The project includes the preservation of the facade of the Metropolitan Bible Church, as shown in the image above.

Central Condo Urban Capital facade attached Modern Ottawa
Central Condo Urban Capital facade attached Modern Ottawa

The 73 year old brick facade has been sitting on the construction site, strapped with a custom metal frame and Styrofoam boards to keep it as intact as possible. This weekend, the streets surrounding the construction site were closed and two large cranes moved the 300,000 lbs facade in place.

Several people stopped by to see the construction crew in action despite the cold weather. It will be interesting to see the final result.

Central Condo Urban Capital facade attached Modern Ottawa
Central Condo Urban Capital facade attached Modern Ottawa


Smart Solution for OC Transpo

OC transpo bus Ottawa 95 Orleans
photo: Public Transit in Ottawa

If you've taken the bus in a busy downtown area like the Rideau Center or Albert Street, you've probably experienced the frustration of having to run and find your bus somewhere in the long line of buses, hopefully before it left. If that's the case, you might appreciate this solution from designers Chae-woo Park & Tae-eun Kim of Hongik University in Seoul, Korea. They came up with a very clever and simple solution to help people get to their bus a little quicker.

When the buses are in line, it's hard to see their number since they are located in front of the bus, and therefore hidden. By adding a "Folding Plate", a folding number plate that sticks out to the side as the bus door opens, it's easier to find your bus number and to get to it faster. Check out the following demo from the two designers presented for the 2010 Graduation Exhibition Probono.



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