Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion When it comes to the current plans of the Aberdeen Pavilion in the New Lansdowne, the design documents state that it will be a "major visual and programmatic amenity that will enhance the imageability of the entire redevelopment site" and the plan is also to keep it as a "multi-purpose, all-season, public exhibit hall and meeting space". Based on this, I see two main problems that should to be addressed in order for the designers to achieve their goal :

  1. There's not enough visual focus on the Aberdeen Pavillion 
  2. The Aberdeen Pavillion has no clearly defined function or identity

Making the Aberdeen Pavilion the focal point

Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion
One of the most identifiable buildings in Lansdowne Park is the Aberdeen Pavilion. It's the first image that comes to mind when you think of the area, so much so that it's now part of the New Lansdowne logo. Therefore it's only natural to want to preserve the view of the building from Bank Street. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case.  

If you take a closer look at the latest elevations, the new buildings have been positioned in such a way that a good portion of the Aberdeen building will be hidden and lost behind. Why not give the building a little more breathing space by widening the road and keeping the area symmetrical? It shouldn't be too hard to do and would make a big difference. Attention to details like this improves the quality of  the design.
Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion
Also, notice how little space there is for cars and much space they are taking at the same time. There's one parking lane and one traffic lane on each side. Considering the number of retail stores that are expected to be there, it would most likely always look like this and take away from the design of the space. A better solution would be to move the Aberdeen Way underground and create an underpass to keep the area in front of the building for pedestrians, terraces and bikes. There would be an opportunity to widen the sidewalk as well and keep them equal on both side of the building.

The Aberdeen Market : Giving the Pavilion a Clear Purpose 
In order for the Aberdeen Pavilion to take centre stage, it needs an identity, a clear purpose for being there. Otherwise it won't be much different that what it already is : a large under-appreciated open space, most likely to be hidden behind old burgundy chairs and flimsy black curtains.
Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion

The Arberdeen Pavilion has great architectural features. It'a a large clear span steel frame with pressed metal exterior cladding. The interior space has a great tall ceiling and lots of windows letting in a great amount of natural light. This space would be perfect for a permanent market.
Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion
Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion
Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion

So what we need there is not only a permanent farmer's market, but a culinary destination, much like the San Miguel Market in Madrid, Spain. A place where you can not only buy fresh local food, but you can also eat freshly prepared dishes, try local wine and beers too. It should be a place where locals and tourists can gather and experience food and enjoy life.

Modern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion Madrid Mercado De San Miguel MarketModern Ottawa Blog Lansdowne project Aberdeen Pavilion Madrid Mercado De San Miguel Market

Check out the video below of the San Miguel Market to give you a better idea.

The Aberdeen Market could also be a place where chefs from around the world come and compete to create dishes based on local ingredients. Imagine the good this would do for the city. Twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall, we bring top chefs from around the world to compete and prepare creative dishes based on local food. we could create two annual festivals around this. I think such a function would be a lot more successful that a simple multi-purpose building. 


  1. Great ideas Marie. I hope some of them are getting across to those who can act !! Good Luck and let's hope your voice is heard. Way to go - Yvonne

  2. Thanks Yvonne. Me too. Spread the word, tell the mayor. Let's make this happen! :)


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