Architectural design competition for Block 2
Coming soon: an architectural design competition to renew the city block across from Parliament Hill.
On this page
- Block 2 description
- The design competition
- Why a design competition
- How the competition will work
- More information
Block 2 description
Block 2 is the city block immediately south of Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa. It faces the Centre Block and its Peace Tower to the north. It is the threshold between the city-owned and Crown-owned lands. The block is bounded by Metcalfe, Wellington, O’Connor and Sparks streets.
The design competition
Our goal is to transform this mix of aging buildings into an efficient and innovative complex that will meet the needs of a modern Parliament as well as the public.
The redesigned block will provide office space for the Senate and the House of Commons. It will also allow for the future consolidation of parliamentary accommodations, including space for the Library of Parliament, into Crown-owned assets. It will include space for a branch of the Library of Parliament. It will also include renovated retail space on the Sparks Street Mall.
Through an architectural design competition, we will invite architectural firms to submit design proposals. An independent and professional jury will recommend the winning design and team.
The winning design is expected to be of the highest caliber and will complement the image of Canada and its capital on the world stage.
Why a design competition
Architectural design competitions support variety and are among the most effective ways to achieve excellence in building design and architecture. They are often used to generate innovative new ideas. Canada’s original Parliament Buildings were the result of a design competition in 1859. Competitions have produced many culturally significant buildings in Canada and around the globe, such as:
- the Canadian Museum of History (formerly the Canadian Museum of Civilization), which is across the river from the Parliament Buildings
- Toronto City Hall
- the Sydney Opera House
- the Centre Pompidou
- the Tokyo International Forum
How the competition will work
Professional advisors designated by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) will oversee the overall competition process.
The competition will be done in 2 phases.
Phase 1: Request for Qualification
- This phase began in December 2020 and is open to all interested parties, who must demonstrate they are qualified to undertake the work
- Up to 12 of the firms that respond will be selected to participate in phase 2
- The independent jury will be announced in the near future, while the Request for Qualification remains open
Phase 2: Architectural design competition: Request for Proposals
Phase 2 will take place in 2 stages.
Competition stage 1
- This stage is expected to begin in summer 2021
- We will invite the selected competitors to submit an outline of their design concepts
- The jury will evaluate the design concepts and shortlist up to 6 competitors, who will then advance to stage 2 of the competition
Competition stage 2
- This stage is expected to begin in fall 2021
- We will invite the shortlisted competitors to submit an advanced design concept (a detailed design plan for the concept they submitted in the first stage)
- The jury will evaluate the submissions and recommend winner the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams
- We will award prizes for the 3 best designs
- Block 2 Request for Qualification on Buyandsell.gc.ca
- Explore the blocks south of Wellington Street
- Long Term Vision and Plan for the Parliamentary Precinct
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