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TheBrain
Sep 15, 2016, 12:16 AM
Just announced:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/chateau-laurier-looking-to-expand-and-revamp-iconic-building-1.3762263

It's been about 50 years since the Château Laurier underwent any major changes. But that could change over the next few years if the city approves the hotel owner's expansion plans.

Larco Investments, which bought the hotel two years ago, wants to move the parking garage underground and add up to 200 more rooms with a Peter Clewes-designed expansion.

In a release, the company states: "The intent is to build new long-term stay suites, create a new exterior courtyard off the ballroom for seasonal use and replace the aging five storey parking structure with an underground parking facility, all under the management of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, the luxury brand that operates the hotel."

"The addition will offer a modern interpretation of the heritage character of the Château with a vocabulary of Indiana Limestone, glass and copper. The separated wings, massing and set back upper floors are compatible with the Château's existing roofscape silhouette, providing a dignified and deferential response to this iconic building," according to the release.

Project 'exciting,' councillor says

Rideau-Vanier ward Coun. Mathieu Fleury is also quoted in the release: "I want to highlight the openness of the Fairmont Château Laurier team of consulting and engaging with the community, the city and partners like the NCC to make this project a success. It is an exciting project that introduces captivating architectural design to this important site for our capital city, while highlighting its important heritage value and location near the Parliament Buildings, Major's Hill Park, as well as the ByWard Market."

According to Larco, this "pre-consultation phase with community stakeholders" will be followed by NCC and City of Ottawa approvals on the proposed design. Later, a site plan control application will be made to the city. The company is also promising "further opportunities for community consultation" on the proposed plan prior to final approval by the City of Ottawa.



https://s22.postimg.org/wqhwqrdxt/chateau_laurier_ottawa_hotel_expansion2.jpg

https://s21.postimg.org/ux5l7c25z/chateau_laurier_ottawa_hotel_expansion1.jpg

First thoughts.... eh... ummm... ewwww?

More pics in the article.

Capital Shaun
Sep 15, 2016, 12:34 AM
Looks like a condo project. It's not ugly on its own.

But, WTF are they thinking? It doesn't mesh with the existing building. The view from Major Hill Park or the Rideau Locks just sucks. Looks more like the boxy glass structure is blocking the view.

Simply, it doesn't look at all like it's part of a castle.

SkeggsEggs
Sep 15, 2016, 12:35 AM
Can't imagine the NCC approving that ...

bobcage
Sep 15, 2016, 12:43 AM
Just announced:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/chateau-laurier-looking-to-expand-and-revamp-iconic-building-1.3762263





https://s22.postimg.org/wqhwqrdxt/chateau_laurier_ottawa_hotel_expansion2.jpg

https://s21.postimg.org/ux5l7c25z/chateau_laurier_ottawa_hotel_expansion1.jpg

First thoughts.... eh... ummm... ewwww?

More pics in the article.

It's not completely bad but they skrewed up on the roof. it can't have a square looking roof like that. If you keep the characteristics of the old roof on top of this new design it might work.

TheBrain
Sep 15, 2016, 12:43 AM
Looks like a condo project. It's not ugly on its own.
...
Simply, it doesn't look at all like it's part of a castle.

Agreed, you can see where they try and tie in with the colours and shape ... Somewhat... But yeah does not fit the style at all.

Horus
Sep 15, 2016, 12:44 AM
:yuck:

:uhh:

:no:

:lynchmob:

TheBrain
Sep 15, 2016, 12:48 AM
:yuck:

:uhh:

:no:

:lynchmob:

Hahaha, yeah pretty much...
Check the poll results at the end of the CBC article. Lol

bradnixon
Sep 15, 2016, 12:53 AM
I like it.

It's certainly a juxtaposition and I'm sure that's fully intentional. Trying to build it like a replica of the existing building would be a mistake IMHO.

We have to remember that what's currently behind the Chateau is a parkake. The current view of this part of the Chateau from Mackenzie looks like this:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.4265158,-75.6952029,3a,75y,203.76h,93.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sudG-NeN5rY0B20sMhF8L3A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
There's obviously room for improvement!

Also like that thew addition appears to have a wall of windows on the south side facing Major's Hill Park, which has the potential to help animate that park. The current interaction between the park and the Chateau is minimal: https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.4265833,-75.6961375,3a,75y,146.98h,92.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sn0NJcXR2AaHPAWBMiKWaCw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Arguably some tweaks, like sloping the roof, may help it integrate better with the existing building. But the parking garage shouldn't be sacrosanct, and as I said above, a Disney-style replica would be worse.

Capital Shaun
Sep 15, 2016, 1:08 AM
It's not completely bad but they skrewed up on the roof. it can't have a square looking roof like that. If you keep the characteristics of the old roof on top of this new design it might work.

Matching the existing roof line is a must.

11a2b3
Sep 15, 2016, 1:10 AM
The Lord Elgin tried blending the old with new:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Lord-elgin-hotel-night.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Elgin_Hotel#/media/File:Lord-elgin-hotel-night.jpg

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 1:14 AM
Rendered incapable of expressing my feelings in any natural human language, allow myself to lapse into the universal language of smilies and emoji:

:whatthefuck: :grumpycat: :lynchmob: :shitstorm: :argue: :grrr: :stunned: :yuck: :hell: :koko:

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 1:15 AM
The Lord Elgin tried blending the old with new

Speaking of.... what's with the papers on the insides of the windows of the Lord Elgin?

Urbanarchit
Sep 15, 2016, 2:09 AM
PLEASE GOD, NO!!!

*Ahem*

As a Modernist, the addition would be a great stand-alone building elsewhere. But as an addition to the Château Laurier, it is a serious affront. The first addition to the Château Laurier was done very well and fits seamlessly with the original structure, but this one not only fails to fit aesthetically, it blocks the picturesque views from several angles, most importantly from the Rideau locks and Major Hill's Park.

I hope this is rejected because, let's be real, the renderings will look better than the real thing. Propose it as an individual building elsewhere, but not here.

Harley613
Sep 15, 2016, 2:17 AM
*Checks calendar to see if it's April 1st*

Wait a minute, this is for real? The existing building is in such bad shape with entire floors shut down on cold days because of inadequate HVAC and now they want to add a new section? Who the hell will want to stay in the old castle with it's tiny rooms and shitty ventilation? Maybe they should gut the old part first before doing an add-on. As for the look, it's ok on it's own but doesn't match even in a friendly juxtaposition way.

lrt's friend
Sep 15, 2016, 2:25 AM
The Lord Elgin tried blending the old with new:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/48/Lord-elgin-hotel-night.jpg
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lord_Elgin_Hotel#/media/File:Lord-elgin-hotel-night.jpg

And was quite successful in my opinion. The new additions did not attempt to outstage the original building but blended in harmoniously.

lrt's friend
Sep 15, 2016, 2:33 AM
The proposed new addition looks too busy and is too tall in trying to compete with the turrets of the older portions of the Chateau. If we are not trying to match the Chateauesque design, then we should not let it dominate the view from the north. As someone else has suggested, it might work if it was separate building but to the degree of integration planned, yuck!

Kitchissippi
Sep 15, 2016, 2:35 AM
I like it.

It's certainly a juxtaposition and I'm sure that's fully intentional. Trying to build it like a replica of the existing building would be a mistake IMHO.
{le snip}

Arguably some tweaks, like sloping the roof, may help it integrate better with the existing building. But the parking garage shouldn't be sacrosanct, and as I said above, a Disney-style replica would be worse.

I find the whole "you can't mimmic the old style" thing is like the Italians saying you can't put cheese on seafood. Well some people like their Coquilles St-Jacques au gratin.

The fact is, the Chateau Laurier was added on to several times over the years and they were done by different architects and the results were harmonious and almost seamless in style. Same story of Quebec City's Chateau Frontenac whose prominent tower was a later addition.

Here's what the Chateau Laurier looked when it first opened, you can hardly say the rest of the later addition was a "mistake". I think architects these days just lack the balls and aesthetic literacy to properly continue on with the language of its style.

http://i.imgur.com/yTIp4Ra.jpg

1overcosc
Sep 15, 2016, 3:29 AM
A new addition can work, but it has to be very plain. Ideally, it should be made entirely of glass. Glass is the best material to use for additions to heritage buildings, because it is colourless and featureless, meaning it just complements the original structure instead of outshining it.

kevinbottawa
Sep 15, 2016, 3:38 AM
Wow. Looks ridiculous, especially from the locks. That view of the Chateau Laurier from the locks is beautiful and well photographed. This expansion would destroy that. They would never do this at similar hotels like the Royal York. Only in Ottawa. The fact that the Councillor thinks this is exciting is mind boggling.

1overcosc
Sep 15, 2016, 3:40 AM
I find the whole "you can't mimmic the old style" thing is like the Italians saying you can't put cheese on seafood. Well some people like their Coquilles St-Jacques au gratin.

The fact is, the Chateau Laurier was added on to several times over the years and they were done by different architects and the results were harmonious and almost seamless in style. Same story of Quebec City's Chateau Frontenac whose prominent tower was a later addition.

Here's what the Chateau Laurier looked when it first opened, you can hardly say the rest of the later addition was a "mistake". I think architects these days just lack the balls and aesthetic literacy to properly continue on with the language of its style.

It's not impossible, but it's very difficult, as:
1) the original quarry the materials came from usually doesn't exist anymore
2) the original materials have gained a unique appearance from weathering, which the new section will not match until decades have passed
3) the older methods of construction were much less efficient, meaning that in today's times, building it exactly the same way is often far beyond the budget of developers

In Kingston we've got a lot of local experience with additions to heritage, and generally, when the new structure tries to match the materials of the older structure, the end result is hideous.. but when you choose an unimposing glass or steel that doesn't stand out, it accents the beauty of the heritage building and just makes the whole thing beautiful.

An example: In this part of Queen's campus, they took a row of three heavily decayed old stone buildings. They added new material to fill in the bits of the facades that had to be torn down due to decay, new material to connect the 3 buildings together into a single building, and they added an extra floor to the whole thing. They used very neutral looking glass and steel for the additions, making for a very harmonious blend of heritage and modern:

https://s15.postimg.org/yer7yucmz/goodes_side.png
(Pulled from Google Street View)

Right around the corner from this site, an all-glass addition (visible on the left) was added onto an old heritage school, again to great effect:
http://www.queensu.ca/initiative/sites/default/files/assets/priorities/Goodes-Hall-8_0.jpg
(Queen's University website)

bobcage
Sep 15, 2016, 4:05 AM
I find the whole "you can't mimmic the old style" thing is like the Italians saying you can't put cheese on seafood. Well some people like their Coquilles St-Jacques au gratin.

The fact is, the Chateau Laurier was added on to several times over the years and they were done by different architects and the results were harmonious and almost seamless in style. Same story of Quebec City's Chateau Frontenac whose prominent tower was a later addition.

Here's what the Chateau Laurier looked when it first opened, you can hardly say the rest of the later addition was a "mistake". I think architects these days just lack the balls and aesthetic literacy to properly continue on with the language of its style.

http://i.imgur.com/yTIp4Ra.jpg

wow ... nice photo

bobcage
Sep 15, 2016, 4:14 AM
the Chateau Laurier should have a better more inviting entrance at the back than what they currently have at the front!

eemy
Sep 15, 2016, 11:34 AM
The problem with an expansion that juxtaposes the original building is that the rear is one of the principle angles from which to view the building. It would become one of the most prominent facades.

And with all due respect, the example you showed in Kingston strikes me as a terrible example of heritage preservation. I don't find it objectionable, but it strike me more as an International-style building with rather unusual building materials. If you hadn't stated as much, I would have never known that it was originally a heritage building.

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 11:37 AM
Owners of Ottawa's iconic Château Laurier hotel propose huge expansion

Susana Mas, The Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 14, 2016 | Last Updated: September 14, 2016 9:05 PM EDT

http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2016/09/chateau.png?w=850

The owners of Ottawa’s Fairmont Château Laurier are seeking to expand the iconic hotel starting in the fall of 2017.

Expansion plans include building new long-term-stay suites, creating a new courtyard and replacing an aging five-storey parking lot with new underground parking that would provide hotel guests and the public at large with approximately 100 additional spaces.

The Capital Hotel Limited Partnership, an affiliate of Vancouver’s Larco Investments Ltd. and owner of the Fairmont Château Laurier, made the announcement in Ottawa on Wednesday.

Art Phillips, the director of development for Larco Investments, said a formal application will be made to the city of Ottawa next month.

Based on pre-consultation meetings with about 30 stakeholders and initial presentations to the National Capital Commission, Phillips said the owners “feel confident that approval will be granted.”

If all goes according to plan, shovels would be in the ground late next year as celebrations for Canada’s 150th birthday begin to wind down. The new suites would be expected to open in 2020.

“We’re trying to establish a precedent for hospitality in Ottawa,” Phillips said.

In an interview, Phillips expressed confidence in the performance of Ottawa’s hotel industry and its outlook going forward.

“One of the biggest celebrations, of course, is going to be the birthday party next year. And if I base it on the current bookings at the hotel, it’s going to be a sellout. I can’t project to 2020, obviously, but based on the process were going through right now we would not have proceeded unless we felt very confident in the hospitality industry here in Ottawa.”

Ottawa is one of the more profitable hotel markets in Canada, according to the latest hotel-performance report by the city’s department of economic development and innovation.

“Ottawa hotels make significant annual contributions to the local economy in terms of employment, tax revenues to the city, and marketing of Ottawa as a tourism destination,” the 2015 report said.

And with the 2017 celebrations around the corner, the report said, the outlook remains positive.

Rob Taylor, a spokesman with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, said Ottawa’s hotel and tourism industries are having a very good year.

Asked about the expansion of the luxury brand hotel, Taylor told the Citizen, “I think they recognize that there’s a niche that they can fulfill there … that right now is not necessarily available in the long-term, luxury, or higher-end accommodation.”

“There are a lot of extended stays but many of them are more in the three-star space and they’re not full-service hotels. Whereas to have a marquee, full-service hotel providing that type of model, it’s a new product.”

Larco Investments Ltd. has retained Architects Alliance from Toronto, PWL Partnerships based in Vancouver and MTBA Associates in Ottawa for the preliminary designs.

Peter Clewes, the principal architect at Architects Alliance, said the renovations will provide a modern look while keeping with the hotel’s historic charm.

Phillips said the owners are open to hearing from the public as well.

“We want to give the residents of Ottawa and the business community the assurance that we’re very respectful of our neighbours and we’re here for the long term,” he told the Citizen.

Coun. Mathieu Fleury lauded the Fairmont Château Laurier team for their willingness to consult with the community at large.

“It is an exciting project that introduces captivating architectural design to this important site for our capital city while highlighting its important heritage value and location near the Parliament buildings, Major Hill’s Park, as well as the ByWard market,” Fleury said in a written statement provided to the media by the hotel owners.

“In terms of traffic mitigation efforts,” said the city’s John Smit, acting director of economic development, “the City of Ottawa always strives to reduce and minimize traffic impacts.”

He said that Ottawa is currently in the peak of LRT construction and that many construction projects have been accelerated in the downtown core so that they are complete before 2017.

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/the-owners-of-ottawas-iconic-chateau-laurier-hotel-want-to-expand-it

kwoldtimer
Sep 15, 2016, 12:33 PM
I like it.

It's certainly a juxtaposition and I'm sure that's fully intentional. Trying to build it like a replica of the existing building would be a mistake IMHO.

We have to remember that what's currently behind the Chateau is a parkake. The current view of this part of the Chateau from Mackenzie looks like this:
https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.4265158,-75.6952029,3a,75y,203.76h,93.06t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sudG-NeN5rY0B20sMhF8L3A!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en
There's obviously room for improvement!

Also like that thew addition appears to have a wall of windows on the south side facing Major's Hill Park, which has the potential to help animate that park. The current interaction between the park and the Chateau is minimal: https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.4265833,-75.6961375,3a,75y,146.98h,92.25t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sn0NJcXR2AaHPAWBMiKWaCw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

Arguably some tweaks, like sloping the roof, may help it integrate better with the existing building. But the parking garage shouldn't be sacrosanct, and as I said above, a Disney-style replica would be worse.

I disagree with that - it seems to me that a replica of the existing structure is the only acceptable option for that site. The proposal completely destroys the iconic view of the Chateau, looking up the canal locks. I can't understand what would motivate the proponents to suggest anything else. :shrug:

acottawa
Sep 15, 2016, 1:09 PM
They were mocking this for 10 minutes on Breakfast television on City this morning.

I wonder if this is a publicity stunt.

McC
Sep 15, 2016, 1:25 PM
It's not impossible, but it's very difficult, as:

2) the original materials have gained a unique appearance from weathering, which the new section will not match until decades have passed


Or won't ever match because we don't burn copious amounts of coal anymore.

I hated it at first (spit take when I saw the 2-D elevation from Major's Hill on my portable: "IS THIS SOME KIND OF A JOKE?"). But I hate it less after looking at the 3-D views from the war memorial and the locks, where the lines match up really nicely, and the toned down copper mansard roof (I may be mistaken, but I don't think it's quite square as some have described) works well with the existing roof.

The views from Mackenzie definitely need some work.

Overall I think this could be succesful with careful and concerted tweaks rather than "back to the drawing board" as the Mayor tweeted (https://twitter.com/JimWatsonOttawa/status/776223377040211968?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw). The former Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography proves to me that it is possible to add a contemporary addition to the Chateau that complements and enhances; not just theoretically, but even in real Ottawa.

But I also wouldn't object if they binned this and went back to the drawing board.

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 1:38 PM
Wow. Looks ridiculous, especially from the locks. That view of the Chateau Laurier from the locks is beautiful and well photographed. This expansion would destroy that. They would never do this at similar hotels like the Royal York. Only in Ottawa. The fact that the Councillor thinks this is exciting is mind boggling.

You're unfamiliar with Fleury's earlier work, then...

:)

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 1:41 PM
Or won't ever match because we don't burn copious amounts of coal anymore.

Or until, as part of regular maintenance, you clean the stone of the existing structure, just as they have done with West Block and Centre Block right across the canal.

daud
Sep 15, 2016, 1:56 PM
Speaking of.... what's with the papers on the insides of the windows of the Lord Elgin?

Not sure if you are referring to current but this may answer....The Lord Elgin is currently undergoing a major interior renovation of the rooms. It was sorely needed. That would explain windows papered up.

As for this expansion of the Chateau Laurier, I can't really envision any acceptable expansion except a near exact replica of the current architectural style. I was flabbergasted when I first saw it; I hate it less upon second view. I'm OK with 3 of the 4 sides. its the iconic view from Major Hills Park and the Ottawa river I am most concerned about...
https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WP9Vr86U3PI/V3aR6EP9U4I/AAAAAAAA4_c/M1Sk-RVI3QsAXWIGH3benBx1ys0Pp4UuQCLcB/s1600/From%2Bthe%2BOttawa%2BRiver.JPG

McC
Sep 15, 2016, 2:05 PM
Or until, as part of regular maintenance, you clean the stone of the existing structure, just as they have done with West Block and Centre Block right across the canal.

I don't think cleaned century stone looks the same as new stone; the acidity in the rain and smog over years changed the surface texture, it traps light and dirt differently, and there are little smudgy parts that never come clean. E.g., I don't believe that the new and old parts of the Lord Elgin will ever match. This is only a problem if you have lots of it side by side, without using some other architectural device to signal that these are distinct components of the building that coordinate, but do not try to match (which was the mistake they made on the LordE, IMO).

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 2:32 PM
I don't think cleaned century stone looks the same as new stone; the acidity in the rain and smog over years changed the surface texture, it traps light and dirt differently, and there are little smudgy parts that never come clean. E.g., I don't believe that the new and old parts of the Lord Elgin will ever match. This is only a problem if you have lots of it side by side, without using some other architectural device to signal that these are distinct components of the building that coordinate, but do not try to match (which was the mistake they made on the LordE, IMO).

I think the Lord Elgin mistake was not matching the windows.

In any event, an addition in a mimicking style, using stone of the same species, is vastly more desirable than whatever the hell that schematic is.

And at some point can architects get over this fad of exterior detailing and irregularly-placed vertical window that looks like an EAN bar code?

lrt's friend
Sep 15, 2016, 2:34 PM
Any 'modern' expansion that does not try to mimic the original look needs to be kept below the roof line of the original building. What we are trying to do right now is overpowering the north views of the Chateau with a boxy design that clashes with the original architecture. Maybe the design will grow on me. We will see.

Kitchissippi
Sep 15, 2016, 3:45 PM
It's not impossible, but it's very difficult, as:
1) the original quarry the materials came from usually doesn't exist anymore
2) the original materials have gained a unique appearance from weathering, which the new section will not match until decades have passed
3) the older methods of construction were much less efficient, meaning that in today's times, building it exactly the same way is often far beyond the budget of developers


Nein. the real reason is that Modernist manifesto has purged the language of ornamentation from architecture, and vilified it as degenerate. Read about Adolf Loos' Ornament and Crime (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornament_and_Crime) and you see that contemporary architects are still buying that shitte. It's kind of like using another Adolf's 'Mein Kampf" to guide social policies today. Loos basically reasoned that only degenerates and criminals had tattoos, therefore decoration was a crime that desecrates the purity and honesty of surfaces. Ironic that tattooing has gotten into vogue lately.

Establishment architects frown on revivalist architecture because it has been engrained in them that it is dishonest and does not reflect contemporary values and culture. I guess the soul-less boxes do?

Richard Eade
Sep 15, 2016, 4:19 PM
There is a great difference between trying to mimic and being a compatible addition. There have been some very nicely done additions to heritage/older buildings that, in my opinion, enhance the original building while providing additional space. I like the way the single homes along Somerset (263-283) were joined. The new structures look as if they belong in the picture with the original buildings. The old buildings are allowed to be the main focus, however.

I think that the Elgin Hotel’s expansion was well done, with the new additions being identifiably different, yet they look like they are still part of the same family. Also, again, they are set back and don’t overpower the original building.

If the addition is to be of a completely different character from the original building, then a good precedent to follow would be the Bank of Canada Building. The glass tower contrasts with the stone original, but it is used as a backdrop to emphasize the original. From down the street or across the road, the original stone building is what draws the eye first.

This is in contrast to what happens at the Museum of Nature, where the ghastly ‘Lantern’ steals the view. There are no elements in common with the original building to make me think that it belongs yet it is front, center, and dominant, apparently squashing what was once a stately tower. Of course, the NCC was in control of the artistic requirements of that addition.

That is not to say that the NCC’s touch will automatically give an addition a failing grade. The addition of condominiums to the Hardy Arcade along Sparks Street was, in my mind, a great success.

My biggest complaint about the proposed addition to the Chateau Laurier is that it is not really in keeping with the style of the original and its size makes it too imposing because of that lack of blending in. As has been mentioned by others, it might make a fine building on its own – some where else – but, this for me is not a suitable addition. My second fear comes from not knowing how the NCC is going to view this plan. Is it going to follow the design rules it used for the Museum of Nature?

Uhuniau
Sep 15, 2016, 4:53 PM
Establishment architects frown on revivalist architecture because it has been engrained in them that it is dishonest and does not reflect contemporary values and culture. I guess the soul-less boxes do?

In that case, what contemporary values are revealed by those tacky McMansions with rooves nested within rooves, "power centre" shopping and "office park" work places?

sestafanos
Sep 15, 2016, 4:54 PM
This is in contrast to what happens at the Museum of Nature, where the ghastly ‘Lantern’ steals the view. There are no elements in common with the original building to make me think that it belongs yet it is front, center, and dominant, apparently squashing what was once a stately tower. Of course, the NCC was in control of the artistic requirements of that addition.


You really hated the Reichstag addition didn't you?

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 4:54 PM
Chateau Laurier revamp draws online rebuke. What do you think?

OTTAWA — The Canadian Press
Published Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 7:58AM EDT | Last updated Thursday, Sep. 15, 2016 10:08AM EDT

Major changes are in the works for the iconic Fairmont Chateau Laurier hotel in the national capital.

The plan is to add as many as 200 long-term stay suites in the hotel just steps from Parliament Hill, in addition to an exterior courtyard and approximately 427 underground parking spaces.

Shovels are expected to be in the ground in the fall of 2017, with the new suites expected to be ready in 2020.

There was no immediate word on cost of the project.

Public consultations will take place at a later date, but there has already been a flurry of negative reaction to online depictions of the planned expansion.

One person on Twitter called it a “travesty” — another labelled it “hideous.”

Survey (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/expansion-plan-for-ottawas-chateau-laurier-draws-flurry-of-criticism/article31893040/)

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/expansion-plan-for-ottawas-chateau-laurier-draws-flurry-of-criticism/article31893040/

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 4:56 PM
Château Laurier's proposed design shows some growing pains

Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board
Published on: September 15, 2016 | Last Updated: September 15, 2016 11:06 AM EDT

http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2016/09/renovations-are-being-proposed-for-ottawas-chateau-laurier10.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=840&h=630&crop=1

Ottawans can be forgiven for being shocked when they saw the first public images this morning of planned changes to the Fairmont Château Laurier. We were too.

A good rule of thumb when revamping an iconic building is to not stun the locals. But with its proposal to blend tradition with stark modern architecture, the château’s owners are pitching a radically different look to dominate the rear façade of the building. This is made more significant because the original architecture of the building – which opened in 1912 – had a distinct purpose, steeped in Ottawa’s geography and Canada’s history.

“Its asymmetric composition recalled Scottish baronial houses on craggy outcrops, while the steep roofs were typical of Northern France, where many early Quebecers originated,” the Citizen reported for the hotel’s 100th anniversary. As well, the design heavily influenced other buildings in Ottawa, such as the Supreme Court.

The overnight reaction on social media (http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/chateau-laurier-unveiled-plans-for-an-expansion-and-twitter-lost-its-mind) was overwhelmingly negative. The area councillor walked back his initial enthusiasm. Even Mayor Jim Watson suggested this one might need to go back to the drawing board, which surely suggests trouble for the design as it submits its application to develop to the city. We’ll see.

The design needs both city and National Capital Commission approval – and the NCC, at least, will be mindful of the controversy that ensued in the 1990s when it contemplated new uses for a nearby site, that of the Daly Building. It, too, generated significant public reaction.

Next step: Go beyond a few “stakeholders” and launch a concerted effort to both educate and listen to the people of Ottawa, who walk by the château everyday and consider it their own. Indeed, the original hotel was accessible, with dormitories and shared bathrooms for less well-to-do travellers. Much of this expansion, including the luxurious long-term suites, is geared at a very different demographic.

There is room for different architectural styles along our most famous streets, but Ottawans need to understand how they will all work together. The Château Laurier has changed a great deal over the years, evolving with the times. There’s a fine case to be made that, for Canada’s 150th, it’s high time to update Ottawa’s premiere hotel. The case, though, hasn’t been made for the necessity of blocking off the views of the rear of the hotel. As an iconic piece of Ottawa’s skyline, with lovely views from Major’s Hill Park, surely this needs some justification.

No doubt, meetings with the NCC and the city will flesh out some of this. But going straight to the people is a must for such a radical change to such a significant building.

Ottawa can be a world-class city with world-class architecture. Initial impressions? It’s not clear how this design helps the city in that ambition.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/editorials/chateau-lauriers-proposed-design-shows-some-growing-pains

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 5:15 PM
'Back to the drawing board': Ottawa mayor on proposed Château Laurier addition
City councillor who initially approved of plan now backtracking after public outcry

By Kristy Nease, CBC News Posted: Sep 15, 2016 11:42 AM ET Last Updated: Sep 15, 2016 12:21 PM ET

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson says it's back to the drawing board on a proposed modern addition to the historic Château Laurier hotel, and even the city councillor who favoured it at first is backtracking after a wave of angry public feedback on the designs.

The plan — proposed by Larco Investments, which two years ago bought the iconic building in downtown Ottawa just steps from Parliament Hill — would be to move its parking lot underground and add up to 200 rooms in an addition designed by Peter Clewes, one of the leading architects in Toronto's condo boom.

The City of Ottawa and the National Capital Commission would need to approve the plan before it could move ahead.

As the public outcry mounted Wednesday when pictures of the plan were released, Watson tweeted his displeasure with the proposal.

Asked Thursday to expand on his thoughts, Watson said he doesn't think the modern design of the addition blends well enough with the old hotel.

"Well I'm not all that impressed with [the design], to be perfectly honest. The Château Laurier is an iconic heritage property in the downtown core, and the images that I've seen really don't blend well, in my opinion. And I've heard an awful lot of feedback, most of it negative, from the public. My hope is that we reach some compromise, as we always try to, between the developer, the NCC, the city and the public," he said.

"We have to approve, obviously, the plans, as does the NCC, and I sit on the board of the NCC now. It's important that these kinds of developments blend in and are compatible ... and I don't believe the images that I've seen create that kind of blending between old and new."

Coun. Mathieu Fleury, who represents the Rideau-Vanier ward the hotel sits in, was quoted in the developer's promotional media release about the plan. He called it an "exciting project" and "captivating architectural design" that highlight's the hotel's important heritage and location.
Mathieu Fleury Rideau Vanier Councillor

But Fleury backtracked from that position somewhat as the negative feedback continued to pour in, saying the quote used in the developer's release didn't fully express his feelings, and that he was mainly pleased with the plan to demolish the existing five-storey parking garage.

He also apologized for allowing himself to be quoted in the promotional release in the first place, saying it was the first time he did it and that he won't do it again.

The iconic downtown building is owned by Larco Investments, but the hotel is managed and operated by Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

The hotel said Thursday that Larco is reviewing the public feedback, and said it "appreciates the passion" people have for the Château Laurier.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ch%C3%A2teau-laurier-reaction-mayor-councillor-1.3763200

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 5:22 PM
They should slot the Mizrahi building into this site and move this more modern Architects Alliance design to the corner of Wellington and Island Park. I think that they are both better suited designs to those switched locations.

http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2015/12/1023-mizrahi-the-latest-renderings-released-by-mizrahi-now.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=700

http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2016/09/chateau.png?w=850

acottawa
Sep 15, 2016, 5:23 PM
This thing has received tonnes of national media coverage, a rarity for an Ottawa architecture story. I guess that is what happens when a building represents Canada at Disney World.

Acajack
Sep 15, 2016, 5:48 PM
This thing has received tonnes of national media coverage, a rarity for an Ottawa architecture story. I guess that is what happens when a building represents Canada at Disney World.

Isn't it the Château Frontenac at Disney? Can't remember for sure.

EDIT: You were right. It's the Laurier.

Acajack
Sep 15, 2016, 5:52 PM
I don't dislike modern buildings and am open to modern add-on to classical buildings, but I'll say this bluntly: I don't trust Canadians to pull off something like this that will end up being anything close to being attractive and tasteful.

If it were the French or the Italians, I'd feel more confident.

OTSkyline
Sep 15, 2016, 6:14 PM
I hate this proposal... What's next, tagging on a brick apartment building expansion to the Eiffel tower?

The Chateau Laurier is one of the only icons for Ottawa and IMO it should not be played with. If they do, I would support an expansion using the same material and same style as the current OR possibly an all-glass modern expansion that is smaller/shorter in the back as to not over-empower (a-la NAC)...

The owners want to do this to make more money, well sorry you knew you were buying an architectural gem when you bought this and that an expansion would be highly unlikely... If they want to build something else, they are more than welcomed to buy another piece of land anywhere else around the city and propose whatever they want.

Capital Shaun
Sep 15, 2016, 6:38 PM
http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2015/12/1023-mizrahi-the-latest-renderings-released-by-mizrahi-now.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=700

With a few tweaks something like that could work really well next to the Chateau Laurier.

acottawa
Sep 15, 2016, 6:39 PM
The owners want to do this to make more money, well sorry you knew you were buying an architectural gem when you bought this and that an expansion would be highly unlikely... If they want to build something else, they are more than welcomed to buy another piece of land anywhere else around the city and propose whatever they want.

Owners aren't big on heritage preservation.

http://time.com/3584585/saudi-arabia-bulldozes-over-its-heritage/

Capital Shaun
Sep 15, 2016, 6:45 PM
Aparently the architect is bound by rules. So forget anything that will look 'castle' like.


"We're not to mimic the existing architecture"
"What we're to do, instead, is to build and design a structure that is representative of the period in which it is built."
Source: http://www.cfra.com/news/2016/09/15/chateau-owners-say-rules-forbid-old-style-addition

McC
Sep 15, 2016, 8:44 PM
They should slot the Mizrahi building into this site and move this more modern Architects Alliance design to the corner of Wellington and Island Park. I think that they are both better suited designs to those switched locations.

I could get behind that proposal.

McC
Sep 15, 2016, 8:46 PM
Owners aren't big on heritage preservation.

http://time.com/3584585/saudi-arabia-bulldozes-over-its-heritage/

But interestingly, David Jeanes from Heritage Ottawa was on the CeeB this morning and was very confident in the People, the Process and the Product so far. (how did they get to him, too?)

whatnext
Sep 15, 2016, 9:06 PM
To borrow Prince Charles' pithy turn of phrase on a similar project, it is a "monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend".

905er
Sep 15, 2016, 9:34 PM
On it's own, I think the addition makes a great building that would look great in Ottawa. Attached to the Chateau Laurier, I really don't like it. The laurier is such a beautiful building on it's own, I can't imagine why anyone would want to alter how it looks. Kinda makes me sad to see this actually.

gjhall
Sep 15, 2016, 9:52 PM
Owners aren't big on heritage preservation.

http://time.com/3584585/saudi-arabia-bulldozes-over-its-heritage/

First of all, the Chateau is owned by Larco, not Fairmont.

Second, Fairmont, which manages the Chateau, is now owned by Accor, which is a French company: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/accor-fairmont-raffles-swissotel-sale-1.3357634

Marshsparrow
Sep 15, 2016, 10:59 PM
I hate the proposal but wished that this same mob mentality from near and far were present to launch their viceral outrcies with all the past building disasters that are too many to fill this post - glad they finally woke up from their 25 year nap :worship:

rocketphish
Sep 15, 2016, 11:06 PM
Chateau Laurier expansion first national treasure to be revamped using Minecraft

Amy Kishek, The Beaverton
September 15, 2016

OTTAWA – The historic Chateau Laurier Hotel is getting a much needed facelift with the help of Minecraft, a leader in architecture and design.

The proposed revamp would see the 660,000 square foot hotel which first opened its doors in 1912 enter the modern age with the addition of 100 new rooms each comprise of three-dimensional blocks, an engineering marvel of today.

Utilizing Minecraft’s state of the art technology, architects laboured for hours to placing and breaking each grey and beige block comprising of the compelling, pixelated new design.

Lead architect, Chris Ko, has a number of achievements over the course of his Minecraft career, including the highly coveted Pork Chop and Cobblestone awards. ‘Ottawa’, an Ice Plains biome, is said to be one of the more challenging environments for Minecrafters designers.

”I am very proud of our work, and am honoured the Chateau Laurier would entrust us with this project. Prior to this I was working on private homes, such as Adventure Time Palace, so this was a real treat”, said Ko at the unveiling of the new design in Ottawa.

This is the first time that Minecraft has successfully bid to reimagine a historical Canadian landmark. The Company hopes the success of the Fairmont Chateau Laurier will find them working on other Canadian landmarks sorely in need of modernization. Minecraft is said to have bid on the Centre Block renovations, 24 Sussex, and any other historical building within the downtown area.

Critiques of the design are concerned with the sparse interiors. The Chateau Laurier has stated publicly that it hopes to engage interior design firm, The Sims, for the next phase of the project.

https://thebeaverton.com/2016/09/chateau-laurier-expansion-first-national-treasure-revamped-using-minecraft/

1overcosc
Sep 15, 2016, 11:22 PM
If the addition is to be of a completely different character from the original building, then a good precedent to follow would be the Bank of Canada Building. The glass tower contrasts with the stone original, but it is used as a backdrop to emphasize the original. From down the street or across the road, the original stone building is what draws the eye first.

Exactly. Glass is the best material when you have to make a modern addition to a heritage building.

1overcosc
Sep 15, 2016, 11:24 PM
And with all due respect, the example you showed in Kingston strikes me as a terrible example of heritage preservation. I don't find it objectionable, but it strike me more as an International-style building with rather unusual building materials. If you hadn't stated as much, I would have never known that it was originally a heritage building.

The stone houses were in very bad shape by the time Queen's bought them, and only the facades were preservable, and even then, half the stones were rotted out beyond repair. Normally, buildings in such condition are simply destroyed. Given what they had to work with, it's a great example of preservation. Attempting to put new stones next to the old ones would have just looked horrible.

J.OT13
Sep 16, 2016, 2:32 AM
I agree with a what a few of you have said; other than the roof, which should have more of an incline to match the old, the design is pretty good. The Mizrahi proposal however, might be a little more appropriate.

Not in any circumstances would I agree with building a faux historicism expansion. Although you might be able to fool a few people, it's not possible to match it exactly. A modern Glass addition to a heavy masonry building is the way to go.

Here's a look few of the modern additions over the years on other buildings around town;

Lord Elgin, which was posted earlier. They tried to match, but it just doesn't work. I would have preferred two glass wings. Not only would it have been a stunning addition to the hotel, but would also have broken the wall of heavy masonry and concrete along Elgin (which has improved over the years thanks to 150 and 160 Elgin).

http://lordelginhotel.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/LordElgin_Marathon_2.jpg
http://lordelginhotel.ca/location/

Sir John A. Macdonald Building. They used stone, but it looks like concrete panels. The window wall on the box looks like an after thought. One of the worst additions IMO.

https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7556/16237442602_f38da291f2_b.jpg
https://www.flickr.com/photos/pwgscanada/16237442602

The Victoria Memorial Building, hands down best addition to a historic building. Impressive contrast between the light glass lantern over the old stone building

http://www.pcl.com/projects-that-inspire/PublishingImages/1000157-f-0-1000157_VMMB_Altered_Photo_Sidewalk.jpg
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&ved=0ahUKEwiYvday6JLPAhVE5iYKHdliDZ8QjxwIAw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.pcl.com%2Fprojects-that-inspire%2Fpages%2Fvictoria-memorial-museum-building-rehabilitation-.aspx&bvm=bv.133053837,d.cWw&psig=AFQjCNGhJ2cjwFM7EfcJpuw5OJCpmDZRLg&ust=1474078466318053&cad=rjt

rocketphish
Sep 16, 2016, 11:38 AM
Historical 'distinctions': Architect defends controversial Chateau Laurier expansion plan

Susana Mas, The Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 15, 2016 | Last Updated: September 15, 2016 10:27 PM EDT

http://wpmedia.ottawacitizen.com/2016/09/renovations-are-being-proposed-for-ottawas-chateau-laurier22.jpeg?quality=55&strip=all&w=800

The lead architect behind the design for the proposed additions to the historic Château Laurier is defending his work after newly revealed plans drew a barrage of criticism from the public and the city’s mayor.

Much of the criticism was directed at two box-shaped modern additions located on the east and west wings that stand in stark contrast with the character of the Château.

Peter Clewes, principal of the Toronto-based firm architectsAlliance, said the suggestion that he doesn’t care about the hotel’s heritage value is simply not true.

“We need to build buildings that are of our time but we need to be respectful of what has come before them and so it is really a balance between the two. It’s not appropriate to simply take a national historic site and then add on to it exactly in the architectural ground it was originally conceived in because that just confuses history,” Clewes told the Citizen on Thursday.

“It’s because I care about our cultural history as conveyed in architecture that I think it’s very important to create these clear distinctions,” Clewes said.

While some of the images appear to show the additions towering over the current hotel structure, Clewes said they are not in fact taller.

Some of the pictures circulated to the media, Clewes said, showed a wide-angle view which tends to distort the physical relationship between objects.

“There is some distortion,” Clewes said. “It does make it look larger than it is.”

A cross-sectional image of the design and an image showing a view of the expanded hotel from the main entrance on Wellington Street shows the additions tucked away slightly below the current building structure.

“When you look at the hotel, it will be very clear to you what is the historical portion of the hotel.”

Clewes, a Canadian design architect with 30 years of practice, is the recipient of two prestigious Governor General medals.

“We take our work seriously and we’re very passionate about what we do,” he said.

“What we’re trying to do is something very reserved and calm and deferential.”

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson was also critical of the proposed expansion, saying in a tweet that “this falls under the category ‘back to the drawing board!'”

Art Phillips, director of development for Larco Investments Ltd., which represents the owners of the Fairmont Château Laurier, acknowledged on Thursday that “the feedback was quite intense.”

Phillips told the Citizen he hoped the public would take a closer look at some of the other details.

The current proposal also includes a new courtyard, the greening of four roofs, and a new underground parking garage open to hotel guests and the public.

Phillips said the owners are looking at changing the shape of the roof on the two box-shaped additions in favour of a more pointed design.

“We have to look at how we can draw upon the architectural character of the hotel without trying to mimic it, because understand that we’re not permitted to mimic the heritage,” Phillips said of the standards and guidelines for the conservation of historic places in Canada.

Phillips said the proposed design also borrows some materials such as limestone, glass and copper from the existing design.

Ottawa city councillor Mathieu Fleury, who appeared to support the expansion at first, said Thursday he regretted the statement he gave Larco for use in its presentation a day earlier.

“It is an exciting project that introduces captivating architectural design to this important site for our capital city while highlighting its important heritage value and location,” Fleury’s statement said.

“I did a mistake in the sense that, I’m so happy that the applicant is demolishing the (parking) garage, but certainly in terms of design and process for approval there’s a lot left,” Fleury told the Citizen.

“In my mind I would describe it as pre-consultation and certainly from the initial feedback, from Twitter and from the media and community partners, there is certainly a lot of change that is required to the design. I think the applicant is hearing that. They’re certainly open to a broader consultation and that’s refreshing.”

Both Clewes and Phillips said they will continue to consult with the city’s urban design review panel and the National Capital Commission until both are happy with the design.

The NCC told the Citizen it did review earlier drafts of the design as recently as May and August and welcomes the launch of public consultations.

“The NCC recognizes the historic and symbolic importance of the Château Laurier and even though the proposed addition is on private land, there are opportunities to enhance the design as part of the federal approval process since the site is surrounded by NCC lands,” said spokesperson Mario Tremblay in a statement Thursday.

“The NCC has been challenging the proponent to find design solutions that do not negatively impact the adjacent park and the views of the Capital.”

Phillips said he still intends to submit a formal application next month and will continue to hold public consultations before submitting a final plan for approval in 2017.

With files from Jon Willing and Don Butler

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/historical-distinctions-architect-defends-controversial-chateau-laurier-expansion-plan

rocketphish
Sep 16, 2016, 11:54 AM
:previous: "It’s not appropriate to simply take a national historic site and then add on to it exactly in the architectural ground it was originally conceived in because that just confuses history,” Clewes told the Citizen on Thursday."

So we're not allowed to match old architecture anymore? Umm, why? Who made up this silly rule? As long as you don't claim afterwards that it was built as part of the original structure, you're good. I think they claim this because they get to show off their own designs this way, instead of just extending an established design. And they think they're too important for that.

eltodesukane
Sep 16, 2016, 12:56 PM
z

Uhuniau
Sep 16, 2016, 12:57 PM
:previous: "It’s not appropriate to simply take a national historic site and then add on to it exactly in the architectural ground it was originally conceived in because that just confuses history,” Clewes told the Citizen on Thursday."

So we're not allowed to match old architecture anymore? Umm, why? Who made up this silly rule? As long as you don't claim afterwards that it was built as part of the original structure, you're good. I think they claim this because they get to show off their own designs this way, instead of just extending an established design. And they think they're too important for that.

If the pretensions of architects were inflammable, we'd never need to pump another drop of oil out of the ground.

Uhuniau
Sep 16, 2016, 12:58 PM
I don't get the uproar.
Is the Chateau Laurier expansion any worse than the Canadian Museum of Nature expansion?

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: Hells yes.

Temperance
Sep 16, 2016, 1:00 PM
I'm also not opposed in principle to modern additions to old buildings but this addition looks hideous. I think from some angles it is ok, and on its own it is also ok (though a bit faddish), but on the Chateau Laurier it is awful. This is especially the case looking at the Chateau from Major's Hill Park, which is currently a really beautiful view.

movebyleap
Sep 16, 2016, 3:55 PM
I think the Chateau deserves better than Toronto's condo king.

Kitchissippi
Sep 16, 2016, 4:20 PM
The Chateau Frontenac as it stood in 1910, and what it is today — originally designed by an American architect (Bruce Price) and added on to decades later (the central tower by Canadian William Sutherland Maxwell). Not only did they manage to quadruple the size of the hotel, they also augmented the grandeur of the building and made it even more iconic. Why the heck can't we do this now? Why do we have this reluctance to actually make history instead of being limited by what was done?

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/Chateau_Frontenac_and_Dufferin_Terrace_postcard.jpg

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8025/29095672123_87c156517e_b.jpg

I can see why creating a historically dishonest building from scratch might confuse perception, but when it comes to additions, the rules used in creating the original building should be fair game. There really should be an option for a more seamless aesthetic, not just some watered-down ghost of a building that differs from the original. In this day and age when stone can be carved by computer-controlled machines, it could even be an expression of technological advancement.

passwordisnt123
Sep 16, 2016, 5:06 PM
I remember a while back somebody in this forum had photoshopped a concept design of an expanded Chateau Laurier basically making the ass end of the hotel look presentable and making Majors Hill Park into like a courtyard. I remember thinking at that time that it was really impressive. I tried finding it just now and couldn't. Anybody remember where that post was? May suddenly be relevant again.

Kitchissippi
Sep 16, 2016, 5:19 PM
I remember a while back somebody in this forum had photoshopped a concept design of an expanded Chateau Laurier basically making the ass end of the hotel look presentable and making Majors Hill Park into like a courtyard. I remember thinking at that time that it was really impressive. I tried finding it just now and couldn't. Anybody remember where that post was? May suddenly be relevant again.

http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=6903173&postcount=203

That was actually me. Bear in mind that that was just a cut and paste concept not a design.

Uhuniau
Sep 16, 2016, 5:29 PM
What's really impressive is that this is like the fourth or fifth iteration of the plan, all done behind closed doors, and with the feedback of both the NCC and City Hall... neither of which has a population of even one person who was willing to put their hand up and suggest that it might not fly with the public.

And that includes at least one elected official.

No wonder the city has such a spotty urban planning and design record.

passwordisnt123
Sep 16, 2016, 6:10 PM
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=6903173&postcount=203

That was actually me. Bear in mind that that was just a cut and paste concept not a design.

Yes! Excellent. I'd love to see this go through. You should mail that to City Council and the mayor.

You may call that a cut and paste concept rather than a design but I'd call it a significant improvement over this bizarre proposal released yesterday.

Richard Eade
Sep 16, 2016, 6:57 PM
Similar to how the Chateau Frontenac added some height, I think it might be impressive if they could get a tower that blended in well (i.e., used similar decorative style, including roof style) to do what kitchissippi's concept did. That is, have a tower that is narrow enough that it doesn't hide the original diagonal views, but adds a new, higher dimension to them. Around the back (park) side of the tower, would be the terrace with stairs to the park, as in kitchissippi's image.

UrbOttawa
Sep 16, 2016, 7:13 PM
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showpost.php?p=6903173&postcount=203

That was actually me. Bear in mind that that was just a cut and paste concept not a design.

If something similar to that was built, imagine how much more epic the views from the locks would be :cheers:

daud
Sep 16, 2016, 7:25 PM
If something similar to that was built, imagine how much more epic the views from the locks would be :cheers:

I think that cut and paste addition in the same architectural style is awesome-add an archway into the courtyard from the back and you've created something special.

Architect is defending his work: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/historical-distinctions-architect-defends-controversial-chateau-laurier-expansion-plan

I am getting very frustrated with all these elites insisting that they cannot mimic the style. If its a true work of art; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Take some pride in construction as they did originally and honour the building by using the same style. For me, slapping these different styles on as an addition is actually dishonouring the structure and I think many people feel the same way.

whatnext
Sep 16, 2016, 7:41 PM
The addition is a misguided abomination. So "circa 2016" it's painful. The architect and the owner completely miss the point: Railway Chateau as a style is a deliberate historical pastiche. To add something so banally modern is contradictory to the style's raison d’être.

Larco is not a great choice for custodian of heritage buildings. it's president, Shiraz Lalji, demolished a celebrated mid-century Arthur Erickson designed house in favour of a god knows what.
http://www.priceypads.com/graham-house-demolished-2007/

waterloowarrior
Sep 16, 2016, 9:41 PM
reposting Kitchissippi's concept for easy reference

Here's another one of my photshopped fantasies...

I find it really unfortunate that the Chateau Laurier turns its back on Major's Hill Park. It's sort of a missed opportunity that they've put an ugly parking garage between the hotel and the park:

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7409/16265784519_69512949a7_c.jpg

Most châteaux in France have a "domaine", and there could be a really nice symbiotic relationship between the Chateau Laurier and Majors Hill Park. All the parking would be put in a new underground garage and a new addition to the hotel built on top to finish its backside. The enclosed courtyard could have a nice outdoor pool and garden. The hotel would be allowed to slightly encroach on the park and in turn provide amenities and animate the space. There would be a terrace with sweeping views of the park and Parliament Hill, and restaurant/cafe patios that can be accessed from the park. I imagine a similar situation between the Chateau Frontenac and Dufferin Terrace in Quebec City.

https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7306/16426153066_0bdaf51c61_h.jpg (https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7306/16426153066_e7a7467d3a_o.jpg)

citydwlr
Sep 16, 2016, 11:22 PM
:previous: I still like this concept. Although, I also envisioned some sort of archway into the courtyard from Major's Hill Park. Something sorta like:

http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/0466b802ac3f450d98535f5e72d99421/view-of-stone-path-through-archway-to-historic-brick-building-on-interior-fpexd8.jpg

NOWINYOW
Sep 17, 2016, 12:07 AM
We have a steel/glass structure going up at the NAC, people seemed happy.

We have a steel/glass structure at the Museum of Nature.

I'll admit, what is being proposed at the Chateau L may not be my first choice, it's by no means hideous.

I think some people are looking at the renderings and not realizing this new addition will not be visible from Wellington/Elgin. The plan is to light up the new structure during the evenings. Similar to the NAC. What's wrong with that?

People should be thankful the Chateau L didn't contract Claridge to design this addition.

rocketphish
Sep 17, 2016, 1:00 AM
The Château Laurier ought to reject ugliness – like other great hotels

Shannon Gormley
Published on: September 16, 2016 | Last Updated: September 16, 2016 1:28 PM EDT

My God, is it ugly. Not a daring and radical ugly: an obliviously boorish ugly.

The proposed addition to the Château Laurier is the type of ugly that causes offence offhand but has neither the nerve nor imagination to genuinely appall, the type of ugly that shows up to an event to which it hasn’t been invited and bumps into a tray of canapés but doesn’t overturn the table or light the curtains on fire. It hasn’t even the decency to make a true spectacle of itself.

That, at least, would be something to look at. This ugly isn’t a fascinating study in contrast; it’s a clumsy exercise in clashing, a casual debasement of common standards, the ugly you witness if a salesman – a little inebriated, plenty brash – strides up to an elegant woman on the street and, only vaguely appreciative of her beauty but quite sure of his own right to free speech, globs on.

“Well wouldya look at that, our exteriors are the same colour!“ he might say, believing himself to have found an in with the prettiest thing in town. She ignores him but can’t escape him, and everyone looks the worse for it.

So too, the ugliness of this extension isn’t confined to the corner it sits on. It’s a global ugliness. I mean that literally, in part. A landmark hotel is its country’s architectural greeter, introducing foreigners to a nation’s particular manners and style: foreign dignitaries meet and sleep in its rooms; foreigners who can’t afford a bed visit the lobby and bar for tea or drinks. Visitors don’t come for ugly, and when they come in spite of it they’ll wonder what ugly is doing here.

That might nearly be tolerable, the imposition of an impoverished aesthetic on travellers who can always fly back to Europe, were the ugliness of this expansion not global in another sense. Each city has a place where people go to be their best. When that place is coarsened, so is everyone. When it’s updated with respect, it inspires all who pass by to live up to their surroundings. The great old hotels remind us that just because we’re legally allowed to say whatever we like, at whatever volume we like, into whatever device we like, while wearing whatever brand of denim cut-offs we like, civility will always require us to consider the preferences of the people with whom we share space.

This being a moment of gross incivility, perhaps it’s natural that an oaf of an edifice could soon loom over Ottawa. It’s loud, it’s awkward, and it doesn’t care how much room it takes up and what it tramples upon. This extension is an anti-social bully that shouts down a building that is, above all else, hospitable and courteous.

Ottawa should be encouraged to hear, however, that such ugliness is not inevitable. Many other landmark hotels – the vast majority of them, in fact – have opted to not make themselves ugly. The Paris Ritz closed for extensive renovations for several years, but when it reopened no one was even surprised to learn that it had managed to update the furniture without attaching an ugly suburban office building to its exterior. Claridge’s in London has lived in its Art Deco building for more than 100 years, and is so popular with royals that it’s said to be the “annex to Buckingham Palace”; the Palace might move out were it ever annexed by an overbearing, ugly box. Another Art Deco masterpiece, New York’s Waldorf Astoria, has similarly resisted uglification. And many other legends decline to choose ugly over fewer rooms, for they understand that to do so would be rude.

Their goal is to make guests comfortable. For what’s the point of etiquette, if not to put people at ease? Especially when in the company of strangers, who are least likely to be comfortable with us, we have some obligation to present ourselves decently. Some buildings will always have hideous manners, but the capital city’s landmark hotel can’t be among them.

Shannon Gormley is an Ottawa Citizen global affairs columnist and freelance journalist.

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/gormley-the-chateau-laurier-ought-to-reject-ugliness-like-other-great-hotels

rocketphish
Sep 17, 2016, 1:01 AM
We're a government town — of course we hate edgy architecture

Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 16, 2016 | Last Updated: September 16, 2016 6:00 PM EDT

Maybe it’s as simple as this: Ottawa gags on modern architecture.

Maybe not, but the five-alarm freakout over the Château Laurier addition suggests some deep-seated resistance to modern design, especially when it comes to touchstone buildings in the Parliamentary precinct, our very own Gothic-Victorian dollhouse.

From most angles, the proposed addition to the Château looks pretty inoffensive — in fact, it echoes the aged copper and pale stone of the original hotel. The one image from the rear did seem to overpower, but this may have been an aspect bungle or Photoshop fart. Hard to know.

It’s worth keeping in mind, by the way, that the architectural taste of the average bloke can’t be trusted. Is this not why we have acres of beige suburbs, and more Merivale roads than we really should, because this is the median of what, collectively, we find “attractive”?

If you’re like me, you live in a mature neighbourhood where there’s lots of infill, probably of the boxy variety. “Doesn’t fit in” is a criticism often repeated, as though “fitting in” is the over-riding design imperative and “sticking out” is a mortal sin. Or we just hate modern architecture.

The Memorial to the Victims of Communism? I suspect most people disliked it because it was not literal enough, jarred with the Supreme Court design, and just seemed jumbly and incoherent, compared to the language of visual expression in, say, the National War Memorial. Had it been a statue and a plaque, there’d be no controversy.

Some of y’all are old enough to remember the controversy over the massive expansion of Ottawa City Hall when it lived on Green Island in the late 1980s.

Moshe Safdie, an architect with sparkling international reputation (National Gallery), won the competition and was proposing a pair of twin towers — about 55 metres high — in his original design, though they had no real utility. People went cuckoo. “A lot of show-off nonsense,” huffed a neighbour.

“My third objection is the extravagance of the building,” wrote a young whippersnapper named Jim Watson, of Capital ward, no doubt typing in his chinos and plaid shirt. “Mr. Safdie should have been reminded he was building a municipal building, not a palace.”

So, what did council do? They cut the towers out to save $1.5 million, putting Safdie in a suing mood for demonstrably changing his design. Here lies mediocrity by committee: honestly, will that not be chiselled on Ottawa’s tombstone?

Architecture, too, is one of those fields where the thing we hate today is the thing we love tomorrow. They wanted to tear the Eiffel Tower down straight away. The glass pyramid addition at the Louvre had some Parisians in a tizzy. The striking Guggenheim museum in New York was once mocked. Our beloved Cattle Castle nearly met the wrecker’s ball.

Allan Teramura is an Ottawa architect and the president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. He was travelling this week but managed to see some of the images of the Château proposal.

“I would actually say the design for the addition to the Château Laurier is actually quite respectful of the original building, from what I can tell.”

But he understands the criticism.

“It’s not surprising when you start altering an iconic building that means a lot to many people,” he said. “That’s kind of the curse of being an architect.”

But there’s no way around it, he said. Older buildings can only be preserved or enhanced if modern building techniques are brought to bear— and that can affect the appearance in a jarring way.

He agreed that, architecturally, Ottawa is a conservative city.

“Absolutely. I’m not sure exactly why that is. I think part of it is Ottawa’s never had the kind of aspiration to be a great city the way some other cities have.”

We lack big corporate headquarters, for one, have very few captains of industry willing to leave their built marks and live with rows of forgettable office buildings constructed on the public purse for maximum function and minimum price — thus, a lack of extravagance.

“There is a lot of really terrible, unforgivably bad stuff that gets built in Ottawa that barely gets mentioned, right?”

So the presence of so much mediocre design has a “levelling” effect on our expectations of the city’s built environment, he added.

“Anything that’s a little edgy I think tends to make people uncomfortable.”

There’s a move afoot — of course there is! — to have the Château owners smooth “the edgy” right out.

My God, we’re boring.

To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-726-5896 or email kegan@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/kellyegancolumn

http://ottawacitizen.com/opinion/columnists/egan-were-a-government-town-of-course-we-hate-edgy-architecture

sestafanos
Sep 17, 2016, 1:42 AM
I think Ottawa's architecture is pretty boring, and I love modern design. I probably love it more than most people in this city...and I actually like the modern infills that "stand out"...but that design is just horrible...so much so that I am actually scared it gets built by accident.

Uhuniau
Sep 19, 2016, 1:12 PM
We have a steel/glass structure going up at the NAC, people seemed happy.

Yes, because it was an addition or change to the ugliest g.d. building in Canada.

We have a steel/glass structure at the Museum of Nature.

Yes, a small and tasteful one, on a site with 1/20th the prominence of the Chateau Laurier's Parliament-Hill-and-river-facing side.

I think some people are looking at the renderings and not realizing this new addition will not be visible from Wellington/Elgin.

Even worse: it'll be visible as part of the iconic view of the old Ottawa skyline from the river.

rocketphish
Sep 19, 2016, 10:13 PM
What it takes to add on to the Château Laurier

David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 19, 2016 | Last Updated: September 19, 2016 4:46 PM EDT

The owners of the Château Laurier are licking their wounds but planning to press ahead with their plans for an addition to the historic hotel after a nearly unanimous chorus of dismay greeted their announcement last week.

“(I)t is important to maintain an open and transparent dialogue with the public, and we will be doing so later this fall at the Fairmont Château Laurier,” says Dennis Jacobs, a consultant working on Larco Investments’ expansion project: a new section on the north side, with long-stay suites in a modern wrapper markedly different from the Chateau’s old design.

Jacobs is a former planning-policy chief at city hall. He gets how public disapproval can derail a high-profile project.

In the middle of the storm, Coun. Mathieu Fleury retreated smartly from his initial endorsement of the “captivating architectural design.”

“Back to the drawing board,” Mayor Jim Watson advised.

We never left it, Jacobs says. And we’re still very, very open to ideas. “As we are still at the drawing board, it will be critical for us to receive these comments prior to filing our site plan application,” he says.

Here’s the thing: Officially, “I think it’s hideous” is neither here nor there when it comes to getting official approvals, as community associations and neighbours appearing before city council’s planning committee have learned.

If a proposal really looks lovely, or has wide public support, that can lead politicians to make more generous assessments. But in theory, they’re supposed to care about practicalities and quantifiable measurements, not about whether people find a building nice to look at.

Aesthetic appeal depends on taste, and, as a rule, the government doesn’t have any.

In Ontario, some cities, including Ottawa, have tried to make special categories for “landmark” buildings, real standouts that could justify bending some rules that would otherwise apply. The Ontario Municipal Board ruled last year that this is OK, as a city you can say you want “an element of wow” in your architecture, “assuming that the mechanics can be arranged as methodically and objectively as possible.”

These are the hurdles a plan to modify the Château Laurier will have to surmount:

Site-plan approval

This is a mainly technical process that looks at how a medium-to-large new construction project affects its immediate neighbours — things like loading docks and parking access, garbage rooms and exhaust fans. There can be a need for things like transportation impact studies, environmental reports and servicing studies to make sure existing pipes can handle the demand for water and sewage.

Ordinarily, site plans are signed off by city staff without political involvement — they’re more like building permits than rezonings, making sure existing rules are followed rather than changing them — though if a project is big and high-profile enough there can be neighbourhood presentations and a planning committee vote.

The fact the site is in the downtown core means even a site-plan application triggers an assessment by the city’s urban-design review panel. That’s a group of seven architects and urban planners, mostly from Toronto, who give an opinion on large and high-profile projects. Their advice isn’t binding but a firm thumbs-up or -down will influence politicians’ thinking. They’ve seen two iterations of the plans already, Jacobs says.

Design approval

This is the biggie, mainly because it’s in the hands of the National Capital Commission. The Château Laurier itself is on private land but it impinges on federal land all over, including Major’s Hill Park and Mackenzie Avenue (which is part of the NCC’s ceremonial “Confederation Boulevard”). The hotel can’t interfere with views of Parliament Hill or with the Rideau Canal’s status as a world-heritage site.

The commission’s board of directors gets to vote on the design of major changes to any building that’ll affect important symbols in the capital. The NCC has its own design-review panel to advise it, comprising architects and planners from coast to coast.

Larco has already had two meetings with that panel to get advice, without yet having submitted a formal application.

Unlike the city’s decisions, which can be appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, the NCC board’s votes can only be taken to the federal cabinet to be overturned. Catherine McKenna, the Ottawa Centre MP and senior Liberal minister in the capital, has used Twitter to praise Ottawans for speaking their minds on the plan.

"It is great to see the passion about @fairmontlaurier. Love that residents are owning their Ottawa!"

This doesn’t sound like someone who’s itching to charge to Larco’s defence.

Heritage approval

The Château Laurier is a “designated” heritage structure under Ontario law, which means it’s on an official list of protected buildings. If you want to change such a building, you need approval from city council. That starts with an application that gets assessed by a subcommittee of city council’s planning committee, augmented by a handful of heritage architects and other specialists. They pass their recommendation on to council’s planning committee, which passes it on to the full city council.

Larco’s plans don’t involve messing with the front face of the Château, which makes things easier, but practically every view of the building is important and distinctive, and you tack things onto it at your peril.

These days, the orthodoxy on additions to heritage buildings is that new parts should complement the old parts but not copy them — they should be “physically and visually compatible with, subordinate to and distinguishable from the historic” elements.

Let’s eyeball Larco’s plans:

Physically and visually compatible? Hmm. Materials play a role here, but for most people this is where the Château plan falls down.

Subordinate to? Yes, from every angle except directly behind. It’s not nearly as big an addition as some of the perspectives make it look. Though from Major’s Hill Park, it’s like the Château is wearing a mask.

Distinguishable from the original? Oh. Well, yes, it’s that, for sure.

None of this begins in earnest until Larco submits its paperwork to the city and the NCC. There’s no deadline for that, and no hurry except any the company’s executives feel about keeping their own schedule.

dreevely@postmedia.com
twitter.com/davidreevely

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/reevely-what-it-takes-to-add-on-to-the-chateau-laurier

rocketphish
Sep 20, 2016, 4:54 PM
Chateau Laurier expansion plans being ‘refined’

Peter Kovessy, OBJ
Published on September 19, 2016

The owners of the Chateau Laurier are making changes to their controversial plans to expand the iconic downtown hotel.

However, a Larco Investments executive says he remains optimistic that the project can still break ground next autumn and says he plans to submit a formal development application to the city next month.

“We knew the Chateau Laurier was going to attract a lot of attention,” said development director Art Phillips in an interview. “There will be an overall refinement of [our plans].”

Larco Investments purchased the Chateau Laurier in 2013 and said at the time that no major changes were planned for the historic property.

However, last week Larco unveiled its vision for adding some 200 extended-stay suites by demolishing the existing five-storey parking garage and constructing a new underground car park.

The underground parking garage alone is expected to cost up to $19.2 million, depending on the number of stalls, Mr. Phillips said.

The artistic renderings were already the fourth version of the design and incorporated some of the feedback provided by the National Capital Commission and the city’s urban design review panel, Larco stated.

However, many residents reacted angrily and condemned the expansion plans, in some cases likening the design to a spaceship or stack of shipping containers.

Mr. Phillips said he has also received “constructive” feedback that he’s forwarded to the firm’s design team.

Among the likely changes is the appearance of the roof. Mr. Phillips said some people suggested it looked too “boxy,” so architects are looking at a mansard-style roof containing four sloping sides that become steeper midway down.

“They will now be able to capture … more of the spirit of the building,” Mr. Phillips said.


What were they thinking?

Under planning rules, additions to heritage buildings are not supposed to mimic or duplicate the original structure. Instead, the new components should be “subordinate” to the historic building and have a modern appearance, Mr. Phillips said.

Viewed from the outside, the Chateau Laurier has three principal elements: the building base, a midsection containing the rooms and the top roofline.

The expansion proposes continuing all three of these elements, utilizing similar materials such as limestone and copper.

Mr. Phillips said he hopes the expansion will restore some of the sightlines of Major’s Hill Park from the Chateau Laurier that were lost when the parking garage was constructed.

“When we host the [public] information meeting [in November], rather than having the curtains drawn, we’re going to have them wide open. People can look out that window and see a concrete wall three feet away,” Mr. Phillips said.

“I’m surprised approval was ever granted for that parkade.”


[B]Extended stay market

With its expansion plans, Larco Investments is attempting to tap into a new hospitality market segment.

Rather than building traditional hotel rooms, Larco wants to construct one-, two- and three-bedroom suites marketed at guests staying 30 days or more.

Mr. Phillips said the Chateau Laurier’s proximity to the parliamentary precinct makes it attractive to diplomats, federal politicians and NGO staff who travel to Ottawa for extended periods of time.

He said it’s also an attractive business proposition for Larco Investments.

“Rather than relying on a daily occupancy rate that may or may not [materialize], you’re looking at a guaranteed rate coming in,” Mr. Phillips said, adding that the rooms can still be rented out by the day if they are vacant.

Minto Properties is currently the largest extended-stay and furnished suite provider in Ottawa with 213 units, according to OBJ’s Book of Lists.

http://www.obj.ca/Local/Tourism/2016-09-19/article-4644735/Chateau-Laurier-expansion-plans-being-%26lsquo%3Brefined%26rsquo%3B/1

rocketphish
Sep 20, 2016, 5:01 PM
Heritage Ottawa worried proposed Château additions are ‘ultimately inappropriate’

Susana Mas, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: September 20, 2016 | Last Updated: September 20, 2016 11:04 AM EDT

Heritage Ottawa says it’s worried that the proposed additions to the Château Laurier do not meet the criteria for the conservation of historic buildings and are “ultimately inappropriate.”

In an open letter, the non-profit group of volunteers wades into the controversy that has gripped an angry public after the owners of the Château made public their plans for the proposed expansion of the historic hotel last week.

“Heritage Ottawa is concerned that the proposed addition to the Château Laurier, as presented last week by Larco Investments, fails to satisfy the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada,” said the letter posted on Heritage Ottawa’s website (https://heritageottawa.org/news/heritage-ottawa-remarks-proposed-addition-chateau-laurier) Monday.

At the centre of the debate are two condo-like structures that would sit behind the east and west wings of the hotel. The proposed box-shaped additions would house one-, two- and three-bedroom long-term suites. The plan also includes new underground parking and the greening of four roofs.

“A compatible addition to the Château Laurier must respond sensitively to the heritage character of the original building and its exceptional site,” Heritage Ottawa said.

The group, which expects to have an official say in the matter, goes on to argue that the site around the Château includes “iconic views” which “are invaluable elements of Ottawa’s heritage character that deserve to be honoured, respected and preserved by sensitive height, massing and overall design of any new addition to the Château Laurier.”

Achieving a balance between the old and the new is “a complex” matter for which “no recipe” exists, Heritage Ottawa said.

Art Phillips, the director of development for Larco Investments Ltd. which owns the Fairmont Château Laurier, has repeatedly maintained that the proposed plan does follow those guidelines.

Nevertheless, Heritage Canada said it’s concerned that the plan is “ultimately inappropriate to the heritage character of the Château” and its surroundings.

The group said it will push for “a solution of architectural excellence that honours its heritage value.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/heritage-ottawa-worried-proposed-chateau-additions-are-ultimately-inappropriate

Mille Sabords
Sep 20, 2016, 9:31 PM
Nein. the real reason is that Modernist manifesto has purged the language of ornamentation from architecture, and vilified it as degenerate. Read about Adolf Loos' Ornament and Crime (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ornament_and_Crime) and you see that contemporary architects are still buying that shitte. It's kind of like using another Adolf's 'Mein Kampf" to guide social policies today. Loos basically reasoned that only degenerates and criminals had tattoos, therefore decoration was a crime that desecrates the purity and honesty of surfaces. Ironic that tattooing has gotten into vogue lately.

Establishment architects frown on revivalist architecture because it has been engrained in them that it is dishonest and does not reflect contemporary values and culture. I guess the soul-less boxes do?

Bravo. My sentiment exactly. Why should we deprive ourselves of architectural styles we know we like? Human history is full of revivalisms. Inventions are meant to be used. Styles too.

I agree with those who say that we should see the extension in exactly the same architectural style with exactly the same materials. Nothing less. Then we should also move onto another big question that is absent from this whole debate: opening a new facade onto Major Hill's Park. Right now it's a blank wall because it's the parkade. With a new wing comes the opportunity to create a new interface and public realm between the ground floor of that addition and the park. I see a wide paved esplanade with nice lamp posts, as they have along the balustrade overlooking the locks, with dining areas.

Uhuniau
Sep 21, 2016, 4:54 PM
Bravo. My sentiment exactly. Why should we deprive ourselves of architectural styles we know we like? Human history is full of revivalisms. Inventions are meant to be used. Styles too.

I agree with those who say that we should see the extension in exactly the same architectural style with exactly the same materials. Nothing less. Then we should also move onto another big question that is absent from this whole debate: opening a new facade onto Major Hill's Park. Right now it's a blank wall because it's the parkade. With a new wing comes the opportunity to create a new interface and public realm between the ground floor of that addition and the park. I see a wide paved esplanade with nice lamp posts, as they have along the balustrade overlooking the locks, with dining areas.

Never underestimate the ability of Ottawa building owners and designers to present their buildings ass-first to the street or other public realm, and the ability of city council to fawn all over such ass-ugly buildings or renos as they rubber-stamp the necessary approvals.

lrt's friend
Sep 21, 2016, 5:28 PM
It is all about building something as cheaply as possible and to maximize revenue. Ornamentation costs money.

Kitchissippi
Sep 21, 2016, 6:18 PM
It would be nice if the part facing the park is reminiscent of an "orangerie" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orangery). Many chateaux and palaces in Europe have them, a room where the would take in potted orange trees in the winter to protect from frost. They've turned some of them into restaurants.

Paris Bagatelle Orangerie
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8307/29545482230_da0d0e2640_b.jpg

Kensington Palace Orangery
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8079/29545482920_78d8147244_b.jpg

lrt's friend
Sep 21, 2016, 8:23 PM
Typically an orangerie would face south, so you wouldn't get this beautiful sunlight given its north facing location but overall I like the concept of something with a more traditional look.

hotwheels
Sep 21, 2016, 9:33 PM
Château Laurier Expansion Plan Draws Mixed Reaction
(http://skyrisecities.com/news/2016/09/chateau-laurier-expansion-plan-draws-mixed-reaction)
Designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1981, the Fairmont Château Laurier is Ottawa's pre-eminent hotel. Located just east of the Canadian Parliament Buildings, the 429-room hotel has undergone several expansions and renovations since it was first opened in 1912. But its next major modernization is causing furor among some influential citizens of the nation's capital.

rocketphish
Sep 21, 2016, 10:15 PM
Château Laurier Expansion Plan Draws Mixed Reaction
(http://skyrisecities.com/news/2016/09/chateau-laurier-expansion-plan-draws-mixed-reaction)

Yes... that's what this entire thread is about.

kwoldtimer
Sep 21, 2016, 10:41 PM
By "mixed reaction", they mean a mix of negative and very negative opinions. ;)

whatnext
Sep 22, 2016, 11:13 PM
[B]Chateau Laurier expansion plans being ‘refined’



Hopefully "being refined" means thrown in the dumpster, set alight and whoever proposed it banished to the cupboard under the stairs.

rocketphish
Oct 17, 2016, 3:06 AM
Château Laurier owners delay formal expansion submission in gesture of good faith

Susana Mas, The Ottawa Citizen
Published on: October 16, 2016 | Last Updated: October 16, 2016 9:50 PM EDT

The owners of the historic Château Laurier say they will delay making a formal submission to the City of Ottawa for a controversial expansion project in a bid to seek more feedback from the community first.

Plans unveiled last month for two proposed additions to the iconic hotel drew a flurry of criticism from the public, particularly on social media, heritage critics and the mayor.

Art Phillips, the director of development for Larco Investments Ltd., which represents the owners of the Fairmont Château Laurier, said at the time that a formal application with the city would be filed this month.

“I’m going to meet with the community first and then make a submission,” Phillips said in a phone interview on Sunday.

“After all the response we received the last time, I thought we would demonstrate to the community … that we are listening and that they’ll see changes.”

Phillips said a public consultation meeting is still on track to be held sometime in mid-November at the Château Laurier.

A new website is also expected to be ready by the end of this month, he said.

The current proposal also includes a new courtyard, the greening of four roofs, and a new underground parking garage open to hotel guests and the public.

According to Phillips, the architects “are still in the process of updating the drawings” based on the feedback they received, while also staying within the guidelines for the conservation of historic places.

“They’ll be presenting this to the public at the end of next month.”

Phillips said while the initial response was “quite intense,” it lasted less than a week and resulted in approximately 60 people or so writing in with formal comments.

After a formal application is made with the city, Phillips said the owners hope to hold at least one more public consultation meeting before submitting a final plan for approval sometime in 2017.

smas@postmedia.com
twitter.com/susanamas

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/chateau-laurier-owners-delay-formal-expansion-submission-in-gesture-of-good-faith

Harley613
Oct 17, 2016, 4:03 AM
Yeahhhh...somehow I don't think 'updating the drawings' will reduce the public's ire here. This should be more of a 'back to the drawing board' thing.

eemy
Oct 17, 2016, 11:00 AM
I don't know; I think most of the objections were due to the font choice, personally.

Mille Sabords
Oct 21, 2016, 2:33 AM
It still says "while also staying within the guidelines for the conservation of historic places" which is code for "it'll be designed in a modern architectural style."

This is the central issue. Personally, I think it should be designed in exactly the same architectural style as the original. I'm not willing to leave the expansion of such a key landmark building to the hopeful chance that the modern wing will be successful. For each Sir John A. Macdonald success there are a hundred underwhelming, soul-killing, could've-been's, missed opportunities, clumsies, horribles and blands that just don't have any place in a case like this one.

We know that the original château style is loved. We know that a modern addition has maybe a 5% chance of being so good that it will be written about world-wide and admired as the next touchstone of our urban silhouette. This is not just any building. This one can't possibly settle for "all right". It has to be of the highest calibre. And because of the size and mass of the proposed addition, in my view it can only be successful as an exact Château style addition. Nothing less.

Harley613
Oct 21, 2016, 4:08 AM
It still says "while also staying within the guidelines for the conservation of historic places" which is code for "it'll be designed in a modern architectural style."

This is the central issue. Personally, I think it should be designed in exactly the same architectural style as the original. I'm not willing to leave the expansion of such a key landmark building to the hopeful chance that the modern wing will be successful. For each Sir John A. Macdonald success there are a hundred underwhelming, soul-killing, could've-been's, missed opportunities, clumsies, horribles and blands that just don't have any place in a case like this one.

We know that the original château style is loved. We know that a modern addition has maybe a 5% chance of being so good that it will be written about world-wide and admired as the next touchstone of our urban silhouette. This is not just any building. This one can't possibly settle for "all right". It has to be of the highest calibre. And because of the size and mass of the proposed addition, in my view it can only be successful as an exact Château style addition. Nothing less.

I completely wholeheartedly agree. Imagine a modern juxtaposed annex to the Chateau Frontenac? The Chateau Lake Louise? The Banff Springs Hotel? This is unprecedented, none of the great railroad hotels has received a modern annex...because it would look ridiculous. I am so pissed off about this whole situation.

lrt's friend
Oct 21, 2016, 4:31 AM
Other than the Parliament Buildings themselves, this is the next most iconic building in Ottawa. Any addition must meet this high standard.

rocketphish
Nov 15, 2016, 12:56 AM
Château Laurier design team ready to reveal updated expansion plans

Vito Pilieci, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: November 14, 2016 | Last Updated: November 14, 2016 7:32 PM EST

The design team working on a new expansion for the historic Fairmont Château Laurier is ready to reveal new expansion plans for the iconic building after a first submission drew widespread criticism from Ottawa residents.

The first set of plans for the hotel featured two box-shaped modern additions made of stone and steel, and many felt it stood in stark contrast with the character of the Château.

The building, which features an architectural style echoing French châteaus of the 16th and 17th centuries, has been a cherished icon since the hotel first opened its doors in 1912.

Today, the Fairmont Château Laurier is federally recognized as a National Historic Site of Canada and is designated as a heritage building under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act.

The hotel is owned by the Capital Hotel Limited Partnership. The partnership is being represented by Larco Investments Ltd. during the expansion planning process. The owners have repeatedly expressed their desire to add more modern or “contemporary” design elements to the building through the new addition.

The addition will include building new long-term-stay suites, creating a new courtyard and replacing an aging five-storey parking lot with new underground parking that would provide hotel guests and the public at large with approximately 100 additional spaces.

The original plans revealed in September were universally panned by the public. The plans even attracted the opinion of Ontario’s premier, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and several prominent politicians who all waded into the debate and criticized the design.

The submission also raised eyebrows at Heritage Ottawa, which admitted it was concerned the proposed addition to the Fairmont Château Laurier failed to satisfy the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

The criticism led to a rethinking of the design by the owners, who are now ready to present a new vision for the expansion to the public. The public reveal of the new plans will take place at the Fairmont Château Laurier on Thursday in the Laurier Ballroom at 7 p.m. Registration for the event begins at 6:30 p.m.

However, residents who are expecting drastic changes from the first plan may be in for disappointment. While no one from Larco would reveal any details about the altered plans, a “Frequently Asked Questions” tab on the website where information about the expansion is being disseminated says the designers are still proposing a “modern architectural design” for the new space.

“The addition will offer a modern interpretation of the heritage character of the Château with a vocabulary of Indiana limestone, glass and copper,” it states. “The separated wings, massing and set-back upper floors are compatible with the Château’s existing roofscape silhouette, and provides a dignified and deferential response to this iconic building.”

http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/chateau-laurier-design-team-ready-to-reveal-updated-expansion-plans