This is something you would expect our high salaried residents of City Hall to do. Take a historic iconic structure such as Marina Park’s CN Train Station and surround it with a dogs’s breakfast of architecture that have no thematic or design continuity.
Architecture battle grips Canada’s capital amid fears the Chateau Laurier is about to be ruined
But when it involves the landmark Chateau Laurier hotel, the turreted jewel of the postcard landscape alongside the Parliament buildings and the Rideau Canal, the stakes get higher.
“This is going to, as it currently stands, disfigure an iconic, famous, important, beautiful scene at the heart of our capital city,” said Peter Coffman, an architectural historian and professor at Carleton University. “And I honestly can’t think of another country in the world, at least not one that I’ve ever visited, that would allow this to happen.”
The battle is over an addition to the back of the Chateau Laurier that would add 147 hotel rooms. But while the main part of the hotel, built in 1912 and expanded in 1927, is in the French chateau style — with towers and turrets and steep copper roofs — the addition is designed as a modern-style box. Critics have variously described it as a “shipping container,” a “radiator,” and an “air-conditioning unit.”
When the proposed addition was unveiled in 2016, it was met with widespread public outrage. Since then it’s gone through five revisions and been reduced from 12 storeys to seven. Ottawa city staff say the latest edition meets all the established criteria.
But city council is still deeply divided over the issue, and next week it will vote on whether to revoke the addition’s heritage permit. It may be the last chance for elected politicians to formally weigh in on the matter.
Dennis Jacobs, a former director of planning with the City of Ottawa, was hired to manage the addition by the hotel’s ownership, Larco Investments. Jacobs points to the fact the hotel used to have a parking garage and service facilities out back, and argues the new addition merges better with the park behind it while leaving the front view of the hotel unchanged.
“People don’t necessarily like change, and certainly not dramatic change,” Jacobs said in an interview. “What they want to see is a replica Disneyland version of the hotel. We can’t give them Disneyland, but they still want it. We’re giving what national heritage guidelines provide direction on in creating a compatible, subordinate addition to the hotel.” – Postmedia
read full article (with photos) here
and don’t forget the Water Garden Pavilion and the Baggage Building (CPR Freight Office)