Modernist vision unveiled for a renovated Lansdowne

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By David Reevely, The Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — Refined plans for a renovated Lansdowne Park have a Modernist bent, with lots of glass and right angles, and a major renovation to the existing Horticulture Building.

Tuesday morning, the city showed off the "completed work" of four architects and designers who've been working on the various elements of the quarter-billion-dollar renovation project. They're tried to turn a plan with disparate elements (a fixed-up Frank Clair Stadium, a new urban park, a moved and reopened Horticulture Building, and new commercial and residential space) into one cohesive project, said the chair of council's planning committee Peter Hume, and they're proud of what they've achieved.

From 30,000 feet, the plans are little changed from what council approved last summer — roughly the same buildings and park elements are proposed for the same places. Frank Clair Stadium still gets a major facelift, including new south-side stands with a sweeping wooden "veil" facing the Rideau Canal. But in the details, much has evolved.

Le nouveau Lansdowne au millimètre près

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François Pierre Dufault, Le Droit

Les plans du nouveau Lansdowne sont presque arrivés au bout de la chaîne de montage. Si ce n'est de l'apparence des étages supérieurs de trois tours à condominiums le long de la rue Bank, on sait maintenant à quoi ressemblera le parc urbain d'Ottawa, au millimètre près, lorsqu'il aura été revitalisé de A à Z.

Mardi, la Ville d'Ottawa et son partenaire, l'Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group (OSEG), ont dévoilé les premiers plans détaillés du projet évalué à 300 millions $. Si de nouvelles esquissent ont accompagné chaque étape du projet depuis cinq ans, c'est la première fois que toutes les pièces du puzzle sont réunies et qu'elles sont bien arrimées les unes aux autres.

Les grandes lignes du projet demeurent les mêmes. C'est au niveau des détails que le projet a «beaucoup évolué», selon le promoteur Roger Greenberg, à la tête de l'OSEG.

Le sort du pavillon de l'Horticulture semble scellé à la faveur de tous, y compris les plus opposés à son déménagement d'une centaine de mètres sur le site. Les espaces verts domineront à l'arrière du pavillon Aberdeen et d'un stade Frank-Clair entièrement rénové. Les plans des nouveaux édifices commerciaux et résidentiels le long de la rue Bank et de l'avenue Holmwood ont été retouchés pour qu'ils s'harmonisent mieux aux environs.

Le projet de revitalisation du parc Lansdowne fait toujours l'objet de deux poursuites devant les tribunaux. La Ville d'Ottawa ne semble pas s'en préoccuper outre mesure, avouant même ne pas avoir de plan B.

New Lansdowne plan will be 'green'

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Councillor says Lansdowne design review full of "conflict", creating a "very difficult" process

CBC News

The latest design for Lansdowne Park was unveiled Tuesday morning with plans for a greener park than originally planned.

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson announced the new integrated plan, which included four different landscape architects, will have 880 trees and three times more green space than first thought.

The plans also include a large lawn, the "green heart" of Lansdowne's urban park, where sledding could take place during the winter. Watson called the plan "green" and "not shades of black and grey".

Hovering over the green space, if current plans carry forward, are nine towers with residential and commercial use. The photos provided Tuesday are incomplete, architect John Clifford said, as the towers have not been designed yet.

Revised Lansdowne plans scheduled for release

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Presentation at City Hall to include updated drawings for site

By David Reevely, Ottawa Citizen

New drawings showing updated plans for Lansdowne Park were scheduled to be released at 9: 30 a.m.

The presentation, in the city council chamber at City Hall, was to include the architects and designers working on each of the project's major features: Robert Claiborne on the renovations to Frank Clair Stadium; Jeffrey Staats on the new urban park to replace the parking lots on the southern and eastern parts of the site; Julian Smith on moving the Horticulture Building; and John Clifford on the "mixed-use area," the commercial and residential buildings to be erected on the northern third of the property.

"The 90-minute presentation will cover the details, sightlines, building materials, architecture and landscape plans for Lansdowne Park," said a memo from city manager Kent Kirkpatrick to city councillors. It represents the designers' "completed work," he wrote.

On Monday afternoon, the council chamber was guarded by city hall security guards, who stood in front of the drapes used to obscure the view inside for city council meetings in closed session to consider labour, legal or personnel matters. By evening, the room was open again and as empty as it usually is when it's not in use, suggesting a technical rehearsal had been conducted.

Capital Councillor David Chernushenko said Friday that the public session would be within the next two weeks, sometime before a meeting of city council's finance committee on Feb. 16. That's the same meeting at which the future of the city-owned baseball stadium on Coventry Road is on the agenda, and it was postponed, according to Mayor Jim Watson, because multiple items due for consideration wouldn't be ready. He said at the time that he couldn't remember what the other matters were.