Ottawa City Hall

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1994

Ottawa City Hall is located on Green Island in the Rideau River, perpendicular to the ceremonial route linking Parliament Hill and the residence of the Governor General. The competition-winning design integrates the existing City Hall, a landmark of Canadian Modernism, while tripling its area. The public enters through a glazed pavilion directly on the city’s ceremonial route. Beyond the 1958 tower block, low pavilions create a new municipal precinct. A subtly curving colonnaded promenade to the south forms the spine of the new building. From the west to east it opens onto the community hall, city departments, culminating in the Council chamber, and the Mayor’s pavilion. Departments requiring moderate public access are located off a secondary colonnade to the north. Between the two colonnades, a terraced garden lies at the heart of the new complex. Beginning in a formal paved courtyard to the west, it ends with a cascade of water into the Rideau River to the east. The northern walls of the new building rise dramatically out of the river – cylindrical shapes at water’s edge offsetting a tall, rectangular observation tower.

Project Type: Government

Client: City of Ottawa

Cost: C $60 million

Size: 400000


Associate Architect - Murray & Murray Associates