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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2020, 3:07 PM
kwoldtimer kwoldtimer is offline
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Originally Posted by acottawa View Post
There is a lot of unused space in that building.

The Brits also went all in on various employee-unfriendly office configurations before Canada did, so they are probably not allocating much space per employee.

They only seem to have 27 diplomats in Ottawa.
https://w05.international.gc.ca/Prot...247.1578637285

(there is local staff on top of that)
I assume they employ under 100 people in total. Can’t imagine how they’d need more than that.

(Interesting to see that Global Affairs still publishes a list of foreign reps in Canada - they dropped the Canadian Reps abroad publication years ago, allegedly for security reasons).
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 10, 2020, 9:52 PM
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Way too boring for such a visible site that can be viewed from many angles. Maybe I've watched too many episodes of Occupied, but a mini version of this building could be interesting:

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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2020, 3:13 AM
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Architects go through design gauntlet in planning new British High Commission at Earnscliffe property
The high commission's architecture consultants faced the city's urban design review panel on Friday to hear what experts thought of the concept for a new three-storey office building.

Jon Willing, Ottawa Citizen
Updated: January 10, 2020




A new three-storey British High Commission building nestled in the lush riverfront property of Earnscliffe is challenging architects to complement the existing historic residence with a contemporary office along Ottawa’s Confederation Boulevard.

The British government is moving its Canadian diplomatic headquarters from Elgin Street to the Earnscliffe property at 140 Sussex Dr., which the British government purchased in 1930 for the high commissioner’s official residence.

The residence, a Gothic Revival stone house dating back to 1855 that was once home to Sir John A. Macdonald and was declared a National Historic Site in 1960, will remain on the land. However, the high commission’s development plan calls for the demolition of an unused office building that is shuttered and has no heritage protection.

The high commission’s architecture consultants faced the city’s urban design review panel on Friday to hear what experts thought of the concept. The design gauntlet is a chance for project architects to receive compliments and criticisms from their peers, who are assembled by the city to provide objective analysis of proposed building designs in key locations.

HOK Architects’ Andrew Butler walked the panel through the renderings, describing the firm’s challenge of making sure the new building fulfilled the “obligations” of being along Confederation Boulevard, which is the national ceremonial route on Wellington Street in front of the Parliament Buildings, along Sussex Drive and across to Gatineau’s Laurier Street.

The concept so far calls for a white, grey and black building, with architects trying to match the colour scheme of the house. The materials include limestone and white porcelain panels.

The roughly 1,600-square-metre building would be between two and three storeys high, with the shorter side facing the residence in an effort not to overwhelm the stately home. The three-storey portion of the building would have its upper floor sitting among the treetops, except for the upper mechanical penthouse that would peak just above them.

Panel members encouraged the architects to put more thought into the mechanical penthouse, noticing that the view from the Ottawa River drew unfortunate attention to a black-coloured cap on the building. It was an observation with which Butler agreed.

Panel member John Stewart suggested the hulking Global Affairs Canada building across Sussex Drive was the “elephant in the room” when it came to blending a new building with the surroundings. Stewart wondered if the brilliant white colour of the building might become a “jarring element” in the landscape, although fellow panel member Heather Rolleston complemented the architects for using “handsome and impressive” materials.

Panel chairman David Leinster flagged the development’s impact to the existing trees, urging the architects to give “serious consideration” to the trees that needed to be chopped down.

A tree conservation report filed with the development application says removal of about two dozen trees is recommended to make way for the office building. None of the trees are considered rare.

The proposed development would largely comply with the city’s official plan and zoning rules for the land, but the city says the high commission will require minor variances.

The National Capital Commission has also received the development proposal for review since its land borders the Earnscliffe land.

The future of the current high commission building at 80 Elgin St., between Queen and Albert streets, is unknown. The high commission, which moved into the building in 1964, says it will divest itself, but there still isn’t a decision on the timeline and prospective buyers. There’s simply too much building for the high commission’s current needs, prompting the plan to consolidate diplomatic staff at Earnscliffe.

The panel heard 60 people would be working in the new office building.

The final construction cost for the new building is still being determined, the high commission said. The opening is eyed for early 2022.

jwilling@postmedia.com
twitter.com/JonathanWilling

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local...liffe-property

Last edited by rocketphish; Jan 11, 2020 at 6:40 PM. Reason: Updated imagery
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  #24  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2020, 2:56 PM
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Pomerleau wins contract to construct new British High Commission building

OBJ Staff
November 3, 2020


A Quebec-based firm has won a lucrative contract to construct what’s being billed as the “greenest” British High Commission building in the world on Sussex Drive.

Pomerleau will be in charge of the $35-million project to replace the existing High Commission building at 80 Elgin St. The United Kingdom’s new diplomatic headquarters in Ottawa will be constructed next to the British High Commissioner’s residence at the Earnscliffe National Historic Site at 140 Sussex Dr.

The British High Commission says the new building will be constructed using locally sourced recycled materials and will incorporate “state-of-the-art” solar technology. The country’s new diplomatic headquarters will also feature charging stations for electric vehicles and is expected to use up to 40 per cent less water than similar-sized buildings.

The current structure on Elgin Street is now 60 years old, and the High Commission says major infrastructure and ongoing maintenance mean it is “no longer economically feasible to maintain.” The new building is expected to be completed in 2022.
https://obj.ca/article/real-estate/c...igh-commission
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  #25  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2020, 2:58 PM
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I hope that whoever takes over the building on Elgin will preserve it. One of the best International Style examples in Ottawa. A slim tower could be added at the back.
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  #26  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2020, 7:14 PM
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  #27  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2020, 11:05 PM
Richard Eade Richard Eade is offline
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I'm sure that someone else has thought of it, but those large over-hanging rooms are going to be expensive to keep warm in the fall, winter, and spring. They might look 'neat', but it is far from energy efficient.
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  #28  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 12:49 PM
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Latest British invasion of Ottawa — on Sussex Drive, PM's doorstep
The British High Commission reports it is going to sell 80 Elgin St., which it purpose-built in 1962-63.

Kelly Egan, Ottawa Citizen
Publishing date: Nov 19, 2020 • Last Updated 51 minutes ago • 4 minute read




Some 200 years after Lt.-Col. John By started digging the Rideau Canal, the Brits aren’t done with shaping Ottawa as a capital — only now more quietly.

Though it received little attention, the British High Commission announced earlier this month it had awarded a contract for a new office building on the grounds of Earnscliffe, the Sussex Drive estate that has served, since 1930, as the home of the high commissioner.

Two immediate questions: What does this do to Earnscliffe, the home where Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister, lived and died, and what stroke of opportunity arises by vacating 80 Elgin St., one of the capital’s most strategic addresses?

The residence at Earnscliffe, which has magnificent views of the Ottawa River, is a national historic site and it has often been expressed that Canada made a mistake selling it to the U.K. — the kind of guardianship failure only reinforced by our disgraceful treatment of 24 Sussex Dr., just a short walk to the east.

The heritage concern is further underlined by the plan to build the new structure by demolishing an old “office” building at Earnscliffe that began life as stables, probably built and used by Sir John A. himself. First his house, now his horse — so much for our stewardship of Canadiana. (The old building has no heritage protection.)

The plans were shown to Heritage Ottawa about a year ago. President Richard Belliveau said the reaction was generally positive, but he has concerns about the profile of the project along Sussex on a site across from the landmark Global Affairs headquarters.

“For the most part, it’s quite an elegant design and would fit quite well along Sussex,” Belliveau said. “But the question becomes is any of this going to become an attaint to the historic property that is Earnscliffe?”

He’s making reference to something not shown in the pretty pictures released by the High Commission: the substantial steel fence, a heavy gate and a guardhouse through which visitors must be checked — what the passerby will see from the sidewalk.

(This is, after all, the high-profile embassy of the 21st century — near fortresses with offices attached.)

In drawings, the modern design looks like a set of teetered or “cantilevered” boxes, two and three storeys high, about 18,000 square feet in total, set on the Sussex side of the one-acre property, with 26 parking spaces.

While there have been voices over the years urging Canada to reclaim Earnscliffe, Belliveau and others credit the Brits for doing a good job at preserving the Gothic Revival house — they’ve poured millions into it — and questions, in 2020, just what a government agency would do with it.

Look, after all, at the shambles we’ve made of 24 Sussex, the official residence of the prime minister: unoccupied for years, without much of a plan going forward.

The High Commission reports it is going to sell 80 Elgin, which it purpose-built in 1962-63. It is, for one thing, way too big, at 62,000 square feet, large enough to house some 220 employees in 1964, whereas the new building will only have about 60.



The location is prime and the view from the upper floors is magnificent. It sits across from the National Arts Centre and is perched on the edge of Confederation Square and the National War Memorial. The best allies, so is it true on diplomatic row, get the best digs.

Architect and heritage advocate Barry Padolsky is old enough to remember the era when the building went up. He said the National Capital Commission insisted it be set back to create a kind of “city wall” on the upper end of Elgin, with a height that matched important neighbours like the Chambers building, Langevin Block and the Lord Elgin Hotel.

It was all part of the master Gréber plan to create a mini-Champs Élysées, or grand alley that gave way to the memorial square and the parliamentary precinct.

But now what? As Padolsky points out, the federal government — a logical buyer — is likely not in an office-expansion mode and its record in converting high-profile buildings — the old U.S. Embassy on Wellington — is patchy.

(It might have made a nice location for the new main branch of the Ottawa library, but, alas, that ship has sailed.)

Padolsky guesses that a private developer might want to intensify use of the site by building on a backside parking lot. Boutique hotel? High-end condo? Who knows?

“I think it’s a great property and I’m sure that whoever buys it will want to exploit its location, location, location.”

The wait may not be long. The High Commission hopes to move into its new offices in 2022.

To contact Kelly Egan, please call 613-291-6265 or email kegan@postmedia.com
Twitter.com/kellyegancolumn

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/local...e-pms-doorstep
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  #29  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 1:36 PM
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I'm hoping whomever purchases the old Commission preserves its architecture and character. Fantastic example of mid-century modernism.
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  #30  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 2:14 PM
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Ironic that a former stable will now be a garage (let's face it, that's what it looks like).
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  #31  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 3:28 PM
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Originally Posted by J.OT13 View Post
I'm hoping whomever purchases the old Commission preserves its architecture and character. Fantastic example of mid-century modernism.
I hope they can knockout those morose red granite ground-level panels and have street retail, though. That would really open up that building. Those spaces would be great for cafes and restaurants like the Nando’s next door which has a patio overlooking Elgin.
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  #32  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2020, 3:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Kitchissippi View Post
I hope they can knockout those morose red granite ground-level panels and have street retail, though. That would really open up that building. Those spaces would be great for cafes and restaurants like the Nando’s next door which has a patio overlooking Elgin.
I hope so as well. I wonder if those were a later "security" addition.
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  #33  
Old Posted Jun 17, 2021, 11:32 AM
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There's a large crane up here now.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2021, 9:04 AM
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Originally Posted by rocketphish View Post
There's a large crane up here now.
That is a fat crane!
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