Following a sharp public backlash and multiple rounds of dialogue with Ottawa staff, Larco Investments has unveiled a new design for the proposed addition to the historic Fairmont Château Laurier property. The original concept imagined two attached wings of 12 and 11 storeys with a total of 218-suite spread. The new scheme reduces the scale of the building to an eight-storey "pavilion" containing 171 suites.

View from the National War Memorial, image via Larco Investments

Changes to the proposal include swapping ground-level suites with meeting rooms and the inclusion of a glass hallway from the hotel's current corridor through to the new pavilion building. The reduced height of the building aims to improve sightlines of the historic hotel from Major's Hill Park. The hotel addition will replace an existing five-storey parking structure, but will provide 370 vehicular spaces underground.

The new design for the Château Laurier addition, image via Larco Investments

The design from Peter Clewes of Toronto-based architectsAlliance employs white steel, clear  glass and patterned frit 'rosettes' inspired from the ballroom's coffered ceilings. The intention is to give the addition a lighter appearance in contrast to the heavier limestone and copper of the 1912-built structure. The building's ballroom windows will be converted into doors leading into an interior courtyard. A green roof and landscaped gardens are also planned.

View from Major’s Hill Park, image via Larco Investments

An open house on February 28 will put the new design in front of the public for comment. The proposal will then face the City's Urban Design Review Panel and the Built Heritage Subcommittee before a recommendation to Council is prepared. Construction could begin as early as 2019.

View from the Rideau Canal, image via Larco Investments

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Related Companies:  architectsAlliance, Larco Investments