Library of Parliament (1859-1876)

111 Wellington Street, Ottawa, Ontario

2013 Ecclesiastical Insurance Cornerstone Award (Adaptive Reuse/Rehabilitation)

Perched on top of a steep cliff overlooking the Ottawa River, the Library of Parliament remains the most important example of Gothic Revival architecture in Canada. Designed by Thomas Fuller and Chilian Jones and built between 1859 and 1876, this Canadian icon—the only remaining structure from the original Centre Block—was extensively rehabilitated. Led by PWGSC, the scope of the project involved all elements of the building from the foundation to the weathervane. The work included restoring the masonry, copper roof and iron dome, upgrading mechanical systems and rehabilitating windows and lighting. With no blasting allowed, a staggering 4,800 cubic metres of rock were removed by mechanical means in order to excavate three storeys down. The Reading Room, often described as “the most beautiful room in Canada,” saw everything overhauled from the plastered dome above to the intricate parquet floor below. Completed in 2006, the result has seen the Library modernized to current building standards and rehabilitated to provide functional facilities. A mammoth undertaking, it has seen the Library of Parliament conserved for future generations.

Project Team: Public Works and Government Services Canada (PWGSC); Ogilvie + Hogg Architects, Lundholm Associates Architects, Spencer Higgins Architects Inc., and DMA architectes s.e.n.c.r.l.

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