Ottawa, ON, Canada (2010)
Lansdowne Park has been Ottawa’s exhibition ground and a place for gathering and sports for over 150 years; it is one of the most significant public open spaces in the nation’s capital. In recent years the park has become increasingly disconnected from the life of the city and from the adjacent Rideau Canal, a newly designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. An MVVA-led team was one of five finalists in an international competition to bring new life to Lansdowne.
The MVVA team worked with the requirements of multiple federal and city stakeholders including Parks Canada, the National Capital Commission, and the City of Ottawa, as well as a commercial development group, to shape a vision for the park. Our point of departure was the belief that by considering the public open space and private development goals as an integrated whole, we could draw upon the history of the park as a place of recreation and of commerce to create a place that would be both a lively, vibrant part of the city, and a beautiful and inviting new part of the historic Rideau Canal landscape.
The design was centered on the historic Aberdeen Pavilion, with four distinct landscapes around it. To the east a new inlet from the Rideau recreated the water access between the park and the canal, connecting to downtown Ottawa. To the north playgrounds, shade trees, and seating areas created a new connection to the adjacent neighborhoods. To the south a great lawn and new landforms embracing the sports stadium created places for large regional events. To the west, development along Bank Street and an expanded farmers market strengthened connections to the city.