Senate of Canada Building

Senate of Canada Building wins International Architecture Award

Monday, August 23, 2021

Diamond Schmitt, in joint venture with KWC Architects, has won a 2021 International Architecture Award for its design of the Senate of Canada Building in Ottawa, Ontario.

The Senate of Canada Building received top honours in the Government Buildings category. It was among 130 projects chosen from the final shortlist of 450 projects presented to an international jury composed of distinguished architects, designers, critics and educators.

Completed in 2019, the project presented a challenging set of opportunities: restore the historic Beaux Arts train station; upgrade the facility into a modern, secure 21st-century building; and give voice to a narrative of Canadian culture and identity through craft.

The project ultimately embraces innovative and inclusive/collaborative approaches to craftsmanship and fabrication, invokes a contemporary approach to new interventions, and both complements and juxtaposes the character-defining elements of the original building.

The architectural precedents included the Gothic language of the existing parliament buildings and the Beaux-Arts Classicism of the existing train station. New approaches to techniques, technologies, fabrication, craft, procurement and implementation were used to manifest the final result. This included saving and consolidating the extraordinary plaster ceilings of the general waiting room and concourse.

“We are thrilled that our design of the Senate of Canada Building has received an International Architecture Award from the European Centre and The Chicago Atheneum,” says Don Schmitt, Principal at Diamond Schmitt. “It’s especially wonderful when Canadian excellence is recognized globally by our peers.”

The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies is presenting the award at a ceremony on September 10, near the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

On the same day, the presenting partners will open a special exhibition, “The City and the World,” at The Contemporary Space Athens. Diamond Schmitt’s winning project will be featured in this exhibition.

The International Architecture Awards are the largest and most extensive global architecture awards program in the world, honouring new skyscrapers, commercial buildings, urban plans, private residences, and real estate projects that achieve a high standard of excellence in design, construction, planning and sustainability.

The full list of winning projects is available here.

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