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National Arts Centre Rejuvenation

Diamond Schmitt

ERA Architects

Barry Padolsky Associates Inc.
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | View Map
Project Year
Cultural Centres
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Forbo Marmoleum Walton Uni, Real, PianoForbo Flooring Systems
Marmoleum Walton, Marmoleum Piano
Laminam Filo, Milano
Interface Net Effect B603, colour: Drift woodInterface
Textiles Annex W1360, colour:1 Salt, acoustic paneKnoll
Johnsonite Stringers & Risers Colour: 80FawnTarkett
No.40-Mouse's BackFarrow & Ball

Product Spec Sheet
Forbo Marmoleum Walton Uni, Real, Piano
Laminam Filo, Milano by Stonetile
Interface Net Effect B603, colour: Drift wood
Textiles Annex W1360, colour:1 Salt, acoustic pane
by Knoll
Johnsonite Stringers & Risers Colour: 80Fawn
by Tarkett
No.40-Mouse's Back

National Arts Centre Rejuvenation

Diamond Schmitt as Architects

The National Arts Centre was a Centennial project, built in the Brutalist style. It is a robust concrete structure of rigorous geometry, but sits like a dark fortress in the centre of the nation’s capital. For Canada’s 150th anniversary, the National Arts Centre’s rejuvenation project reorients and opens up the building to the city. The transformation of the NAC is an exploration in architectural transparency, relieving the opaque mass of the original and offering a new material palette. Every design decision was based on the inherent logic embedded in the original Brutalist structure, as a reinterpretation of its geometry, texture and rigor. 


Building on the original geometry, the addition is comprised of three wings of public amenity and gathering spaces. It is a transparent wrapping, revealing the creative activity inside. Contrasting the original structure, the addition offers a new material palette of wood, steel, glass and perforated bronze.The Douglas fir glulam timber coffer system provides both structural support for the roof and the finished ceiling. A highly coordinated prefabrication process met the demanding construction schedule and also showcases Canadian materials and ingenuity. The geometry of the coffers is inspired by the original building and adds a layer of texture and visual warmth to the structure. A customized hybrid steel/aluminum curtainwall system allows for larger panes of glass and a transparent building envelope.


For almost 50 years, the National Arts Centre has promoted and presented the arts from across the country and beyond in a four-stage complex that was inscrutable, where patrons had difficulty finding the entrance. This transformation projects a new and welcoming presence to the city that connects and engages the public by revealing the activity within. Designed to be Ottawa’s ‘living room’, the transparent lobby and public space activate this central location day and night with an animated presence. The new hexagonal entry tower enables digital display on a transparent screen, showcasing artistic creation from across the country, reinforcing the NAC’s role as a national institution of excellence in the performing arts.


Material Used:
1. Wilsonart - plastic laminate,"standard HPL", Frosty White 1573-60,M
2. Tarkett - Johnsonite Stringers & Risers Colour:80Fawn
3. Forbo - Forbo Marmoleum Walton Uni, colour:123 black
4. Forbo - Forbo Marmoleum Real, colour:3127 Bleecker street
5. Forbo - Forbo Marmoleum Piano, colour: 3621 sealion
6. Interface - Interface Net Effect B603,colour: Drift wood
7. Knoll - Knoll Textiles Annex W1360,colour:1 Salt, acoustic pane
8. Prattand Lambert - Paint-Off White, Chalk Gray,11-17Ox ford Deep
9. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SW7757 HIGH REFLECTIVE WHITE
10. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SWF340RELIC BRONZE METALLIC
11. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SW0037 MORRIS ROOM GREY
12. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SW7017 DORIAN GREY
13. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SW7019 GAUNTLET GRAY
14. Sherwin-Williams - Paint-SW6258 TRICORN BLACK
15. Farrow & Ball - No.40-Mouse'sBack
16. Olympia Tile+Stone - LaTerre Series-beige
17. Olympia Tile+Stone - Colour & Dimension Series-Maple Leaf
18. Olympia Tile+Stone- Colour & Dimension Series-Warm White matte
19. OlympiaTile+Stone - Quebec Series Matte2 "Hexagon, colour: Sterling Grey
20. stonetile - Laminam Filo, colour: ghisa
21. stonetile - Laminam Filo, colour: argento
22. stonetile - Milano, colour: GPG-12,finish: matte

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