Wellington Building

Wellington Building

Parliaments
Ottawa, Canada
PHOTOS COURTESY OF: NORR Architects & Engineers Limited and doublespace photography

Wellington Building Rehabilitation

Norr Architects as Architects

The 180 Wellington project takes an insurance company office building, originally built in 1927 and expanded in 1959, replaces and upgrades the mechanical, electrical systems and seismic capacity and transforms it into swing space for the Government of Canada House of Commons. The Beaux Arts building shell and the few remaining character defining heritage rooms on the ground floor are preserved, restored and used as the inspiration for the interior design of the rest of the complex. Original entryways are re-envisioned as entrances for MPs and the public. A new public space area hads also been created.


The public circulation area has a circular design delivering visitors to break out spaces providing extensive views of Parliament hill, multipurpose rooms, and a new two story Library of Parliament which features copper recycled from the 1927 roof. 


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The 180 Wellington project takes an insurance company office building, originally built in 1927 and expanded in 1959, replaces and upgrades the mechanical, electrical systems and seismic capacity and transforms it into swing space for the Government of Canada House of Commons. The Beaux Arts building shell and the few remaining character defining heritage rooms on the ground floor are preserved, restored and used as the inspiration for the interior design of the rest of the complex. The original northern 1927 heritage entry access is developed as the private entry for Members of Parliament while the southern 1959 entry is reconstructed and transformed into an entry for the public. In order to provide access to the upper level Multi-purpose rooms a new public space system has been developed that includes a 2 storey ground floor atrium with a green wall, spiral stair and a 3 storey escalator all located in the heart of the building recreating a light well that was previously in that location.


The public circulation extends up to the 3rd and 4th floors where the public space is organized in a manner reminiscent of the ground floor beaux arts organization. The circulation system delivers the public to break out spaces located along the north and south exterior façade. These serve the adjacent multipurpose rooms and provide views of the Corinthian column capitals of the heritage façade as well as Parliament Hill and the surrounding cityscape. The culmination of the grand space system is the satellite Library of Parliament facility a two storey space with a skylight above. The library walls consist of acoustical wood panels below with sculptural copper shells in front of a perforated copper acoustic wall backing above all constructed from copper recycled from the historic 1927 roof that was replaced as part of the project.


Living Wall Biofilter an Integral Feature in Historic Wellington Building Renovation

Nedlaw Living Walls as Manufacturers

Located across from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, the Wellington Building was constructed in 1927 and expanded in 1959. From 2010 to 2016 the building was completely renovated and rehabilitated with the intent to help green government operations by reducing Parliament’s environmental footprint. The building now serves as the new House of Commons.

 

The 1959 entrance was reconstructed and transformed into a public entrance. A key design feature of this 2-storey ground floor atrium is a living wall biofilter. In addition to aesthetic pleasure, the wall also serves to conceal an escalator an also purifies the air and contributes to the humidity levels of the atrium space. Unlike typical parliament buildings, the new facility is embedded in the urban city fabric, so the addition of the living wall can be seen as a link back to that more bucolic setting.


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Located across from Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, the Wellington Building was constructed in 1927 for the Metropolitan Insurance Company and expanded in 1959. Acquired by the Crown in 1973, the Building was completely renovated from 2010 – 2016. The Wellington Building was rehabilitated with the intent to help green government operations by reducing Parliament’s environmental footprint. The building now serves as the new House of Commons.

 

The 1959 entrance was reconstructed and transformed into a public entrance; this 2-storey ground floor atrium features a living wall biofilter, spiral stair and a 3-storey escalator - all located in the heart of the building and recreating a light well that was previously in that location. The large green wall is a symbolic expression of this previous exterior character, as well as a key feature in the space. It provides a lush and engaging climax to the main public entrance and conceals the escalator that rises up to the 3rd floor where the public event spaces are located. This new House of Commons facility is embedded in the urban city fabric, unlike the typical parliament buildings to the north that are like pavilions in a park. The living wall can be seen as a link back to that more bucolic setting.

 

This living wall biofilter is not only for aesthetic; it is also purifies the air. Biological microbes on the plant root system degrade pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene into harmless constituents of water and carbon dioxide, and the clean is returned to the space. The biofilter also filters fine particles such as dust and spores. Additionally, the living wall biofilter contributes to the humidity levels of the atrium space. As such, the living wall system is contributing innovation points to the Green Globes rating of the building.

 

The Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilter in the Wellington Building is 420 square feet / 37 square metres.

Archello

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