The National Capital Commission (NCC) of Ottawa has launched an international design contest to transform Nepean Point into a new ‘21st-century green space’
The two-stage competition is open to multidisciplinary teams led by landscape architects eligible to practice in Ontario, and seeks ‘multi-sensory’ proposals to upgrade the 2.5ha promontory, which is surrounded by major institutions including the National Gallery of Canada and the Houses of Parliament.
The project aims to transform the historic green space into a new cultural hub featuring a performance space, viewing platform, contemporary public art installations and improved links to surrounding attractions. A landmark pedestrian bridge linking Nepean Point to nearby Major’s Hill Park will also be included.
According to the brief: ‘In concrete terms, the NCC would like to create a lively, 21st-century green space that is an inspiring source of pride for all Canadians and a new opportunity for visitors to enrich their experience of the capital and its landscapes.
‘This will also present an opportunity to enhance the connection between the site and its surroundings, including Major’s Hill Park, the National Gallery of Canada, the Royal Canadian mint, and the Global Centre for Pluralism, through improved pedestrian circulation.’
Nepean Point occupies a prominent hill overlooking the River Ottawa, and features a viewing terrace, an open air arena known as the Astrolabe Theatre and a statue of Samuel de Champlain who explored Ontario in the early 17th century.
The site is a short distance from several major cultural attractions including the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilisation alongside many restaurants, art galleries and boutiques.
he programme aims to rebrand Nepean Point as the heart of the Canadian capital’s cultural district and a place where visitors can discover the ‘Canadian soul, as well as Canadian symbols, values, poetry and way of life.’
The project will replace the ageing Astrolabe Theatre complex, which fails to meet accessibility standards, with a new performance space featuring an innovative design. Improved landscaping, including ‘multi-use recreational pathways’ connecting the park to nearby cultural institutions, will also delivered.
Up to four shortlisted teams will receive around £30,500 to participate in the competition’s second stage during which design concepts will be drawn up. Travel expenses worth around £2,500 for up to two team members will also be provided.
The winning team – set to be announced later this year as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations – will receive an approximately £612,000 design contract.
The deadline for submissions is 3pm local time (EDT) on 31 March
How to apply
Senior Contract Officer
40 Elgin Street
2nd Floor Service Centre
ON K1P 1C7
Tel: 613-239-5678, ext. 5051