A few days back when I was taking shots for my last National Arts Centre update, I photographed the Ottawa Convention Centre across the Rideau Canal, and decided to head across the bridge to pay a visit.
Coming down the stairs towards the main entrance gives a view of Parliament Hill on one side of the Canal, and on the other, the current work site of the Government Conference Centre, which will be serving as a temporary base of operations for the Canadian Senate in coming years while work is done on Centre Block. The triangles that make up the glass wall of the Convention Centre once served as material for a theme day we had on triangles. The building is a few years old, having had replaced the old Congress Centre that stood at this location. Its four levels inside provide plenty of space, large and small, for conferences, receptions, and meetings, and its promenades provide great views out over the city. These days the building is named for a Canadian communications company that got a ten year contract for the branding rights, but since I despise corporate branding on public buildings, it's always going to be the Ottawa Convention Centre to me. The building itself, though? I love it.
Coming inside, I noticed this glider hanging overhead. It's an ultralight that was flown by Canadian artist and inventor Bill Lishman, whose more recent work includes the iceberg sculpture outside the Canadian Museum of Nature. In 1993, he flew with Canada geese from Ontario to Virginia as a test study to determine the viability of introducing new migration routes to bird species who were endangered. He repeated the flight the following year with more birds and more distance, to the Carolinas. You've probably seen the movie Fly Away Home, which is based on his story.
The promenades outside the meeting spaces are wonderful, used sometimes for trade shows, and when trade shows are not on here, they're open for anyone to come up and have a look. The views are well worth it. There was even a photo shoot going on while I was here; I got a shot for a theme day later in the year.
I took this shot to give you a sense of the amount of space in the third level promenade. The largest meeting space, which is off to my right, is the size of an aircraft hanger- rising two levels high- and can be subdivided into smaller spaces. When it's fully open, six thousand people can be seated in that space. There are plenty of other rooms on the first and second levels- from large conference spaces to rooms just big enough for a small wedding reception of around thirty people. The fourth floor is taken up with a ballroom promenade with this same view looking out.
The Convention Centre is linked by passages to the Westin Hotel and the Rideau Centre mall. Leaving to go to the mall, I took one more shot of the glider.
Amazing building. I love it, too! A great lesson in Geometry!ReplyDelete
I would love to sit on one of those chairs and take in the view William 😊ReplyDelete
Zounds! Ottawa does know how to put together amazing buildings and this is truly amazing. That movie has been one of my favorites down through the years although I haven't seen it for a long time. But this structure really does hit the mark!ReplyDelete
Great shots of this wonderful futuristic building, William, I love all the glass.ReplyDelete
I think I have seen a documentary about Lishman's flight with the geese.
That is a fine place! And thanks for the facts about another Canadian heroReplyDelete
very cool. i bet you had to wear shades ... lots of glare. ( ;ReplyDelete
@Janis: it is quite a difference from the old Congress Centre.ReplyDelete
@Grace: I love that kind of chair. We call them Muskokas.
@Lowell: every once in awhile I like coming in here.
@Jan: it doesn't surprise me that there is a documentary or two out there on him.
@Cloudia: you're welcome!
@Beth: I imagine late in the afternoon with this westerly view, you need them!
This looks like a fantastic facility. I love those chairs facing the outside so you can sit and watch the world go by.ReplyDelete
A very impressive space, William, and I would certainly be at those windows watching and taking photos!ReplyDelete
I love your Ottawa tours from the comfort of my own desk chair. The pic which shows the Parliament buildings is very cool.ReplyDelete
Really wonderful windows.ReplyDelete
The glass walls makes for a spectacular building. I'm not sure how much it would cost to heat. Many cities build a grand convention center to draw people to their city.ReplyDelete
@Sharon: those chairs were a very good addition. I don't know when they added those in.ReplyDelete
@Beatrice: I like coming in regularly through the year.
@Hilary: I always like framing the Parliament Buildings in one or two of these shots.
@Red: as I understand it, it was designed to be very environmentally friendly. Apparently that glass wall lets in so much daylight that they save energy.
I love the movie! Nice the they have the plane there!ReplyDelete
wow that really is a fantastic buildingReplyDelete
What a treasure of a building. All that glass in nice, lets in plenty of light and offers a nice view. You can find me sitting in one of those seats facing the window. A building to be proud of!ReplyDelete
Such a stunning building! I'd like to sit on that chair and enjoy the space and view outside :-)ReplyDelete
Cool to see the glider. That is one huge building and I agree with you---I do NOT like corporate name on a building. Free advertising forever.ReplyDelete
Regarding your comment---you are right the last pic is the other side of the red barn. Smarty!
I saw PBS special on the aircraft that flew with the geese.ReplyDelete
You are right! That is one big window! What fantastic views.ReplyDelete
I think I saw "Fly Away Home." Great movie.ReplyDelete
I remember the triangles. This is a beautiful and impressive building. I miss the days when convention centers and stadiums weren't branded.
I like where the chairs are seated.ReplyDelete
Beautiful building. The chairs attract me. Nice to sit and enjoy the view.ReplyDelete
Great architecture! I love the HUGE BIG window!ReplyDelete
It is really attention-getting on the outside!ReplyDelete
Great windows! We have a concert venue called the Jiffy Lube Pavilion.... embarrassing!ReplyDelete
I've been there! We had another long day at Ottawa Hospital, it's just not fun driving in these days.ReplyDelete
Love the building design...and the view!ReplyDelete
@RedPat: I just wonder where it is now.ReplyDelete
@Gerald: it really is.
@Bill: I enjoy stepping inside.
@Tamago: I've done so the odd time.
@MB: or at least until the contract expires. As names go, it's not awful, but I wish building ownership would stop thinking in terms of how much they can make on corporate sponsorship like that.
@Revrunner: it's a fascinating concept.ReplyDelete
@Kay: this is a case where modern architecture works.
@Whisk: so do I.
@Nancy: I agree.
@Gunn: so do I.ReplyDelete
@Jack: that it is.
@Linda: that would be!
@Jennifer: you should try coming in the summer.
@Norma: as do I.