Thursday, June 4, 2009

111 Sussex Drive, Part three

This is the third and final part of the series on the former Ottawa City Hall at 111 Sussex drive, in anticipation of Doors Open Ottawa this weekend.

The NCC's headquarters, the Chambers, is one of the buildings on the tour, as advertised prominently:

In part one and part two, we looked at the old part of the building, and the hallway along the south-west side of the 1993 addition designed by Moshe Safdie (who also designed the National Gallery of Canada). These are represented on the left and right sides of the photo below:

Today we'll look at the north-east part of the 1993 addition, which is built right up to the Rideau River. From the photo above, turn left.

You'll see the ramp heading down to the parking garage, and a well-hidden path going along the river. In contrast to the West side of the addition, this side has turret-like bulbouts into the water.

In the background, we see Unity Tower, and a span of the Minto Bridges along Union street.

Looking back up at one of the turrets, we see the pathway coming down from Sussex. The pathway actually stretches within the outside wall of the 'turrets', but is open to the elements.

Inside the pathway, it's very serene. Between the smooth yet firm structures, I felt like I was in the computer game Myst while walking through the path. You can see here that the inside of the columns were left as bare concrete:

To add to the surrealism of, there are gaps between the bulbouts with stairs leading down into the water, which is only a couple of feet deep off the building.

At the back of the north-east side is Unity Tower, which is an architectural feature criticized for having no function. On a nice day, though, the clouds and reflection in the glass make for a good photo.

When I came back later that evening, the water on the Rideau was crystal clear. Here we can see the full reflection of the tower, as well as a couple of the bulbouts and another part of the bridge.

And that's 111 Sussex! Go check it out for yourself during Doors Open Ottawa this weekend (of course, you can check out the exterior features at any time).

I'll leave you with a photo of Sussex drive reflected in the Rideau River, with the French embassy on the right.

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