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Carleton University Focuses on the Chaudiere - Vision Chaudiere

The First Carleton Heritage Charrette, being held March 9th and 10th 2013, presents the theme of “Technology  & Heritage Conservation” and it focuses on the Chaudière Islands District. Multi-disciplinary teams of students  and support specialists will participate in the weekend charrette (or design brainstorming session) at the Azrieli School of Architecture, which calls for creative design ideas for Victoria Island. The competing design teams will consist of people with different backgrounds and levels of experience; all teams will have an early career professional and the remainder will be students.  Experts in various fields such as architecture, urbanism, archaeology  cultural anthropology, plus historians, conservators, aboriginal cultural specialists, landscape architects and more, will be available for advising the teams as the designers see fit. This group will include members of the Vision:Chaudiere Advisory Board such as Susan Ross, Heritage Ottawa reps and Mark Brandt & Chris Warden, LEED Accredited Professionals from MTBA.

The main objectives of the exercise are:

  • To consider the significance and complexity of the site and find ways to revitalize the site while conserving and enhancing the different sets of values associated with the place (i.e. natural, heritage, industrial and aboriginal values).
  • To create concept designs for an urban park on the island, a green oasis in the Capital’s core in a similar way to other very important and popular parks in major cities around the world
  • To challenge the standard criteria of a public park, while retaining the history, the physical form and the cultural meaning of the site itself.

Strong consideration will be given to:

  • the location of the site and access to it, whose immediate context includes other important landmarks such as the Parliament Hill, the War Museum, Confederation Boulevard, and of course, the Ottawa River.
  • The evocative landscape, the power of water and the natural environment.
  • Aboriginal Community values: protecting, reconciling and promoting the significance of the site to local aboriginal communities;
  • Industrial Heritage values: The vestigial structures will be reinterpreted, reused or left as an archeological site, while the materials of the ruins will be protected and maintained.
  •  Infill and/or adaptive reuse structures to be created as part of the design exercise include a Welcome Pavilion and a Belvedere.

A montage of videos of the results of the teams’ efforts and creativity will be shown in a special session at the partner event a week later on March 16th: the Eighth Carleton Heritage Symposium, also themed this year to “Technology  & Heritage Conservation”. This session will be moderated by Mark Brandt of MTBA, who will also provide a tour of the site to the Charrette Teams on March 9th . Brandt will also be a member of the jury for the Charrette. Winners will be presented with their awards at the 2013 AGM/Conference of ICOMOS Canada, being held this year in Ottawa in May. The awards are made possible by the ICOMOS Canada Martin Weaver Memorial Fund.

The key organizers of the Charrette are:

Mariana Esponda, Assistant Professor,  Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism, Carleton University

Cristina Ureche-Trifu, Graduate Student, School of Canadian Studies, Carleton University

This is another of the excellent community initiatives involving the Chaudière Heritage District, that harmonize with the goals of both the Vision:Chaudière Art Project and the NCC Master Planning for the District, including that by MTBA for the site. Carleton’s “real world” approach using a spectrum of disciplines working in teams and taking strong consideration of physical context and cultural heritage is a significant step in both the student’s evolution and that of the District itself. Congratulations for this effort, Carleton, and best of luck to the Charrette Teams!

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