If the owners of the Chateau Laurier want to see an example of the architecture that Ottawa residents would accept for their hotel expansion, they need look no further than across the street. The building at 700 Sussex Drive is an excellent example of modern construction that complements and enhances its environment. Rather than stick out as a separate and distinct glass structure amid the stone buildings in that area, the condominium uses similar materials and window shapes to the Chateau Laurier itself and matches the scope and height of the Connaught Building to its north. That kind of design would be much more appropriate for the hotel than all of the plans that have been proposed by the owners so far.
The expansion is critical not just because it’s attached to one of the most historic buildings in Ottawa, but because it’s visible from so many different angles, including Major’s Hill Park and the Ottawa River. There are options available to the owners that would allow them to expand without destroying those sightlines. They should start over rather than continue with their incremental attempts to improve a deeply flawed design.
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