Block 2 competition finalists announced

Six teams have been shortlisted to advance to stage 2 of the design competition

Aerial view of Parliament Hill and Block 2

PWGSC has announced six shortlisted teams for the Block 2 international design competition, to redesign the urban block facing Parliament Hill in Ottawa.  The six finalists were selected from a long-list of 12 competitors who prepared initial design concepts, which were evaluated by a team of technical advisors, as well as by a jury that met in Ottawa earlier this fall.

The following teams will advance to stage 2 of the competition:

  • Diamond Schmitt Architects (Toronto, Canada) in joint venture with Bjarke Ingels Group (New York, United States), KWC Architects (Ottawa, Canada) and ERA Architects (Toronto, Canada)
  • NEUF Architects (Ottawa, Canada) in joint venture with Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Paris, France)
  • Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes Inc. (Montréal, Canada)
  • Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects (Ottawa, Canada) in joint venture with Behnisch Architekten (Boston, United States)
  • Wilkinson Eyre (London, United Kingdom) in association with IDEA Inc. (Ottawa, Canada)
  • Zeidler Architecture Inc. (Toronto, Canada) in association with David Chipperfield Architects (London, United Kingdom)

“I’ve always known that at some point we would get around to filling in the biggest missing piece—which was what we now call Block 2, but we could also call the fourth side of Parliament Square, or the closing of Parliament Hill,” says Honorary Jury Chair John Ralston Saul. “I realize that there is the whole utilitarian aspect to what the building on Block 2 will have to be and do [in containing Parliamentary offices, among other functions]. And we know that the Sparks Street side of the building will be some kind of architectural palimpsest, given the number of protected buildings.”

“But the Wellington side—the Fourth Side of Parliament Square—cannot help but call for drama, inspiration, and frankly, magic. There has to be something astonishing about what is done there, which will fit in with the magic of the other three Parliament buildings,” says Saul.

“When we met in September, the path at the centre of the Parliamentary Lawn was full of the desperately sad, tiny shoes symbolizing the dead children from the residential school atrocities,” wrote jury chair Bruce Haden in a guest editorial for Canadian Architect. “It was a heartbreaking reminder of the responsibility of this future architecture to provide an inspirational and timeless backdrop to both the triumphs and tragedies of our Canada.”