Winning Design Concept

The winning concept for the Nepean Point redevelopment, entitled Big River Landscape, submitted by Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. with Patkau Architects, Blackwell Structural Engineers, and ERA Architects Inc., was approved by the NCC Board of Directors.

A two-stage international design competition to redevelop Nepean Point will create a lively, 21st century green space, in the heart of the Capital. The first phase of construction is planned for 2019–2020.

Nepean Point is one of the most spectacular lookouts in Canada’s Capital, making it a key Capital destination. At the highest point of the site is a majestic statue of Samuel de Champlain, who explored the Ottawa River in 1613.

About the redevelopment project

The Astrolabe Theatre structures at Nepean Point no longer meet universal accessibility standards, and are at the end of their life cycle. We now have an extraordinary opportunity to achieve the following at this site:

  • new interpretation
  • innovative design
  • an improved landscape
  • enhanced public access

Our long-term vision for this area is to build multi-use recreational pathways connecting cultural institutions, the existing pathway network and green spaces, in order to create a continuous promenade from the Rideau Canal to Rideau Falls Park.

About the competition process

In January 2017, the NCC invited landscape architects, bridge designers, architects, urban designers and other related design professionals to form design teams to respond to the request for qualifications (RFQ) for the renewal project.

A total of 26 proposals were received, from which four finalists were chosen to present their concept to the jury and the public in October:

  • Team Rosenberg (Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc., Patkau Architects, Blackwell Structural Engineers, ERA Architects Inc.)
  • Team Asselin (WAA Montréal, Tectoo Architects, Milan Ingegneria)
  • Team Geuze (West 8, Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects, Fotenn)
  • Team Ryan (PUBLIC WORK, KPMB Architects, Blackwell Structural Engineers, John Beaucage)

Public engagement

A workshop was held on June 19, 2014, at the NCC’s Urbanism Lab to develop a vision and design elements for Nepean Point. Thirty participants representing stakeholder groups and members of the public participated in the workshop.

A Nepean Point public viewing was held on October 5, 2017, at the NCC’s Urbanism Lab. Four teams presented their vision for Nepean Point to approximately 200 members of the public.

An online survey was available on the NCC’s website from October 5 to 18, 2017. The NCC received 541 completed surveys.

Next steps

  • 2018 to 2019:  Design development and approvals
  • 2019 to 2020: Start of construction of phase 1