Strutt Pavilion Original Design

The Strutt Pavilion has served as an iconic placemaking landmark at the edge of Westboro Beach for over 50 years, and while public perception of this building is generally unfavourable, it possesses unique historical and architectural value which are important to preserve.

This heritage structure was designed by well-known Ottawa architect James Strutt, and despite their brutalist concrete expression, these forms were meant to bring an element of whimsy and interest to the riverfront.

Many of Strutt’s projects explored complex geometries. In this project, Strutt relied on a unique triangular grid, which formed the basis for the hexagonal towers, as well as the interior layout.

Originally, the towers had glass roofs, and would have served the public as naturally lit change rooms, with soaring 7.6-m (25-ft) ceilings and wooden benches around their perimeter. At present, the public has access only to the washrooms at the back of the building, which do not meet current accessibility standards.

Proposed Strutt Pavilion and Park Pavilion

The image above provides an overview of the new building being proposed at Westboro Beach. It is made up of two distinct parts: the “Strutt Pavilion” at the beach level which will continue to be used seasonally, and the new “Park Pavilion” at the upper level which will be a highly sustainable, zero-carbon building meant to serve the public year-round.

Beach View: Westboro Beach Strutt Pavilion Rehabilitation

The view above of the rehabilitated Strutt Pavilion illustrates some of the strategies that will be used to uplift this unique heritage building:

  • New glass entrances will be cut into the towers to invite the public into the restored building.
  • The glass roofs will be reinstated to add delicacy in contrast to the heavy and brutalist towers, while also bringing natural daylight to the interior spaces.
  • The café has been relocated to the west side of the towers, both to provide more flexible open space for the general public and to provide better acoustic separation from the neighbouring residents.
  • Outdoor solar-heated showers at the lower terrace will provide an opportunity for the public to have a quick rinse after swimming, or to clean sandy feet.

Floor Plans: Westboro Beach Strutt Pavilion Rehabilitation

In the floor plan view above, we can see the new interior layout of the building.

  • The leftmost tower will be the relocated café
  • The central tower will now serve as the primary public entrance to the building, and will provide a gathering and meeting area, with direct access to the washroom facilities. Perimeter benches reminiscent of Strutt’s original change rooms, sinks and a bottle-filling station will be introduced to this communal space.
  • The lifeguard tower on the right will provide a convenient interface between public and municipal operations on-site.

Perspective Views: Westboro Beach Strutt Pavilion Rehabilitation

The new gender-neutral washrooms pictured above provide a more inclusive environment than that offered by traditional gendered washrooms, and will feature full-height doors and partitions in support of occupant comfort and privacy. Oversized stalls will double as change rooms for beach users.

Section View: Westboro Beach Strutt Pavilion and Park Pavilion

The sectional view above illustrates the opportunity to uplift the experience within the towers with whimsical art installations. It also depicts the new Park Pavilion, whose design is based on the geometries established by James Strutt.

Westboro Beach Park Pavilion

The new upper-level Park Pavilion features two main programmatic areas: a restaurant and community space, which will include a multi-purpose room, lobby space and public washrooms.

The design for the new Park Pavilion was developed with several key considerations in mind, many of which were identified by the public:

  • stringent environmental sustainability standards and environmental protection measures
  • minimized overall building footprint to preserve as much park space as possible
  • careful integration with the heritage building
  • maximized views and opportunities for enjoyment of the majestic Ottawa River