Lansdowne Park

Location: Ottawa, Ontario

The revitalization of Ottawa’s Lansdowne Park was planned early 2009 as part of a series of city-wide redevelopment initiatives. Lansdowne Park is a world-class attraction that “blends modern amenities, courtyards, heritage buildings, and green space”. The area is situated in the heart of Ottawa as a “model of modern-day innovation in an urban form where people can go to walk, cycle, shop, enjoy a good meal, be entertained, work, live, and play” – all in an environment respectful of the city’s architectural heritage.

The plan included the renovation of the TD Place stadium, mixed-use area with shops, residences and offices, and the 18-acre urban park. The main aim of the refurbished stadium was to “seamlessly integrate the facility into the new urban setting by using varied and natural features”. It will host sports events, concerts, and performances by headline acts. The first major park event in the renovated stadium was held in July this year.

The proposed mixed-use area aims to create a “unique urban village that includes a mix of commercial and residential buildings, open spaces and corridors, which will serve a variety of purposes. This component of the redevelopment plan provides a unique pedestrian environment focused on a retailing area that will complement and support activities at Lansdowne and be integrated with existing commercial uses along Bank Street.”

Jeffrey Staates, partner at PFS Studio and project landscape architect for Lansdowne Park, has been involved with the project since 2010 and led the team for the international design competition. They were tasked with the redevelopment of the urban park in June 2010 and started design in July 2010.

The StrataCell system was included in the recommendation to pursue the largest soil volume possible from the standpoint of longevity. The major installation of soil cells was in the centre of Aberdeen Square, named after the heritage structure in the site.

“There were concerns about the longevity of trees. Given the soil volumes we wanted to achieve and the time frame, the StrataCell seemed like a reasonable product to accept as an alternative,” Staates said.

The Aberdeen Pavilion at Lansdowne Park is a city landmark, and home to the Ottawa Farmer’s Market. The park features more than 800 trees, including an orchard of heirloom apple trees.

Staates said he isn’t aware of any issues with the product during installation and after the project was finished. The only complications with the project were more in terms of jurisdiction. The team was obliged to consult with several organisations with lengthy approvals of plans and a number of jurisdictional reviews that had to be satisfied. But in the end, all bodies approved the use of ArborSystem.

The design also allowed for the collection of stormwater from the roof of the horticulture building and recycling water from the water play area in the urban park and using that for irrigation at night.