Maclean’s Magazine interviews Architect Peter Clewes on Fairmont Château Laurier Addition

Ottawa writer Shannon Proudfoot interviewed Peter Clewes, Principal at Architects Alliance and Lead Architect on the Château Laurier addition. One of the questions asked was how the historical hotel building influenced the look of the addition Peter designed. Peter Clewes’ reply:

The roof is a very steeply sculpted mansard roof that is probably the most iconic part of the hotel because it reads on the skyline; we tried to stay below that. The hotel is constructed of limestone and it has deeply incised windows, as was the style of the day, and it has a sense of solidity and timelessness. We’ve chosen to reinterpret that using limestone as a cladding material and doing very deeply incised windows, but in a much more contemporary manner, which is a series of vertical windows in a somewhat whimsical pattern—some have likened it to a bar code. What we’re trying to say is, look, the hotel is the most important building here, and we were simply trying to respond to that. [The addition] is physically separate from the hotel, and it’s linked with glazing, so there’s a very clear distinction between what is old and what is new. I think one of the positive outcomes of this redevelopment is to re-expose the ballroom windows on the north façade of the hotel, which were blocked by the parking structure. We’re proposing a courtyard in the centre of the addition that will allow those ballroom windows to be re-exposed.

To access the entire interview, you can read the transcript or listen to the audio track.