The newly renovated, century-old Horticulture Building and a programmable art installation called Moving Surfaces were officially opened today at the new Lansdowne Park.
Mayor Jim Watson, Councillor Mark Taylor, Chair of the Community and Protective Services Committee, and Councillor David Chernushenko cut the ribbon to officially open the Horticulture Building. They were joined by Vancouver-based artist Jill Anholt, who created Moving Surfaces, to illuminate the art installation.
“Both new features opened today are reflections of the approach we have taken in redeveloping Lansdowne,” said Mayor Watson. “The emphasis has been on merging new construction with Ottawa’s rich heritage and the striking setting at the edge of the historic Rideau Canal.”
The Horticulture Building was designed by local architects and built in 1914. It is important to Canadian architectural history as one of the only remaining examples of the prairie style in Canada. This style of architecture, developed by renowned architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, is exemplified by the building’s horizontal lines, hipped roof with broad overhanging eaves, and windows grouped in horizontal bands.
Restoration work has been completed and, together with the Aberdeen Pavilion, the buildings now create a heritage gateway that showcases both buildings as community spaces. In addition to housing privately organized community events, the Horticulture Building promises exciting additions to Ottawa’s recreation and cultural calendar.
“The City is working hard to develop engaging activities and events for this exceptional venue, as well as for the rest of Lansdowne Park for years to come,” said Councillor Taylor. “The inclusion of this historical space and of Moving Surfaces in the design of the park adds immensely to its reputation as a stimulating and attractive people-friendly place.”
Ms. Anholt designed Moving Surfaces as a way to explore the relationship between Lansdowne, the Rideau Canal and the built and natural environment. The piece is composed of steel shapes, reminiscent of the flow of water, and covered in thousands of LED lights, that will emit a dynamic video evocative of the textures, patterns and reflections of water movement along the Rideau Canal.
The City’s Public Art staff will coordinate calls to artists to provide new and innovative content for display on the sculpture, keeping it vibrant and relevant for park visitors.
“Lansdowne Park is an open and diverse space that is already serving to connect residents of nearby neighbourhoods.” said Councillor Chernushenko. “As more of the park becomes available, like the features added today, it will only grow as a hub for the community.”
The Horticulture Building is now available for rental. Booking information is available at ottawa.ca. Regular operating hours will be established in the coming weeks.