The water plaza at Lansdowne Park, which was officially opened today, welcomes residents and families with small children.
Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor officially opened the water plaza, which features a play area for children. The feature is anchored by the public art installation Uplift, created by Canadian artist Jill Anholt. The artist attended the official opening.
“In the short time it has been open, Lansdowne Park has become a real Ottawa treasure with features that make it warm and inviting both to residents and visitors.” said Deputy Mayor Taylor. “The water plaza offers another space in this modern urban park where families and friends can come together to celebrate our community.”
An interactive feature for kids and adults alike, the plaza incorporates 55 arcing water jets to encourage play throughout the summer months. The jets spout intermittently and in patterned sequences, keeping people guessing about who will get wet next. The jets are user-activated, although a timer limits use to daytime hours.
The water plaza and its surrounding bench are located at the eastern edge of the Great Lawn. Philips Farevaag Smallenberg (PFS) Studio designed the water plaza to respond to a wide range of other uses, from informal dance to a large-scale performances space in the heart of the park.
City drinking water is used in the plaza and collects into a lower pool where park visitors can sit and cool their feet. From here, the water is directed to an underground holding tank and re-used to water the Great Lawn and surrounding trees overnight. To increase efficiency, this irrigation system incorporates rain delay sensors.
Reflective of the geological formations of the Canadian Shield, the sculpture at the centre of the water plaza –Uplift – serves to anchor the space. The work is also inspired by its location at the edge of the Rideau Canal, and by the local history, and is linked both to moving water and to the intense human enterprise used to carve out the Canal.
Created from local granite and brushed stainless steel, the piece fuses Ottawa’s tradition of stone construction with contemporary materials and innovative water engineering.
Ms. Anholt also designed the art screen Moving Surfaces, which mirrors the water plaza on the other side of the Great Lawn.
For more information about Lansdowne Park including hours of operation, features and upcoming events, visitottawa.ca.