The restoration of the West Block, the oldest of the three Parliament buildings, was one of the most significant rehabilitation projects in North America. The project modernized the 19th-century building with state-of-the-art facilities and preserved the heritage and character-defining elements. It also designed a contemporary addition for an interim House of Commons under a glass canopy roof within the courtyard of West Block.
It was the first time in 100 years that a new House of Commons was built and the government relocated from Centre Block. The Parliament buildings are classified federal heritage buildings and the finest examples of neo-Gothic architecture in North America.
The project demanded significant research and knowledge of the architecture and construction systems of the era. The architects formed an integrated team and led all technical design consultants to achieve the complex performance requirements for the legislature to operate while Centre Block is upgraded.
The glass roof designed to span the courtyard demonstrates how contemporary and traditional architecture can co-exist. The surrounding Gothic Revival architecture inspired the design of the structural columns. The enclosed courtyard is a broadcast-ready space that meets the technical challenges of acoustics, sunlight, comfort, and energy efficiency.
“Pulling off a successful project of that size with so many different levels of complexities definitely required imaginative and innovative management practices from its leaders.”
“The very stringent program requirements from the heritage point of view while stabilizing the structure meant that this was not a run-of-the-mill project.”
Richard Henriquez, CM, FRAIC
Founding Principal, Henriquez Partners Architects
2005 RAIC Gold Medalist
Sergio Morales, MIRAC
Co-founder, Chevalier Morales Architectes
Johanna Hurme, FRAIC
Co-founder, 5468796 Architecture
Past Chair, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce