In Partnership with the RAIC, the Government of Canada launches architectural design competition for city block facing Parliament Hill | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

In Partnership with the RAIC, the Government of Canada launches architectural design competition for city block facing Parliament Hill

OTTAWA May 26, 2021– The RAIC is proud to support the Government of Canada in their ongoing initiative to revitalize the Parliamentary Precinct.  This project aims to preserve the Parliamentary Precinct for all Canadians, ensure it meets the needs of a 21st-century Parliament, and make it greener, safer, and more accessible.

In partnership with the RAIC, Public Services and Procurement Canada (PSPC) officially launched an architectural design competition to redevelop Block 2, one of the most prominent city blocks in the country. Block 2 faces Parliament Hill to the north and is the threshold to city life to the south.

On May 21, 2021, PSPC invited the 12 firms that will participate in the architectural design competition for Block 2. These teams had the highest evaluated scores out of the applications received following the Request for Qualification (RFQ). All teams include at least one Canadian firm.

The competition will transform these mixed-use ageing buildings into an innovative complex that will create a balance between heritage, accessibility, security, and sustainability. As part of the first stage of the competition, the following teams were invited to submit an outlined design concept:

  • Architecture49 Inc. in joint venture with Foster+Partners and in association with DFS Inc. Architecture & Design
  • BDP Quadrangle in joint venture with Herzog & de Meuron
  • Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Bjarke Ingels Group, KWC Architects and ERA Architects
  • Grimshaw Architects in association with Daoust Lestage Lizotte Stecker
  • Hassell in association with Partisans
  • Hopkins Architects in association with CORE Architects Inc.
  • KPMB Architects
  • NEUF Architects in joint venture with Renzo Piano Building Workshop
  • Provencher Roy + Associés Architectes Inc.
  • Watson MacEwen Teramura Architects in joint venture with Behnisch Architekten
  • Wilkinson Eyre in association with IDEA Inc.
  • Zeidler Architecture Inc. in association with David Chipperfield Architects

In collaboration with PSPC, a multidisciplinary independent jury will provide invaluable insight to evaluate the range of design concepts submitted and will select the six best designs to advance to Stage 2 of the competition. The jury will help ensure a broad perspective in selecting a design that is innovative, creative, and highly reflective of its important location.

The RAIC and PSPC will continue to work closely with the Senate of Canada, the House of Commons, the Library of Parliament, the Parliamentary Protective Service and other outside stakeholders such as the City of Ottawa, the National Capital Commission (NCC), and the Federal Heritage Buildings Review Office to revitalize the Parliamentary Precinct.

Additionally, on February 1, 2021, PSPC announced that an independent jury will evaluate the designs generated by the architectural design competition for Block 2. Two esteemed architects, Bruce Haden and Anne McIllroy, will serve  as Chairperson and Vice-chair for the design competition.

Bruce Haden (Chairperson)

Bruce Haden is an Architect and Urban Designer with 35 years of professional experience. He cofounded the Vancouver-based Human Studio after being a principal at Dialog.

Bruce has taught at the University of British Columbia (UBC), written and spoken widely and received numerous awards for his architectural projects. The most prominent of these is the Governor General’s and Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Innovation Medal winning Nk’ Mip Desert Cultural Centre. Other notable projects include the UBC Student Nest and his role leading the Dialog work with BIG on Vancouver House for the design phase of the project.

He has twice chaired the City of Vancouver Urban Design Panel and helped Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto set up design review panels.

Bruce’s most recent jury work was acting as Jury Chair of the Missing Middle housing design competition on behalf of the Urbanarium, a Vancouver-based urban education non-profit that he helped establish.

Anne McIllroy (Vice-chair)

Anne McIllroy is the Principal Architect and Urban Designer at the Toronto-based firm Brook McIllroy. The firm specializes in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, and Indigenous design.

She has been involved in a wide range of projects, including developing campus plans for 15 institutions across Canada and preparing the Avenues and Mid-Rise Buildings Study and other guidelines for the City of Toronto.

Anne is Chair of the Toronto Community and Housing Design Review Panel. She is also Vice-Chair of the National Capital Commission Advisory Committee on Planning Design and Realty. She was a juror for urban design award programs in Canada and the United States.

Anne has been invited to deliver guest lectures at universities across Ontario and developed the Introduction to Urban Design course at York University’s School of Planning. In addition to academia, she frequently speaks on the topic of sustainable community design.

Profiles of the full jury can be found here.


 “I look forward to seeing the reimagined design of the prominent city block facing Parliament Hill. This competition helped us attract and select the most talented architecture firms that will help ensure the development of a design that complements one of the most unique settings of parliamentary buildings in the world—one in which Canadians can continue to take pride.”

The Honourable Anita Anand

Minister of Public Services and Procurement

The site facing Parliament Hill is of national significance, and the building program includes many issues critical to society today - urban revitalization, heritage integration, cultural reconciliation, sustainability and the 21st-century workplace. A competition is sure to draw out the best responses.”

Peter Ortved, Architect and Professional Advisor for the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Associated links

Architectural design competition for Block 2

Jury for the architectural design competition for Block 2

Explore the blocks south of Wellington Street

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Request for Qualifications on buyandsell

Advanced Procurement Notice on buyandsell