Doesn't look like much has changed regarding the stadium design. My concern is whether it will create a have and have not division between the old (refurbished) side and the new south side. This was the dilemma that was faced by Hamilton
until they found they couldn't put seat back chairs on one stand and then wisely decided to downsize the stadium (to save costs) and demolish and rebuild the side instead of renovate. The decision (in the 60s) to build the combined arena and stand unfortunately makes this impossible, for Ottawa, now - JM
Editorial: Lansdowne designers pulled it off
Ottawa Citizen February 7, 2012
The final version of the Lansdowne Park redesign unveiled Tuesday is a city-changing accomplishment. It puts to rest concerns that the project would not be worthy of this special Ottawa location.
It’s rare, perhaps unique, to see a site that contains a football stadium, major retail development, condos, office space, two historic pavilions, a farmers’ market and a substantial urban park.
Trying to create an intellectually coherent whole out of these disparate parts is a challenge, but the architects and designers have pulled it off. The latest detailed views of the plan make it easy to imagine how Ottawans will use this site for a wide variety of purposes year round, and its many elements are well integrated.
There was a concern that the retail components would be like a big box mall jammed into central Ottawa. The design details show something that looks like it belongs here.
The new Lansdowne will be a vast improvement over the site Ottawans have used for generations. That said, the plan is not perfect, despite the months of work that have gone into it. The retail component still looks too dense, the stadium is an awkward mix of old and new
, and the urban park is not especially remarkable.
Site rendering Lansdowne Park Redevelopment
Photograph by: M. Compeau, City of Ottawa
These weaknesses are the result of the city’s ambitions exceeding its resources, and of the creative financial deal made with a group of local businessmen who wanted to bring football and soccer to Lansdowne.
The city needed to do something about crumbling Frank Clair Stadium, but couldn’t afford the cost of building new. That’s why the plan offers spectacular new south side stands, but settles for refurbishing the north side. Even that wouldn’t have been attainable without a complex partnership that allowed substantial retail development to generate enough cash flow to prevent Lansdowne from being a permanent financial drain for taxpayers.
The urban park is a scaled-down version of the winning design, although it will still cost city taxpayers about $35 million. It’s unfortunate that the city and its federal government partners couldn’t have found a way to use the Rideau Canal as more than a backdrop.
We knew it wouldn’t be perfect, though. The city was right not to embark on an endless search for the ideal project, instead choosing what was attainable, and very good. The new Lansdowne will be a major upgrade for the site, and the city.