Art Deco in Ottawa

Monday, June 11, 2012 – Filed under: Uncategorized ::

This month Ottawa joined many other Ontario cities and towns in hosting Doors Open, a fabulous weekend event that quite literally opens the doors of historical + interesting buildings to the public. We ruminated over the brochure for weeks. Her dad wanted to visit the traffic control centre, she preferred Ambassadorial residences. I wanted to see the Carleton Unviersity Radio Station.

In the end, it rained. It poured. And a hurting, teething boy kept us all close. But we did manage to sneak in one visit, to a lovely Art Deco apartment downtown. I’m still thinking of ways to take some product shots there, because it really grew on me. And it’s a great reminder that uplifting architecture and interesting places are everywhere (yes, ahem, even here in Ottawa – reminder to self), we just have to look for them.

I must have walked by the building a hundred times, but passed it by without another thought because it is rather non-descript, except if you look up. The architects fussed over the fire escape stairs a lot, because they didn’t want them to interfere, design-wise, with the rest of the building.

Originally designed as a furnished apartment building, it has still retained most of its 1936-era features and is so very charming. “And curvy all over” as my daughter says.

Each floor is open in the centre, with the apartments opening into the centre court (that extends all the way up to the top of the building). Valuable, expensive real estate – left open to the air and the light. It’s really impressive.

Built almost 20 years after our own house, this apartment reminded us that it’s not always how old something is, but how well it’s designed – architecture is fascinating and I’m ever so glad my little one has opened my eyes to paying more attention to it.