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Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


On July 1st, Canada’s 150th Birthday, the National Arts Centre inaugurated a new building wing which transforms the Centre for the first time in 50 years. Diamond Schmitt Architects has designed new public spaces and a new entry which, for the first time, connect the NAC to Confederation Square and the Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa. (…)  


The new wings are constructed of exposed wood structure and ceiling coffers of Douglas fir and framed on a custom-designed glass curtain wall system that pushes the limits of glass innovation. With floors of Ontario limestone, the new lobby is formed as a series of six major spaces, each shaped to support a wide range of program events, and together create a dramatic public venue embracing the adjacent park landscape, the Rideau Canal, Confederation Square, the City and the Parliamentary Precinct.  


“The NAC can now support activity throughout the day in light-filled spaces designed to engage the public and become the crossroads for the performing arts community,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects. 


Public space for education, pre-concert gatherings and small concerts occupy the new North Atrium. An upper level Lounge takes in views of Confederation Square and Parliament Hill. A transformed Fourth Stage, which serves as an incubator for theatre and music, will animate the NAC’s presence along Elgin Street in the second phase to be completed in the autumn. [1]


[1]      “Renovated National Arts Centre by Diamond Schmitt Architects Opens in Ottawa.” Canadian Architect, July 5, 2017. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/national-arts-centre-ottawa/.

Additional information:

Bozikovic, Alex. “Will the National Arts Centre’s Renovation Undercut Its Brutalist Truth?” The Globe and Mail, June 23, 2017. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/art-and-architecture/the-brutalist-truth-about-the-national-artscentre/article35447387/.

“The Brutalist Truth about The National Arts Centre &NbspCapital Modern.” Capital. Accessed July 9, 2021. http://www.capitalmodern.ca/news/brutalist-truth-national-arts-centre/.

Cogley, Bridget. “Diamond Schmitt Swaps Concrete for Glass at Brutalist Arts Centre in Ottawa.” Dezeen, January 29, 2018. https://www.dezeen.com/2018/01/26/diamond-schmitt-architects-brutalist-national-arts-centre-renovation-expansion-ottawa/.

“Creating Public Space at an Ottawa Gallery.” Construction Canada, July 31, 2017. https://www.constructioncanada.net/creating-public-space-at-an-ottawa-gallery/.

Luco, Andreas. “National Arts Centre Rejuvenation / Diamond Schmitt Architects.” ArchDaily. ArchDaily, April 9, 2021. https://www.archdaily.com/959751/national-arts-centre-rejuvenation-diamond-schmitt-architects.

“NAC to ‘Face the City,’ Architect Says as Ground Officially Breaks for Renos.” CBCnews. CBC/Radio Canada, February 10, 2016. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/nac-renovation-breaks-ground-1.3440508.

“National Arts Centre.” Architect, January 31, 2018. https://www.architectmagazine.com/project-gallery/national-arts-centre_o.

“Ottawa’s Transformed National Arts Centre Opens.” REMI Network, July 12, 2017. https://www.reminetwork.com/articles/ottawa-national-arts-centre-opens/.

Petrescu-Comnene, Michael. “Renovated National Arts Centre Opens in Ottawa.” Building, July 5, 2017. https://building.ca/nac-ottawa/.

“Re-Imagining the NAC.” National Arts Centre, January 17, 2019. https://nac-cna.ca/en/stories/series/nac2017.

Welch, Adrian, and Isabelle Lomholt. “National Arts Centre in Ottawa: NAC Reopening – e-Architect.” e, May 24, 2021. https://www.e-architect.com/canada/national-arts-centre-in-ottawa-nac.

DiamondSchmitt. “A Day in the Life of the National Arts Centre.” Vimeo, July 9, 2021. https://vimeo.com/286916591.

Project Title: National Arts Centre Rejuvenation Project
Artists:  Diamond Schmitt
Year: 2017

Place: Ottawa, Ontario

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