ArchitectDiamond Schmitt Architects & KWC Architects, Architects in Joint Venture
Bronze FabricationMCM 2001
The Senate of Canada Building, originally the Union Train Station and known as the Government Conference Centre since 1968, recently opened as the temporary home for the Senate of Canada. The move presented a unique opportunity to restore the station and upgrade it to a modern, secure 21st century building.
A key space in the building is the general waiting room which was used to create two large committee meeting rooms for the Senate. To signal the importance and prestige of these spaces, a façade of insulated and perforated bronze panels were clad in both rooms. Measuring 14 meters long by 6 meters tall, the committee room images were panelized within the constraints of available bronze sheet stock, its gauge and the proportions of the doors.
A multiple step patination schedule preceded a final hand rubbed finish that provided further control over the hue and sheen of the completed work. Additional bronze detailing was deployed selectively throughout the building. A series of custom bronze door pulls include solid folded bars at committee rooms and bundled bronze rods at the entry to the Senate chamber.
Drawing on both historical and modern technologies, the wide range of explorations into craft and material fabrication resulted in new innovations and modern ways to elevate architectural expression.