The Richness of Reno’s – Big Buildings Getting Fixed Up

When I lived in Montreal I would occasionally walk through Notre-Dame-Des-Neiges Cemetery to get over the mountain. At one point they were blasting close to the older plots. Many of the majestic tombstones were supported with various lengths of lumber and wire, and wrapped in translucent plastic for protection. The light from the setting sun glowed through the plastic, creating a hazy silhouette around the stone monuments. I was struck by how the temporary protective materials seemed to suggest the rich fleetingness of human life, adding to the tombstone’s raison d’être. I wound up adapting the effect for the graveyard scene in a production of Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind.

Spring Awakening graveyard scene
Spring Awakening graveyard scene

Now what has all that got to do with biking in Ottawa/Outaouais? Well, ever since then I’ve been fascinated by the juxtaposition of temporary protective cladding around structures as they are being renovated, and right now there are a few extensive renovations happening in town, so I headed off to check them out. Here’s how.

First stop, the National Gallery, where they have just recently begun replacing the glass in the Great Hall. Here are views from both the outside and the inside of the Gallery.

Out looking in
Out looking in

View from inside the Great Hall
In looking out.

Second stop – the West Block on Parliament Hill.

West Block partially wrapped
West Block partially wrapped

They’ve got interpretive panels on the hoarding with information on the renovations, and a QR code you can scan which takes you to this site with even more info.

Here’s a night time view from New Years Eve.

West Block ay night
West Block at night

On the other side of Wellington renovations are happening to this building as well.


Right beside it sits the Press Club building which is wrapped up in a brown fabric.

That's a wrap!
Press club -that’s a wrap!

Author: ottawavelo


5 thoughts on “The Richness of Reno’s – Big Buildings Getting Fixed Up”

  1. Oops sorry. Take 2
    I remember seeing cladding with printed images of what was behind when we were in Glasgow too. Since we r in the biz for that type of design, I know it requires some $ to do well.
    I think the press club is especially interesting in a Marshall McLuhan type of way. Reminds me of those ubiquitous “plain brown envelopes” you hear so much about.

  2. Nice entry. We went for a walk in an old neighbourhood of Montreal yesterday and Sarah commented on the interesting architecture of winter covers people build for their hedges and bushes. Wish I’d taken some photos.

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