WZMH Architects: Dynamic. Innovative. Diverse.

CSEC Long-Term Accommodation Project

Ottawa, Ontario
Plenary Properties
Defence Construction Canada
Department of National Defence
Associate Architect:
HDR Architecture Inc.

ReNew Canada Magazine – Top 100 Biggest Infrastructure Projects in Canada, 2013

Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships – Innovation & Excellence in Project Financing – Silver Awards, 2011

Real Property Institute of Canada – Partnership (Group) Award, 2011

Project Finance Magazine – North American Social Infrastructure Deal of the Year, 2011

Situated on a wooded site in the east end of Ottawa, this facility was designed around the unique needs of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) employees who work there analyzing data as part of the Government of Canada’s security intelligence work. CSEC required a building that would support cutting-edge technology coupled with human creativity, and foster effectiveness through teamwork and collaboration.

The iconic image of the building takes its inspiration from an abstracted maple key, subtly referencing the literal and symbolic importance of the maple to Canada in shaping the geometry of the “hub,” the multi-level communal heart of the building. Designed to LEED Gold standards, the building, with its airy open spaces, access to daylight and views, collaborative work environments and amenities, is designed to attract the best and brightest Canadian mathematicians, computer programmers, language specialists and intelligence analysts.

The distinctive curving form of the main five-storey structure is connected to the landscape by smaller pavilions that contain workplace functions, effectively connecting the forest to the workspace. The fritted glass on the curtain wall features patterns suggestive of the activities within and was designed by the users.