The Edward Drake Building

Ottawa, Ontario
PCL Constructors Canada
84,000 m2 | 775,000 ft2
Scope of Service:
Full Architectural Services
HDR Architecture (Associate Architect)
STUDIOS (Interiors)


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

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

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

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

Situated within a forested property, this facility was designed around the unique needs of the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) employees who analyze data as part of the Government of Canada’s security intelligence work. With its open interiors, access to daylight, and collaborative work environments and amenities, the building is designed to attract and retain the best and brightest Canadian mathematicians, computer programmers, language specialists and intelligence analysts. WZMH Architects also met the project requirements for a high-performance space that fulfills specialized technical requirements and for long-term interior planning flexibility in support of CSEC’s dynamic mission.

The geometry of the “hub” —a multi-level communal space in the heart of the building —is inspired by the iconic maple key, subtly referencing the literal and symbolic importance of the maple to Canada. The distinctive curving form of the main five-storey structure is connected to the landscape by pavilions with varied workplace functions, effectively connecting staff to the forest. The fritted glass on the curtain wall features patterns suggestive of the activities within and was designed by the users.

The facility is LEED Gold certified and exceeds the highest standards for accessibility and life safety.