Moriyama & Teshima, Kasian Architecture win $14.2M West Memorial Building contract

West Memorial
The West Memorial Building in Ottawa (Photo by _muckraker_ / Flickr)

A pair of architectural firms have won a multimillion-dollar federal contract to create the designs needed to upgrade a long-vacant federal building on Wellington Street.

A joint venture consisting of teams from Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. will draft plans to make the West Memorial Building “an accessible and modern workplace,” the federal government said in a statement.

A request for proposals for construction management services is expected to be published this summer.

The project will involve a “major rehabilitation” of the exterior walls and windows as well as the mechanical and electrical systems. The IT and security systems need modernizing, and the building needs seismic upgrades to meet current building code requirements.

The West Memorial Building was constructed from 1954-58 and forms Canada's primary Second World War memorial along with the East Memorial Building and the connecting Commemorative Memorial Archway.

The seven-storey structure, which also has two basement levels, contains some 215,000 square feet of usable space, according to government records. It’s sat empty since 2008 because it’s in poor condition and presents health and safety issues.

The plan is to use the West Memorial Building to temporarily house the Supreme Court of Canada from 2023 to 2028 as the home of the country’s top court undergoes rehabilitation.

After that, the West Memorial Building will be converted into federal government office space.

The federal government says the combined cost of rehabilitating the Supreme Court and West Memorial Building will be in excess of $1 billion.