*Moriyama & Teshima Architects in joint venture with GRC Architects
The inspiration for the Canadian War Museum design came from the people portrayed in the Museum’s photography collections: ordinary Canadians fighting in wasted foreign landscapes, accomplishing extraordinary and heroic deeds. The second source of inspiration was nature. Ravaged landscapes have the remarkable ability to endure the devastation wrought by humans. Not only does nature survive, it regenerates and hybridizes.
The concept of regeneration is manifested in a building that appears immersed by the surrounding landscape of the Ottawa River. Its low-lying forms hug the earth, while its gently sloping green roof, operates as a pedestrian walkway that offers a hint of the Museum’s multiple layers of meaning.
Inside, angled walls sharply emerge. Concrete is raw, joints are rough. Floors are sometimes sloped, creating a sense of disequilibrium. Many walls and spaces are intentionally austere, without distractions. Emptiness has profound strength. The intended effect is to encourage the thoughts, memories, and emotions of visitors.