• Eastern portion of the south elevation

    Eastern portion of the south elevation

  • Western portion of the south elevation

    Western portion of the south elevation

  • Looking northeast towards the main entrance canopy

    Looking northeast towards the main entrance canopy

  • Looking northwest towards the main entrance with the totem pole in the foreground

    Looking northwest towards the main entrance with the totem pole in the foreground

  • Looking east along Baseline Road highlighting the context

    Looking east along Baseline Road highlighting the context

  • Looking west along Baseline Road highlighting the context

    Looking west along Baseline Road highlighting the context

  • Freestanding tent-like main entrance canopy

    Freestanding tent-like main entrance canopy

  • Canopy anchor point detail

    Canopy anchor point detail

  • Baseline Road elevation detail

    Baseline Road elevation detail

  • Looking westward across the Baseline Road elevation

    Looking westward across the Baseline Road elevation

  • Highlighting the precast panel materiality and detailing

    Highlighting the precast panel materiality and detailing

  • White pebbled precast panel shimmering in the sunlight

    White pebbled precast panel shimmering in the sunlight

  • West elevation of the warehouse

    West elevation of the warehouse

Scouts Canada

1345 Baseline Road, Ottawa, ON |
Date(s): 1959

Completed in 1959 for Scouts Canada as their national head office (a use the continues to today) the building originally contained two primary functions:  office space and warehouse storage.  The basic arrangement of these two uses remains with the offices occupying a long skinny bar orientated parallel to Baseline Road, while the warehouse is situated north and perpendicular to the offices.  As would be expected for a building in this location a parking lot provides automobile accommodation on the western portion of the site.

The office building, set well back from Baseline is a simple two storey elongated bar clad in white pebbled aggregate precast panels.  Each of these panels contained one punched vertically-orientated rectangular window and covered one storey.  To construct the building the architects used a modular structural and cladding systems that were quite advanced for their time.  While the panelized nature of the cladding is obvious when viewed from a distance there is also a level of detail that only becomes apparent when you are close to the building.  This includes paired stainless steel bolts placed to reflect the head and sill of the windows in addition to the subtle sparkle of the white precast aggregate under sunlight.

To mark the entry on Baseline Road a large tent-like structure constructed of glass on a tubular steel structure that rests on only two points was used.  As a referential marker, the freestanding canopy is effective given how most people encounter this building:  from a car, while at the same time acting as a pedestrian gesture.  Situated next to the canopy is a totem pole, another visual marker, donated by the BC Scout organization, at the time of the building’s construction.

Surrounded by unremarkable buildings in an automobile dominated landscape the Scouts Canada Building is a solid and simple building from the late 1950s that works at both the macro and micro scales.  Unlike the other buildings in the surrounding area it is accommodating to both pedestrians and people that arrive by cars, making it a unique building within its context.

A Scouts store now occupies the west end of the Baseline Road frontage, throwing off the dominance of the main entry somewhat and resulting in the loss of some of the precast panels.

 

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