Terri Meyer Boake BES BArch MArch LEED AP
Associate Professor :: Associate Director :: School of Architecture :: University of Waterloo

Canadian War Museum

Moriyama and Teshima & Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects in Joint Venture

Ottawa, Ontario

Project Information:

Architects: Moriyama and Teshima & Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects in Joint Venture
Structural Engineers: 
Adjeleian Allen Rubeli Limited, Consulting Engineers
Engineer in Charge: Mike Allen P. Eng.
Project Engineer: Jon Turner, P. Eng.
Steel Fabrication and Erection: Walters Inc., Hamilton

The new Canadian War Museum was built to honour the memory of the many who served and died to protect the freedom of Canada. The museum opened in May 2005, just in time for the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of VE day.

The museum is situated within sight of the Parliament Buildings, on the Breton Flats. The building is comprised of a series of large rooms, each themed to represent a key event in Canada's engagement with war throughout history. Although the majority of the building is constructed as sloped concrete/precast concrete walls, a key focal element of the museum, the Regeneration Hall, is constructed from highly angular square HSS steel sections. The sheer height of the space, as well as the particular style of AESS, is intended to inspire as well as awe the visitor. The eerie sound of the wind, whistling through the perforated steel deck (taped during the construction phase of the project), assists in creating the mood of the room.

The large display room that features both land tanks as well as some WW2 aircraft, is roofed using large span steel trusses. According to the fabricator/erector, Walters Inc. of Hamilton, this room provided greater erection challenges than the Regeneration Hall.

article in Canadian Architect Magazine September 2005


These pages are dedicated to my father, Eugene Meyer. My dad fought in World War II. He is now 90 years old, and far too frail and incapacitated to make the visit to this museum. My how he would have enjoyed this place. He and his kind took their place in the wars that this country has fought, to keep Canada a place that is proudly free for all to enjoy. Many of my dad's friends did not come back. I am immensely proud of him.

Terri Meyer Boake | 4 December 2005

the steel work | general interior | the exterior

Project Images:

The HSS truss frame that forms the structure of Regeneration Hall.
View up to the ceiling level of Regeneration Hall.

The geometry of the HSS frame is quite complicated. Maximization of shop fabrication and welding was key.
Closer view of a hinge connection between two square HSS members.

View towards the tall glazed opening at the end of the Hall.
Many connections had to resolve complex geometries.
The interior was finished with profiled steel decking. Morse code forms the pattern for the punched windows.
Horizintal truss elements are slightly smaller than the vertical elements, making welded connections cleaner and simpler to fabricate.
View down the stairs into the Hall.
View back towards the access stairs.
Each line of trusses is unique in its shape.
HSS members form Xs to brace the exterior wall.
Connction detail.
View to ceiling.
HSS trusses clear span across the main hall whose dimension must allow for airplanes and tanks to be mounted on display.
View of the HSS truss member that spans across this space.
Connection detail of lateral bracing in the roof plane with the HSS truss.
View towards the roof.
Overall view of the tank and airplane gallery.
Steel support system up the front outward sloped curtain wall.

back to steel gallery
back to main gallery

These images are for educational use only and may not be reproduced commercially without written permission. tboake@sympatico.ca

Updated December 4, 2012


December 4, 2012