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November 17, 2021

MVRDV reveals design for Canada’s LGBTQ2+ National Monument

The LGBTQ2+ National Monument, slated for completion in 2025, will be located on a site facing the majestic Ottawa River.

Architecture company MVRDV has unveiled the details of its proposed design for Canada’s LGBTQ2+ National Monument.

To deliver the design named the Lens, MVRDV partnered with visual arts and landscape architecture Fathom Studio and Two Row Architect. The team is called Team Durling.

Fathom Studio-led Team Durling is one of the five teams shortlisted earlier this year to design the monument, which is planned to be installed in a prominent location, close to Parliament Hill in Ottawa’s Capital Plateau.

The monument will be built on behalf of the LGBT Purge Fund and the Government of Canada.

Situated on a 6,300m² site facing the majestic Ottawa River, the monument is intended to serve as a recognition of the discrimination experienced by Canada’s LGBTQ2+ people, and a specific dedication to the memory of LGBT Purge.

A discriminatory federal government campaign, LGBT Purge started during the Cold War and ended in the early 1990s.

MVRDV partner Fokke Moerel said: “The Monument offers a literal embrace for people that have been historically excluded and will provide a safe space to heal, reflect and grow.”

The Lens is designed to welcome Canada’s 2SLGBTQQIA+ community.

Its expansive canted form points toward the Capital Plateau. The ring in cross-section is a triangle that was once a tool of persecution.

The triangle, which now represents a positive symbol of self-identity, is extruded into a circle to resemble a concave lens.

In a press statement, MVRDV said: “In the light of day, the pearlescent form sits in delicate contrast to the Parliament Buildings while reflecting the sombre tones and material qualities of other monuments in the Plateau.

“At night, it exudes otherworldly ephemerality. Inside, it bonds its visitors together.”

The Lens will feature granite walls and seating between the berms and include interpretive installations.

The scheme is also supported by a thematic framework of seven grandparent teachings of Algonquin-Anishinaabe.

The Lens design and other four design proposals for the monument are currently available for viewing and public feedback.

The winning design on the project is planned to be announced in late-2022 while the project is slated for completion in 2025.

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