Michael PfaffMichael Pfaff will present his architectural renderings for an addition to a Canadian heritage hotel, Sunday in the SoCA Armouries.

Grad to discuss award-winning architectural project

A design hailed as blending in perfectly with a historic Ottawa hotel is the subject of a free public lecture Sunday, September 23, in the SoCA Gallery.

Michael Pfaff (BA 2013), an alumnus of the visual arts and the built environment (VABE) program, will introduce renderings underpinning his thesis project advocating a traditional approach to a proposed expansion of the Château Laurier.

Pfaff earned a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Detroit Mercy in 2015 and completed a post-professional Master’s degree in architectural design and urbanism from the University of Notre Dame in May.

His thesis there exploring a proposal to add conference space and parking to the Ottawa building won an award for design excellence from the Notre Dame School of Architecture. It laid out an alternative to the modernist design of Peter Clewes, principal of the Toronto-based firm ArchitectsAlliance.

“My design is based upon my belief that buildings should respond to their context,” Pfaff says. “The modern addition does not respond to its context in anyway. It relies upon a parasitic condition to the historic fabric for it to work…. Instead, the addition should be grounded in the historic Château Style language.”

His exhibit is displayed for public viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. through Sunday. The gallery is located in the Armouries building, 37 University Avenue East.