Author: Justin Li
Agidaaki Niisaaki Cultural Centre
Studio: ARCS 3105 – Studio 4
Professor: Manuel Baéz
Year: Fall 2019
“Agidaaki Niisaaki” (Ojibwe)
“Up the hill, down the hill” (English)
To the Indigenous communities that have resided along the Ottawa River, LeBreton Flats has always been a significant cultural landmark. Historically, the gentle topography has made the site accommodating for large gatherings, deeming it an appropriate node for trading and celebrations. Simultaneously, the lush natural landscape created an environment suitable for religious ceremonies and spiritual revival. Indeed, these fundamental characteristics of the site – gathering and nature – have since been victim to time, and years of industry and high-density development has led to its radical transformation.
The Agidaaki Niisaaki Cultural Centre seeks to renew and reinterpret these lost fundamental qualities by adapting them to respond to the current conditions of LeBreton Flats. The main project feature is a landscaped plaza that meanders over the Cultural Centre. This sloped plaza acts as pedestrian pathway between Pimisi Station and the Ottawa Library while simultaneously highlighting panoramic views of the surrounding neighbourhood. By offering a variety of multipurpose gathering spaces, both indoors and outdoors, the project aspires to establish a strong sense of community and nature within LeBreton Flats.