In 1936, Prime Minister Mackenzie King commissioned Jaques Greber to construct a master plan of the nation’s capital, also known as the Greber Report. The plan called for the removal of industries and railway lines from the city centre, placing them out of sight from the downtown area. The removal of its major industries allowed Ottawa to identify itself as a city of politics, dissolving the industrial past and its negative associations. To bring attention to this suppressed history of the city, the project builds from the typology of the settler’s cabin as an instrument to appropriate a territory. 

The proposed Cabin situates itself in an alternate history of the city, appropriating sites within the city which once were used for heavy industry. Its purpose: to restore the polluted sites to their pre-industrial state while celebrating a suppressed history of Ottawa. The design of the cabin developed through the process of model building, taking on a whimsical aesthetic manifesting the directives of the cabin’s purpose. The model was built on a 20” x 20” concrete base and primarily constructed from copper welding rods soldered together. The aesthetic is derived from early examples of industrial typologies.

View of model

Timeline of Ottawa’s capital indentity

Close-up of model

Left: collage of industrial sites around capital 

Close-up of model