Ingenium Museum

The Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa recently underwent a three-year, $80 million renovation. The plaza area was initially a courtyard space bordered by two warehouses and mechanical shops for the heritage Canadian railway. The new plaza, adjoining promenades and walkways are home to the historical railway stock as well as a flexible space for changing displays of all types of mechanical technology.

372 DeepRoot® Silva Cells® were used to support the intricate heavy pavers design in the plaza, along with 706 cubic feet of soil to enhance the growth and vitality of 9 Honey Locust trees.

The Landscape Architect, DTAH knew the highly flexible Silva Cell could be configured by the contractor, UCC Group to support large circular tree pit collars and could withstand heavy vehicle loading alongside the established railway tracks.

“It was important to soften and shade the large, paved plaza with trees for the visitors to gather,” said John Hillier, Partner DTAH. “The stratified Silva Cell subgrade assembly enabled us to successfully integrate these pedestrian spaces”.

The museum has attracted 640,000 visitors since the reopening in 2017, and healthy tree growth was an important factor for the newly designed plaza opened to the public in 2019.

To ensure the healthy growth of the trees, the DeepRoot Water+Air System was used in conjunction with perforated, flexible pipe to introduce and distribute water into the tree pit and throughout the soil volume. Beneath the soil volume an underdrain was installed to collect and evacuate the excess water from within the soil column.


The end result delivers a pair of vintage cabooses and carriages nestled in between circular tree pits and Honey Locust trees in a space designed to celebrate Canadian ingenuity, and to inspire creativity and innovation.



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