In January 2015, I had an opportunity to visit the Domtar and Hydro Ottawa sites on Chaudière Island in the Ottawa River between downtown Ottawa and downtown Gatineau. As you all likely know, the site will undergo a complete metamorphoses, starting soon.
The property is closed for the public as it is still a working Hydro Ottawa site so I thought it was really cool to see it, before it will be completely transformed over the next twenty years.
In a way, although it was cold, I was happy to see it in winter. It really adds to the atmosphere of an industrial site from a bygone era. The lack of colour and the abundance of snow give the images more of a dramatic touch.
I actually converted a few pics to gray scale, but then I realised it isn’t really necessary, as it is grey enough as it is. Plus, it now shows that faded industrial green metal paint and a bit of reddish stone here and there.
In a way, it is nearly unbelievable that there is so much space so close to the Parliamentary Precinct. Here are sixteen photos in low resolution so that they load faster.
The whole place gave me a bit of a Stalinist Gulag Archipel feeling (although I have never been there). One needs a lot of imagination to think that in a few years, people will be living and cycling and walking and shopping and eating here.
Anyway, for now, it is a photographers dream and I hope that our local photographers had a chance to take some great shots here before the big change. A few years ago, I was Sweden. We stumbled upon a place called Norrköping. They have a very similar project with industrial buildings along the water. It looks like they were able to restore a lot more buildings though. With very nice results. You can read that blog post here.
You caught my interest with the question about diagonal flooring. Most places I searched spoke about the design benefits, whereas in this industrial type setting a more practical reason is likely. I found two.
The first talks about removing the need for additional subfloor layers (though they wouldn’ thave used plywood for a sub-floor when this was built… in fact, it’s possible that this WAS the subfloor):
and this page talks about how it helps avoid the “dutchmen”, though obviously it didn’t in your case 😉
Additional factors may have been that both lumber and labour would have been more available.