The Edward Drake Building

Communications Security Establishment

The Edward Drake Building

A Modern, Intelligent Security Building

Fully committed to the safety and security of its people, the Government of Canada is working diligently to safeguard its national security. As part of this effort, the government built the Edward Drake Building to house its national cryptologic agency.

A modern, intelligent building, LTAP employs innovative design features to ensure that the Communications Security Establishment (CSE) remains at the forefront of mechanical, electrical, security and information technology.

Key features include:

  • A physical form that is an architectural interpretation of a maple key, (the maple tree’s distinctively shaped seed), subtly reminiscent of the literal and symbolic importance of the maple to Canada. The design concept resides in mathematical ontology, and is the genesis of the geometrical form and layout of the HUB, the communal focus of the facility.
  • A large vaulted roof unifies various components of the facility into a cohesive, singular organic form. Enveloped by this distinctive shape, contrasting geometrical volumes housing specific functions comprise the main building.
  • Spaces that enhance social dynamics by creating opportunities for formal and informal interaction, collaboration and group identity. The vast space is broken down to the human scale, providing employees with a sense of ownership and of place. Office PODs containing work groups radiate from the HUB and are identified and differentiated with colour-coded Front Porches. A second collaboration zone, the Back Porch, located in the mid zone of a POD is designed for a variety of team activities.
  • Taking advantage of the natural beauty of the site, the transparency of the design establishes visual and spatial continuity between inside and outside, man and nature. This creative approach to planning and design has resulted in an innovative work environment that will empower CSE's employees to better serve the CSE mission and their country.

Associate Architect: WZMH

Communications Security Establishment
Government of Canada, Communications Security Establishment

Ottawa, ON

775,000 sf (72,000 m²)
LEED Certified Gold