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Rideau Canal Skateway Access Stairs
This project for the National Capital Commission in Ottawa encompassed the full range of design activities to develop a new staircase system for the Rideau Canal Skateway. The project constraints were probably the most rigorous that could be imagined - a temporary, seasonally removed set of staircases that meet or exceed UA requirements for users from child to adult, whether wearing skates or not. The stairs additionally had to be compatible to an established aesthetic at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The design team consulted with UA experts, user communities and operational users in trying to develop the best possible product for the site. Development mock-ups and prototypes were used to test ergonomic and functional features at full scale, both on-ice and at an indoor facility. The entire use cycle for installation, removal and storage for these seasonal installations was carefully considered. The end product has been extremely well received by the public as it has been rolled out in the 2009 and 2010 skating seasons.