Capital Design Guidelines

These guidelines are a reference tool for the NCC, its partners and proponents of projects requiring federal design approval. Their purpose is to inspire and direct designers and decision makers, and to facilitate the evaluation and approval of design proposals. They are intended to facilitate dialogue and to create a common understanding and reference point for the elaboration and evaluation of physical designs.

  • The Capital Design Guidelines are aspirational ideals. They are not prescriptive; rather, they convey intent, while remaining flexible about the means to achieve the outcome. They do not prescribe specific architectural styles, construction standards or capital projects.

  • The guidelines must be applied holistically, and considered and balanced alongside all other applicable policies, guidelines and legislation. The guidelines are not prioritized, and may require evaluation and compromise.

  • The guidelines are broad, but not exhaustive. Each guideline may require the reader to consult references and conduct research to apply it to the project at hand.

  • These guidelines do not replace the skills and intuition of qualified professionals. Designers and decision makers have both the flexibility and the responsibility to creatively interpret and apply these guidelines.

Over time, as projects respond to these guidelines in unique and innovative ways, they will each contribute to the diversity and richness of the Capital’s built environment, and further the definition of design excellence.