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Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge

CFB Esquimalt, Esquimalt, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1991/05/16

View of the main (northwest) elevation, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada/Parks Canada Agency, Ian Doull, 1989.
Front elevation
View of main and west elevations, 1989.; Agence Parcs Canada/Parks Canada Agency, Ian Doull, 1989.
General view of the place
No Image

Other Name(s)

Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge
Administration Office, former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge, Building 5
Bureau de l'administration, ancien bureau de l'officier commandant, bâtiment 5
Naden No. 5
Naden no 5

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/11/18

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge, a dominant flat-roofed concrete structure with smooth surfaces and geometric ornamentation, is the only Art Deco design at the Naden site of CFB Esquimalt. Facing a formally landscaped and planted lawn, its main central bay entrance is emphasized by heavy concrete piers and rows of flanking windows. The designation is confined to the footprint of the building.

Heritage Value

The Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge is a Recognized Federal Heritage Building because of its historical associations, and its architectural and environmental value.

Historical Value
The Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge is associated with the development of the Royal Canadian Navy training school at Naden. The commission of HMCS Naden in 1922 established the first permanent naval training center on the west coast. Post-war financial restraint produced a government strategy based on naval reserves. Reserve units were established across the country, but training was centered in Naden and Stadacona in the east. The construction of this office building reflected the growth in administrative services associated with the pre-war expansion of naval training at Naden. It is the main office for the base.

Architectural Value
The Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge is a very good example of Art Deco design conceived by the Department of Public Works. It reflects the formal composition, pure vertical lines, and geometric ornamentation characteristic of this style. It is the only Art Deco design at Naden and combines the use of modern reinforced concrete construction with well-crafted fittings typical of Art-Deco buildings.

The Environmental Value
The Former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge visually dominates a heterogeneous grouping of buildings on the original Naden site. Its style and its function as the main office for the base, make it a well-known regional landmark.

Ian Doull, CFB Esquimalt-Naden (26 Buildings), Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, British Columbia, Federal Heritage Building Report, 89-204.

Naden Building 5 (Former Offices of Officer-in-Charge), CFB Esquimalt, British Columbia, Heritage Character Statement, 89-204.

Character-Defining Elements

The following character-defining elements of the former Offices of the Officer-in-Charge should be respected, for example:

The formal composition, pure vertical lines, and geometric ornamentation characteristic of the Art Deco style, for example:

-The flat-roofed concrete structure, rectangular in plan and symmetrical in composition.
-The vertical emphasis created by the full-height stepped-back piers located at the corners and flanking the side and main entrances, by the tall sash windows set flush with the wall surface, and by the flat pilasters which separate the windows.
-The height of the primary façade extended by the partial exposure of the basement storey.
-The large multi-part window extending upwards from the main door.
-The chevrons which decorate the piers, and the triangular heads of the second-floor window openings.
-The ornamental light sconces flanking the three entrances and the glass-panelled bi-fold doors with decorative pulls.

The manner in which Building 5 is a prominent landmark within Naden as evidenced by:

-Its visual dominance over a heterogeneous group of buildings which include the Torpedo School and the Hospital Officer’s Ward.




Recognition Authority

Government of Canada

Recognition Statute

Treasury Board Heritage Buildings Policy

Recognition Type

Recognized Federal Heritage Building

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type



Military Office

Architect / Designer

Department of Public Works



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

National Historic Sites Directorate, Documentation Centre, 5th Floor, Room 89, 25 Eddy Street, Gatineau, Quebec

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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