Wallman Architects, in partnership with Dialogue of Calgary, was one of four firms from Canada and the UK invited to participate in this competition to develop a unique proposal for a large, mixed-use development on the rapidly developing southwest edge of downtown Calgary. The 3.13 acre site is bounded by the Canadian National railway to the south, 9th Avenue Southwest to the north, and spans the full two blocks from 9th Street to the east and 11th Street to the west. The site services, including loading, refuse and parking ramps, are arranged along a new covered service lane adjacent to the railway tracks with the retail frontages lining the entire 9th Avenue frontage. A four-storey podium features retail units, including a multi-storey grocery store and private gym, and two levels of above-grade parking that accommodate commercial uses. Four residential towers, ranging in height from 28 through 47 storeys accommodate 1400 residential units and total nearly 1.2 million square feet. The site is designed around four construction phases arranged from west to east.
The design concept is inspired by the mountain landscape that serves as the dramatic and iconic backdrop to the City of Calgary. A series of public terraces, beginning with a large at-grade public plaza at the mid-block terminus of 10th Street SW, are interconnected by large staircases to permit access to landscaped roof terraces at each of the four podium levels, culminating at the fourth level featuring the residential amenity terraces and landscaped gardens. The sculpted podium is wrapped in a luminous patterned glass skin, creating a unified base for all four phases of the development. The towers vary in height and size. They are pushed, pulled and bent to create a dynamic and varied expression and skyline. The profile of a mountain range is drawn across the towers to create a sculptural profile. Articulated, solid planes wrap each tower and articulated balconies create a dynamic, sculptural profile while allowing the building envelope to remain regular to allow the maximum flexibility to create a high quality interior suite layout.