Top Projects 2010: Commercial/Runner-Up

The Core, Executive Place, and Courts Centre Park & Parkade

THE CORE

Spanning three city blocks and occupying three buildings joined by bridges, the $140-million renovation of The Core in Calgary boasts the world's largest skylight of its kind.

Measuring 90 ft wide and 750 ft long, and containing 1,740 pieces of glasses and 95 arches, the skylight differs from other skylights because the glass hangs, giving the illusion that it is not supported by framing.

Size is not the only impressive thing about the skylight. Its installation, like the other renovations at The Core, was done while shoppers browsed.

General contractor EllisDon collaborated extensively and early on with project owner 20 Vic Management, the consultants and the City of Calgary to overcome the logistical challenges. EllisDon's research and development division helped with scheduling and logistics.

MMC International Architects designed the mall's new look, which included updating the curtain wall systems and structural steel support for the bridges that connect the three buildings, and redesigning the public areas.

EXECUTIVE PLACE

The tallest building in Red Deer was completed in September - all 12 storeys of it. Located downtown, the $33.9-million project brings over 95,000 sq. ft of office and retail space to the city, complete with three levels of parking.

Designed by NORR Architects Planners (formerly by Poon McKenzie) and built by Clark Builders, construction managers on the project, the building offers views in all directions, putting its height to good use. An outdoor terrace on the 11th floor is shouldered by two-storey aluminum panel columns and wraps around two sides of the building, providing a magnificent view extending beyond the city.

Other interesting features include a two-storey entrance marked by tapered precast columns and a glass canopy.

Consulting engineers were Wiebe Forest Engineering Ltd. for structural and Hemisphere Engineering Ltd. for mechanical and electrical.

COURTS CENTRE PARK & PARKADE

The $44.3-million Calgary Courts Centre Phase 2 - Parkade and Park project consists of a four-storey underground parkade with 700 stalls and a street-level public park.

The designers portray the natural landscape of Alberta in the park by creating five abstract areas: LRT Gardens, Calgary Courts Commons, Prairie Ribbon, Parkland Ribbon and Tectonic Gardens (Mountains). The park and parkade include a number of sustainable features, including a rainwater harvesting cistern, low-flow drip irrigation system, low-maintenance seating walls, optimal structural design to utilize a minimal amount of steel and concrete to achieve goals, among other things.

CANA Management Ltd. was the general contractor. Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. was the architect. Engineers were Stantec, Hemisphere Engineering and Stebnicki & Partners. Scatliff + Miller + Murray Inc. was the landscape architect.

The parkade opened to the public on May 31, with construction of the park scheduled to be finished as this issue of Alberta Construction Magazine was going to press.


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