9th Avenue Parkade + Innovation Center / 5468796 Architecture + Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning
Manufacturers: AB Applicators Ltd., Alsa Road Construction Ltd., Atlas Anchor Systems (BC) Ltd., Burton General Contracting Ltd., CP Distributors Ltd., Caliber Coatings Ltd., Creative Door Services Ltd., Crosstown Heating and Ventilating (Calgary) Ltd., Custom Electric Ltd., Dura Stainless & Sheet Metal Mfg. ltd., Durwest Construction Systems (Alberta) Ltd., EllisDon Construction Services Inc., Enmax Power Corporation, Ferguson Company, Flynn Canada, Geba Interiors Ltd., HCM Entrepreneurs Inc., Harris Rebar d/o Harris Steel ULC, Heavy Industries Theming Corp., Masonry IB Jensen Ltd.+15
Johanna Hurme, Sasa Radulovic
Text description provided by the architects. The City of Calgary needed downtown parking to free up several downtown lots for development. Understanding the likelihood of the building’s future obsolescence, city officials also wanted a creative solution that would justify current and future expenditures. Thus, the city asked 5468796 Architecture in collaboration with Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning to design a 510-space parking lot that could be easily converted into an office, light industrial or residential building. The project site – adjacent to the New Calgary Library, Calgary City Hall and Studio Bell (the National Music Centre) – included an inconstructable easement for an underground light rail tunnel, cutting through the middle of the site of the project and representing what the city determined to be a 20% loss in buildable area.
The design team’s solution is a building in the form of an elliptical helix, bridging the easement, thereby recovering much of the lost land value. Vehicles enter at ground level, directly on the easement. The ellipse creates a large inner courtyard the width of the street and shallow 12 meter floor plates that over time will allow daylight and ventilation to enter the interiors from multiple directions. The floor plates rise on a gradual 1-2% slope to avoid the need for vehicle ramps which would eventually need to be removed. Ceiling heights of 4 meters, clear spans and universal load capacity contribute to a variety of gradual or bulk changes with low cost ramifications.
The vehicular entrance, with clearances that will allow maintenance of the underground tunnel, is flanked by pedestrian and bicycle entrances and activities such as a basketball court, activating the facade along 9th Avenue SE and framing the southern edge of the developing East Village neighborhood. Spherical bollards, colorful concrete patterns on the floor and a circulating mirrored ceiling ensure that the central courtyard is a lively and dynamic place with a distinctive and memorable aesthetic, enriched by additional public amenities, including a café terrace and an outdoor exhibition space.
The structure is shrouded in a distinctive protective shroud, strategically raised around the perimeter to allow access for pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles. The members of the shroud hold a fine-grained mesh that today acts as a pedestrian guardrail, while allowing easy and inexpensive conversion to residential/commercial balconies with no additional work required.
Midway through the design process, the client cemented a partnership with Platform, an entrepreneurial hub for the city’s burgeoning innovation community. This was the first test of the adaptable design – requiring the plan to be converted into an open, flexible office space that can be easily modified for use by individuals and small and large groups, occupying the space at the hour, day, month or year. base. The design team proposed that the platform occupy the first two levels of the building to enliven the street facade and created a light-framed suspended vehicular ramp cutting through the central airspace, to remove the vehicular circuit from the inside the structure and provide an unexpected user experience. . This ramp can be easily removed later if vehicle access is no longer required.
Inside, they removed parts of the second floor and created a “ground stage” that serves as an entrance, a connection between the two levels, and a link between the space that encourages organized and impromptu meetings. The next six levels include 280,000 square feet of parking, with light-filled pedestrian pathways and elevated views in all directions. A clear, simple and one-way circulation is explained with a distinctive orientation – also created by the architects as an extension of the building design.
In its next life, the parking lot can be converted partially or totally, gradually or partially, and to one or more uses. The low slope provides a “flat” floor within acceptable tolerances for Class B or C offices or light industrial spaces. The imperceptibly shallow spiral creates an “infinite” floor plate, allowing for great flexibility in the future. Residential conversions can be done with surfacing material.