CLIENT Bow Valley College
LOCATION Calgary, AB
Through this large-scale renovation, GEC added an additional 7,500 m2 of space within the tight downtown site of Bow Valley College’s original 1972 building. This was achieved by filling in space on an exterior plaza located at the +15 level and by replacing an at-grade parking structure with street-oriented student gathering, learning, resource and administrative spaces. Exterior corridors were replaced with classrooms and offices to increase floor efficiencies and expose students and workers to natural light. In addition, a new internal ‘main street’ circulation connects the core of the building to active and quiet student gathering spaces situated adjacent to windows. The result is a light-filled, student-centered, higher education facility that has expanded and increased BVC’s space efficiency.
This high-profile renovation was completed while BVC continued normal day-to-day operations. A major contributor to the successful execution of the project was planning swing spaces and ‘decanting’ of users with an emphasis on mitigating construction disruption and ensuring the college remained fully functional.
GEC worked with BVC to complete tenant improvements within the North Campus once construction of the new South Campus was completed. The design team met with various user groups including the Executive for the renovation and expansion of the existing Library and Learning Commons, as well as a new Tutorial Centre, Intercultural Centre, Student Association and Lecture Theatre, and additional Classroom space.
2011 - Downtown Vitality Awards | Enhancing the Downtown through Urban Design
The South Campus expansion at Bow Valley College (BVC) is an important catalyst for the redevelopment of an entire downtown city block. The new building is comprised of seven storeys on an ‘L’ shaped site connecting to a development on the west side of the block (known as Block 40). This expansion doubled the College's seating capacity to 6,300.
The South Campus is a functional space designed across seven storeys, with three levels of underground parkade. In addition to new classrooms, laboratories and specialized learning centres, the facility houses administrative areas, food service facilities, a bookstore, a multi-faith centre, an Aboriginal Centre and a roof garden on the fourth level.
The aesthetics of the design incorporate a number of decorative patterns that were inspired by cultures from across the globe, including Alberta's First Nations. The motifs repeat throughout the building as wall coverings, ceiling panels and most prominently in the glazed features throughout the building's facades. Water and energy efficiencies were incorporated into design as well.
2015 - Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America | Award of Merit
2013 - Alberta Construction Magazine’s Top Projects Awards | Commercial - under $50 million