Although 2016 was an uncertain economic time in Alberta, there were still several impressive construction projects completed – many within Edmonton. Here’s a year in review featuring a few of the newest additions to the landscape of Albertan architecture. With exteriors inspired by history and nature and interiors designed to streamline how we work, travel and play, these buildings are a testament to the diversity and tenacity of our province.
Banff Gondola – Upper Terminal (100 Mountain Avenue, Banff)
With a building site so remote, it’s no surprise the team in charge of this extensive renovation project had to face a few obstacles. Material was brought in either by helicopter or on the gondola itself, meaning strict weight limits had to be followed. With views of Spray Valley, Bow Valley and the Town of Banff, the glass-ensconced terminal was designed to blend into the mountainside and let the beauty of its natural surroundings shine.
Calgary International Airport – International Terminal (2000 Airport Road, Calgary)
One of the largest commercial projects in the history of Alberta’s construction industry, the Calgary International Airport’s new international terminal added 2 million square feet of space, including the integration of retail shops and restaurants as well as a 14,000-foot runway. The design, which was inspired by the mountains, glacial lakes, and rivers of the area, incorporates rundle stone from nearby Mount Rundle.
Enbridge Centre (10175 – 101 Street, Edmonton)
The first new office building to open in Edmonton’s downtown financial district in 30 years, this 28-storey tower was built on the site of the historic Kelly Ramsey Building – which was severely damaged by fire in 2009. But the spirit of the demolished building lives on as its salvaged bricks make up the facade at the base of the new tower. With an overhead and an underground pedway linking it to nearby buildings, Enbridge Centre adds to the growing connectivity of Edmonton’s downtown core.
Rogers Place (10220 – 104 Avenue, Edmonton)
With construction finishing just in time to kick off the Edmonton Oilers’ 2016-2017 season, Rogers Place is the most advanced sports and entertainment venue in North America. With a curvaceous stainless steel exterior and an interior filled with natural light, Rogers Place has received numerous awards for its technological advancements and forward-thinking design – including the largest true high-definition scoreboard in the NHL and a 45-foot circular mosaic by internationally acclaimed Albertan artist Alex Janvier. The centerpiece of Edmonton’s ICE District, the building’s planning, and construction stages required detailed collaboration between the project’s team members.
Royal Alberta Museum (10344 – 97 Street, Edmonton)
At 419,000 square feet, the Royal Alberta Museum is the largest museum in Western Canada. Designed to showcase the province’s natural and human history amidst the city’s downtown arts district, the museum also hopes to attract a variety of exhibits from around the world with its state-of-the-art facilities. Having twice as much floor space as the old building, the transitioning of artifacts will be a mammoth undertaking and the grand opening is still to be determined – although it likely will occur sometime in late 2017. With a horizontal block cantilevered over the building’s entrance and natural materials such a limestone serving as exterior cladding, the museum is both modern and majestic.