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Foster to design tower complex in Calgary


mark simpson

Three architectural firms hired for landmark office tower
Calgary's Zeidler project architect

Gina Teel, Calgary Herald
Published: Thursday, December 08, 2005

Encana Corp. has retained three architectural firms, including two based in Calgary, to design and implement its landmark two-million-square-foot office tower complex project.

It's anticipated a design concept for the office complex, which will house EnCana's 3,200 Calgary employees, will be ready in the spring of 2006, now that the architectural team has been retained, EnCana spokeswoman Almas Kassam said Wednesday.

"Work will commence right away to start planning and designing," she said.

EnCana has retained Foster and Partners of the U.K. as its signature architect for its office complex project.

Based in London, the company is responsible for the main design and concept of the project.

Calgary's Zeidler Partnership, formerly known as Zeidler Carruthers Architects, is the project architect.

The company is responsible for implementing the design concept that Foster and Partners create and the bulk of the architectural process.

David Jefferies, managing project architect at Zeidler, said the EnCana project is pivotal in the development of the area east of Centre Street.

EnCana has purchased two parking lots across the street from Petro Canada Centre, the tallest office tower in Western Canada, as well as the 76-year-old York Hotel, for its site.

Jefferies said there's no doubt the complex will be a landmark project.

"This is, in my estimation, the most important commercial office project in Canada today, both for the city of Calgary and for Alberta, and for the country. It's a very significant project and will be viewed that way everywhere," he said.

Longtime Calgarian Jeremy Sturgess of Sturgess, Page + Steele has been retained as the master planner for the site.

Kassam said the firm is going to work with the architects to design a high-quality urban environment as well as the Plus 15 connections and street level development.

Sturgess said the firm will be looking at the significance of the site, the building, and the company in Calgary and focus on the site as a new heart of Calgary's downtown business centre.

"I think it's fair to say that EnCana is interested in creating a real kind of village within the context of that site, so our role will be how to make that work," he said.

Sturgess, who will meet with all the design partners in London Dec. 19 and 20, described the EnCana office complex as the project of a career.

"I've been working in Calgary in developing as an urban designer for 30 years, and when I say developing I mean widening our scope, and this is the opportunity of a lifetime to really have a very significant influence on what's going on in the city and I'm very excited about that," he said.

EnCana isn't divulging the project's cost, but industry insiders have estimated it at $540 million including land.

Speculation within the commercial real estate industry expects the project will feature two towers, one of which will be more than 60 storeys high -- making it the tallest tower in the west.

EnCana is North America's largest producer of natural gas.
© The Calgary Herald 2005


Foster can only be good for Calgary.

Now just as long as Sapphire is taller than EnCana, everything'll be A-Okay.



I think I am feeling seriously jealous now. On the bright side, we already have a Foster...and there is no way in hell they'd get a Mies. :p

But either way, it's good for Canada.

Brookfield - are you listening? Dump WZMH and get someone serious to design Bay-Adelaide.



I'd like to see a Richard Meier somewhere in town, maybe not at Bay-Adelaide, but maybe more of a waterfront location. His very white-and-glassy buildings suggest Harbourfront to me.

How about 60 stories of Alsop? What could he do with height?


Canuck 36

Is a 50-story Libeskind not good enough for you people!


I'll see your 100-storey Nouvel and raise you a 46-storey Brisbin.

Oops. No I won 't. That's wrong on so many levels...


Canuck 36

He currently has a 328m proposed tower in Dubai:

A 250m tower under construction in Madrid:

Three towers of heights 204m, 177m, and 160m proposed in Kuala Lumpur

A 182m project topped out in New York:

A 151m and a 114m tower under construction in Sydney:

And the proposed 118m Jamieson Tower in Vancouver:

Past projects are
The 840m vision of Millennium Tower in Tokyo:

The 541m vision for the World Trade Centre in New York:

The 300m Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt:

A 288m communications tower in Barcelona:

The 242m 126 Phillip Street in Sydney:

The 180m Swiss Re Headquarters in London:

The 179m HSBC building in Hong Kong:

And the 177m Jiushi Corporation Headquarters in Shanghai:

So cities that Foster designed a tall tower for (even if they didn't go through) are:
Hong Kong
Kuala Lumpur
New York

All fine world class cities... and now... Calgary.

Go figure.


Damn I want one of those.

BTW Canuck, most of those links go to the same page.


I've noticed that miketoronto's yet to pipe in, in this thread...


I can't wait for the delicious irony between Foster's committment to green buildings and literal hot air from Encana.