Location:       Calgary, Alberta

Project Type: New Residential Buildings

Completion:  2017

Owner:          Calgary Drop-In & Rehab Centre Society

Length:         95 metres lineal frontage (310 lineal feet)

Area:             800 square metres (8 610 sf)

The Sundial Façade Upgrade was necessitated via the failure of an open-air concrete parkade skin from the 1970s.  The project owner was required to remove this previous treatment from three sides of a three-level parkade due to safety concerns.  Systemic was engaged to design a new skin system that would provide a similar open-air function, but with a new and upgraded aesthetic, and longer lifespan.

After considering several different options, Systemic recommended the use of a perforated aluminum screen system.  Aluminum was considered as an appropriate material due to its durability and resistance to corrosion. This approach was also selected due to its light weight and diverse range of factory finish options.  The system also had a much lower dead load than the concrete it replaced, which was an important consideration in terms of attachment to the existing structure. 

The creation of a large planar surface was a challenge in terms of providing a proper level of visual interest on a prominent downtown site.  We were excited about the potential to use a modular product to create a mural that would feature a large-scale pattern.  The resulting design would have to provide enough visual pop to overcome the flatness of the surface.  Our design is called “Natural Harmonics” and references the musical element of harmonics on the fretboard of a stringed instrument.  The fretboard itself is a modular grid, and was seen as an interesting analogy for the gridded nature of the screen product.