© 2019 Systemic Architecture Inc.

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Location:         Calgary, Alberta

Project Type:   Mixed Use

Completion:     2019

Owner:             Calgary John Howard Society

Contractor:       Clark Builders

Size:                 3 140 square metres (33 800 square feet)

Site Area:         5 140 square metres (1.27 acres)

The Calgary John Howard Society Project combines two separate existing facilities in Calgary into a single location.  Early visioning and programming exercises were essential to understand how the building design could further the Society’s principal of restorative justice and crime prevention through social development.  Special attention was paid to the different uses of the two facilities being combined: an existing halfway house and an administrative building.

 The 4-storey Bedford House will be home to 32 residents, complete with a variety of support services and amenity spaces on the ground floor including a gym, cultural room, large dining room, and a communal TV/games room.  The goal of the residential component was to provide a design that would look and feel like a typical apartment building, while providing the security and oversight measures required of a halfway house.  A primary goal of the Society was to ensure that this building creates a sense of “home” for its residents.

Attached to this structure is the 2-storey Administration Building where a multitude of offices, meeting rooms, and support spaces for the CJHS will be located.  Designed with a limited number of enclosed spaces for acoustic separation where required, the bulk of the floor area supports an open office layout with generous natural light penetrating deep into the floorplate. 

The project site is located in the industrial neighbourhood of Manchester and provides unique opportunities in the development of the building exterior.  Building materials consist of corrugated metal, stucco, metal panel, and curtain wall that captures an industrial aesthetic, while simultaneously being sympathetic to the residential nature of the project.  Construction details such as triple pane glazing were implemented to counter unwanted sound transmission from adjacent industrial uses. 

Edge conditions on the property are designed to buffer the project from Builders Road.  This is achieved via a naturalized pathway behind a landscaped berm and communal gardens, creating a semi-private space.  Staff outdoor amenity space and the resident plaza are physically separate, and are designed using Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles.  A basketball court allows for a variety of outdoor sport activities, and can be programmed for temporary uses such as facility BBQs and events.