LACEY COURT EXPANSION
Commercial Adaptive Re-Use
1 090 square metres (11 715 square feet)
978 square metres (0.24 acres)
The Lacey Court Redevelopment is an adaptive re-use of an existing two-level structure located in the downtown Beltline of Calgary. Originally constructed in the 1956, with an expansion in 1968, much of the existing building has reached its end-of-life-cycle condition; requiring substantial upgrades to achieve energy efficiency and revitalize its systems. The challenge for the existing building was the high likelihood that any development to the site would see the complete demolition of the existing structure and the creation of a high-density development more in keeping with its context. Working with the project owner, Systemic Architecture’s approach for the redevelopment is to reuse as much of the existing building footprint as possible, while at the same time providing a substantial floor area expansion for a new childcare tenant with services for approximately 160 children.
Constructed in the International Style that was prevalent at the time, the existing building features hallmarks of the style: a repeating geometric module upon which the building is organized, simple expression of materials, and exposed structural elements. The existing building façade is unadorned, and expresses itself honestly: visual interest was created by a colour contrast between deep blue wall panels, buff brick and off-white trims.
Systemic’s intervention on this site is designed to pay respect to the existing stylistic cues and expand the building in a complimentary manner. Material selections were made to match the existing palette to the greatest possible extent. The bay module at the south face of the building also mirrors the existing structure, and the exposed beam tails have been faithfully re-created at the roof level. Glazing proportions have been tuned to match the existing façade geometry.
Systemic believes that the spirit of the International Style encourages the expansion and re-use of an existing structure: the existing Lacey Court was expanded once before in its history, and our intervention is a continuation of that tradition. The interior of the building will be suited for a single childcare tenant, with an elevator installed to ensure barrier free access throughout the entire building. The new roof structure will provide a rooftop play area that is private and completely self contained. Childcare uses have been identified by the City of Calgary as a vital need for the Beltline communities, with a paucity of existing services for the growing number of families and children in Calgary’s urban core. We therefore see the adaptive reuse of the building as the provision of a valuable community resource within an existing character building that would likely otherwise be demolished in favour of a much larger project.