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Site Area:

Unit Count:

Calgary, Alberta

Mixed Use Residential w/ Commercial Podium

1 660 square metres
(17 870 square feet)

558 square metres

(0.14 acres)


This project is a conceptual study of a 50’ corner lot in the Calgary Neighbourhood of Hillhurst Sunnyside.  Our interest was in determining what the maximum density for a Mixed-Use development could be in this inner-city area.  Historically, the 50’ inner city grid lot would accommodate a single-family residence.  The desire to densify urban neighbourhoods in Calgary implies that these 50’ lots will be redeveloped into multi-family housing types, with the exact density and building form to be determined. 

The chosen site for this study was on 2nd Street NW, a more major street that historically included small commercial and medium density developments. 


Our study was sensitive to the notion that densification cannot come at a scale that dominates the existing historical housing stock.  We therefore set a maximum cap of four storeys on the project and studied several existing zonings within the City of Calgary bylaw to determine if the project could fit under a stock zoning.  Further, we set a limit of a single 50’ corner lot for the project, to avoid the need to assemble two or more contiguous pieces of land.  The theory behind this decision is that using a single site would make the project more achievable to a smaller developer.

The study utilized MX-2 zoning, and its form represents a maximum envelope under that zoning.  We decided that the drive for a maximum density solution meant that it was not advantageous to eliminate units for stylistic reasons.  Instead, the design truthfully expresses each form under the zoning envelope, for a total of three unique volumes.  The volumes are individually expressed with different yet related materials. 


Our ordering principle was to include a base level of masonry, to ground the project.  Above this is a cantilevered wood box that is the “feature level” for the project.  At the top of the composition is a two-storey volume that is executed out of white and silver composite panel.  By this logic we stacked the volumes with the heaviest visual weight at the bottom, and the lightest at the top. 

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