Eighth Avenue Place is one of Calgary’s newest and most luxurious office complexes. Designed by the architectural team of Pickard Chilton, Kendall-Heaton and Gibbs Gage, and developed and managed by Hines on behalf of co-owners Ivanhoé Cambridge, AIMCo and Matco Investments Ltd., Eighth Avenue Place is the first LEED Platinum complex of its class in Canada.
Entro is seeing the conclusion of our work as wayfinding consultants for the project with the recent opening of the 40-storey 840,000-square foot West Tower. The 49-storey, 1.1 million-square-foot East Tower was completed in early 2011. The sculptural form of the twin-tower complex and its three-story lobby clad in natural stone, stainless steel and glass inspired our design approach. Our intent for wayfinding at Eighth Avenue Place has been to annotate the buildings in a simple, elegant manner using understated industrial design elements and typography to compliment the scale, tone and finish of the architecture.
In 2012 we were asked by Hines to design a construction hoarding for the West Tower that expressed the benefit of the sustainable building practices for which Eighth Avenue Place has been recognized. To do this, we chose to present images of the local natural world that sustains us, seen through the work of Alberta artists and their interpretations of the Alberta landscape. We then invited our friend, curator and writer Mary-Beth Laviolette, to help research and connect us with artists, private galleries, publishers and collections from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, City of Calgary, Glenbow Museum and Art Gallery of Alberta.
The artwork showcased dates from 1925 to the present and featured contemporary, modern and historical works, bringing together some of the key names in the development of Alberta art. For eighteen months the assembled collection of over 40 pieces became an ephemeral outdoor art gallery visible along three downtown city streets and within the building’s plaza courtyard. We developed a brochure that offered background to the projects’ LEED status and artwork, as well as a slide show of the images for viewing on digital signage in the already completed East tower elevators. In response to this initiative and the work, Eighth Avenue Place has been recognized by the Downtown Calgary Association for its refreshing vision, execution and commitment to the arts as an important foundation of the community.
The Eighth Avenue Place Ownership Group recently offered the City of Calgary the gift of a number of the graphic art panels that previously adorned the construction hoarding. 16 of the panels have just been installed this September as an interim enhancement to the downtown 5th Street SW pedestrian underpass.