Sustain­abil­ity, Art and Archi­tec­ture at Eighth Avenue Place

September 30, 2014


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.