The development plans for the current site of Art Central were just announced:
"Telus is planning to build a $400-million, 58-storey, 750,000 square-foot tower at the site of the current Art Central building, it was announced Thursday.
Art Central, located at 100 7th Ave. S.W., will be demolished to make room for Telus Sky, which the company says will transform Calgary’s skyline with “an architectural marvel, creating a dynamic community of blended urban living and working.” Telus says it will transform the entire 7th Avenue block into “one of the most technologically innovative and environmentally-friendly sites” in North America.
It will include the first 26 floors of office space and 32 upper floors, comprising 341 residential units." Read more on the Calgary Herald.
I was certain that a new skyscraper in proximity to "The Bow"—the smooth, uniform tower with diagrid designed by Foster + Partners—would try to be its complementary opposite. So I wasn't surprised by the architectural design direction of the "Telus Sky". I predicted that it would be faceted, crystal-like and have a twisting column and that's exactly what this building is. The architect is the Bjarke Ingels Group of Copenhagen.
I do like the street-level design, I think it is an elegant solution to the requirement of hosting an LRT station right outside the entrance. Certainly a world of improvement to the entrance of Art Central, which I think was always a detriment to its success. (Here's one of my posts from a few years ago, with an image.) I am also glad that the plans include a residential component.
The timeline for development is tentatively that Art Central will be demolished early next year. Current tenants (and any new short-term tenants) will have at least until the end of 2013. What will replace a demolished Art Central, the community that this development displaces? I do not know. The Art Central dream was a failure, despite the best efforts of many people.
For me, and UPPERCASE, I am relieved that the official announcement has come, there's a visual representation of what is happening—and I have a new office secured in The Devenish building on 17th Ave SW.
Though I strongly disagree with the marketing/media slant of saying this new building is a proof of Calgary's triumphs and rebuilding post-flood (the Art Central building remained powerless though perfectly unharmed in the flood and is a serviceable building with many dedicated tenants), I am pleased with the design and resigned to the redevelopment.
With the contents of my basement emptied to the street, and now the necessity of reducing what I need to move to the new office, the past couple weeks have been about adapting, purging, packing... and moving on.
The countdown to the UPPERCASE studio move begins!!!