Project Essentials

  • LocationCalgary, AB
  • ArchitectRevery Architecture (Bing Thom Architects)

It’s not often that one would associate the term “parkade” with public art or a civic gathering space; at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, however, this is exactly the case.

With growing recognition among clients and civic officials of the need to reimagine these typically anti-social spaces, the institute’s parkade was a first step in a larger master plan to urbanize the Calgary campus.

Fast + Epp was enlisted to design a glass, steel and timber pyramid to feature prominently over the main exit stairwell, which leads from the parkade to Cohos Commons. Our design utilized tilted and facetted pyramidal forms, constructed of shaped Timberstrand moment frames with hidden connectors and steel spacer pipes. These wood members were further extended using steel pipes and stainless-steel cables, forming a 12.8m-long cantilever to mark the entrance to the parkade.

Proportioned more as an atrium than a stair, the structure cleverly acts as naturally-lit wayfinding and an aesthetically appealing space. It pushes designers to rethink their treatments for parkade structures and will hopefully reinvent these areas as vibrant points of architectural interest.