Edmonton’s Federal Building receives urban design award

The Federal Building and new public plaza redevelopment has received an Award of Excellence in the Civic Design category at the 2011 Edmonton Urban Design Award Competition. Hosted by The City of Edmonton in conjunction with Architecture Canada | RAIC, the awards recognize and promote urban design and architectural excellence that enhance the quality of life within the City of Edmonton.

Owned by the Alberta government, the Federal Building is a 10-storey, Art Deco-style facility located on the northeast corner of the Alberta Legislature Grounds in Edmonton. Designed in 1939 by prominent local architect George Heath MacDonald and built in the late 1950’s, this symbol of historical architecture has sat vacant since 1989. It is now being repurposed by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning, with Moriyama and Teshima Architects providing plaza and urban design services. Clark Builders are responsible for construction management.

Upon completion, this mixed-use facility will provide engaging new offices and gathering spaces for Members of the Legislative Assembly and staff from the Legislative Assembly Office. It will also house staff from several Government of Alberta departments. A new west entry two-storey pavilion will feature a large gathering space with café, dining, retail and access to the new Visitor Centre and Gift Shop. A 650-stall underground parkade is set to replace existing surface parking lots and facilitate the development of a new public plaza, which will reconnect the existing building to the legislature grounds. This will provide year-round recreational opportunities for all Albertans.

Designed to LEED Gold standards, this $275-million redevelopment will create a focal point for economic growth and provide a unique symbol of government accessibility for the 21st century. “The redeveloped Federal Building and the new public plaza is set to create an endur­ing expression of Alberta’s history, culture and future interests, preserving the beauty and longevity of one of the city’s most significant architectural landmarks,” says Don Kasian, founder and president of Kasian.

The winners of the 2011 Edmonton Urban Design Awards will be entered in next year’s National RAIC Urban Design Award competition. The projects will also be exhibited in Edmonton City Hall and featured on the City of Edmonton and RAIC websites.

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