‘Sky bridge’ part of vi­sion

‘Hole’ in 3 Eau Claire to trans­form sky­line

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - Front Page - CLAIRE YOUNG

On his first visit to Cal­gary, a South Korean de­vel­oper was so taken with the beauty of the Bow River, he de­cided to con­struct an iconic condo pro­ject to cel­e­brate.

James Hong Park “thought it was the most beau­ti­ful river walk he’d been on in the world,” says Bruce McKenzie of NORR Ar­chi­tects Plan­ners in Cal­gary. “He just felt like he needed to buy some land here and do some­thing.”

When Park dis­cussed his vi­sion for the build­ing with the ar­chi­tects, McKenzie says Park told a story to help il­lus­trate his con­cept.

“He said he once bought a 747 jet in Seat­tle and flew it to South Korea,” says McKenzie. “He said, ‘I put it on a river and turned it into a restau­rant. Since I’ve done that, there has been a lineup 24 hours a day to get into this restau­rant.’”

Park told the ar­chi­tects that this is what he wanted for his build­ing in Cal­gary — he wanted some­thing so beau­ti­ful that “peo­ple will line up to buy it,” says McKenzie.

To be called 3 Eau Claire, the iconic 651,00-square-foot struc­ture is to be lo­cated near the Peace Bridge.

It will re­de­fine the Cal­gary sky­line through dou­ble glass tow­ers of 48 and 40 storeys joined by a sky bridge.

The mixed-use pro­ject will see ground-level re­tail space with of­fice space in the 12-storey, 200,000-square­foot podium, says An­drew Sung-Jin Lee, ju­nior pro­ject man­ager with 3 Eau Claire De­vel­op­ments Inc.

The de­vel­oper is a con­sor­tium made up of Solex Plan­ning of South Korea, Cal­gary-based Starnes Con­sult­ing and Ino Ar­chi­tects of At­lanta, Ga.

The podium will be con­nected to the Plus-15 sys­tem.

The two glass tow­ers ris­ing from the podium will have res­i­den­tial condo space up to about the 45th-floor pent­house, with some more el­e­va­tion above to house me­chan­i­cal needs.

The 48-storey east tower is taller than the 40-storey west tower, al­low­ing for a grace­ful curve of glass above the bridge.

“Our orig­i­nal idea was the two tow­ers were em­brac­ing, so we con­nected them at the top,” says McKenzie.

“We had more of a twisty top to the build­ing, but we had to lose that be­cause it was too com­pli­cated to work out the struc­ture on our com­put­ers.”

C MVisit our web­site for more pho­tos.

“Now I think the build­ing is more about the void than it is about the con­nec­tion.”

“The hole in the build­ing is pretty cool. It frames the view both of down­town through it to the river, and vice versa from the other way.”

The el­e­va­tors run down the sides of the tow­ers that face each other, in­stead of through the mid­dle of the tow­ers, so peo­ple will have a view out­side as they move up and down.

An ex­am­ple of joined tow­ers in the city is the Ho­tel Le Ger­main Cal­gary, which com­bines ho­tel, of­fice space and con­dos in the bridge link­ing the build­ings.

But this pro­ject is much smaller than 3 Eau Claire, where the view from the sky bridge will be much more dra­matic be­cause of its lo­ca­tion in the tran­si­tion zone from mixed use to res­i­den­tial, along with down­town sky­scrapers to the river val­ley.

Be­yond cre­at­ing a land­mark build­ing, the two tow­ers of 3 Eau Claire will bring more sun and view ex­po­sures to each of the units.

The floor plate, or size of each level, will be about 6,500 square feet, whereas the av­er­age midto high­rise condo has a floor plate of be­tween 7,500 and 8,000 square feet, says Lee.

The smaller foot­print for each level means the con­dos can be wider on the win­dow side, as well as be­ing more shal­low depth-wise than they oth­er­wise might be.

“Af­ter the re­ces­sion, af­ford­abil­ity went down and ev­ery­one suf­fered,” says Lee. “The trend in big cities was for unit sizes to be­come smaller. At the same time, when the units are smaller, the trade-off is to make those units highly ef­fi­cient.”

The one-bed­room units are about 500 square feet, while the two-bed­room units are 650 to 850 square feet and up.

The lower floors of the tow­ers will start with about 10 units per floor, with fewer units on each level as the floor plate nar­rows near the top of the tow­ers.

The sky bridge will con­nect the tow­ers start­ing at the 36th floor.

There will be con­dos in the sky bridge for four floors, with about four units on each floor.

At the 40th floor, the bridge will open for the own­ers’ sky lounge, which will con­tain a soar­ing ceil­ing to create a four-storey, curved atrium.

The curve of the atrium’s roofline from the lower west tower arch­ing to the taller east tower lends it­self to the idea of an em­brace.

“It’s go­ing to de­velop its own sen­si­bil­i­ties to peo­ple that look at it,” says McKenzie.

“For some peo­ple, it will be a union or a solid-void thing. For oth­ers, the con­nec­tion at the top will be more sig­nif­i­cant when you see the build­ing from far away.”

De­ci­sions are still be­ing made about what the atrium space will look like and whether other ameni­ties, such as a fit­ness cen­tre, will be part of it.

McKenzie is talk­ing to the own­ers about de­vel­op­ing a “win­ter gar­den” in the atrium.

“We’re talk­ing about a gar­den of soli­tude, a quiet place to go,” he says.

“Cal­gary is such a hus­tle-bus­tle town. We need more places like this. We’re talk­ing more of a quiet, more Ja­panese-type gar­den.”

Por­tico De­sign Group of Van­cou­ver is de­vel­op­ing the in­te­rior look with an eye to a sim­ple, mod­ern and con­tem­po­rary feel.

One of the last de­ci­sions the group is mak­ing is the colour of glass to use — clear or with a hint of blue, says McKenzie.

Sales are ex­pected to be­gin in the fall. Pri­or­ity reg­is­tra­tion can be made at 3eau­claire.ca.

Cour­tesy, NORR Ar­chi­tects

A sketch of the pro­ject as it first ap­peared with a dif­fer­ent top.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.