ArtTalks - Elbow Park School
June 21 was National Aboriginal Day (now National Indigenous Peoples Day). It was also the 4th anniversary of the Calgary Flood and the day that Elbow Park School was tragically damaged beyond repair.
ArtTalks is a nonprofit group that hosts a series of inspiring events designed to heighten interest and knowledge of art in its many forms. Their mission is to support the educational success for urban Indigenous youth in Calgary through to high school completion. In partnership with Rotary Club of Calgary Downtown and The Calgary Foundation, 100% of donations from ArtTalks events are directed to children in the Rotary Tom Jackson Stay in School (RTJSIS) program.
On Wednesday evening, as many Calgarians reflected on the flood of 2013 and on the significance of Canada’s indigenous peoples, ArtTalks hosted a social evening to raise awareness for their cause. For this event, they partnered with Gibbs Gage Architects who designed the Elbow Park School reconstruction and Stuart Olson Construction who built it, to tell the story to members of the community and provide an opportunity for them to become re-acquainted with the school.
Chito Pabustan, the Managing Director of Design from GGA guided the 120 attendees through the process of the project. Chito noted the restoration of character defining elements of the original building, and provided insight on this unique project, particularly in regards to the flood of 2013. Chito related the project back to ArtTalks as he reminded us all that at its roots, architecture is a true form of art, which we all experience every day.
Dustin Unrau, one of the project architects, furthered the sense Elbow Park School’s connection to the community with his attention to the school’s history. Dustin noted the original completion in 1926, the extensive development of the Elbow Park neighbourhood by 1951, as well as the gymnasium addition in 1973. These historic notes provided a sense for how the Elbow Park School has evolved and acted as a centre of the community throughout its existence. In recognizing the Elbow Park School’s landmark qualities, Dustin also pointed out the significant efforts to maintain the iconic north facade of the building.
Maeve Hegarty did a wonderful job illustrating the interior design focuses of the project, specifically noting the importance of designing spaces with children and creativity in mind. It was interesting to hear about some of the magic design elements such as the hanging lights in the learning commons inspired by Harry Potter, and the playful question mark shape of the reception desk. The space really is conducive to learning and creating.
In all, it was a wonderful evening showcasing the work of a top architecture firm, and a project that brings a community together and raising over $20,000 for the cause. It was wonderful to hear in the closing remarks of principle Carrie Dayman how the building truly comes to life when the children arrive in the morning. As designers and architects, it is incredible to recognize the impact of this project as it provides a creative and inspiring environment for the next generation of difference makers.
Author: River Parker
June 21st, 2017 - Calgary, AB
Blending of Art & Architecture | The History & Evolution of Elbow Park School
2017 Is Looking Good!
While consistently delivering elegant, innovative and efficient designs is always our first priority, having a few of our projects recognized along the way is also pretty great! This year we are proud and honoured to have won three design awards...so far...
At the 2017 Canadian Institute of Steel Construction, Alberta Steel Design Awards (May 4th, 2017), the Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary took home the 2017 Engineering Award. The SSE was transformed from a horseshoe-shaped labyrinth of seven linked concrete buildings erected in the '60s and '70s into a modern campus with a heart of steel.
Using an integrated design process, Gibbs Gage Architects as Prime Consultant lead the integrated design process collaborating with Diamond + Schmitt Architects and Structural Engineers, RJC to deliver a design that was light, open and respectful of both the traditional elements and modern design.
More recently at the A4LE, 2017 Pacific Northwest Regional Conference this past weekend in Banff, we are honoured to have won both the awards for "New Learning Environment" for Siksika Nation's Chief Crowfoot School in Cluny, AB and the "Renovation/Major Addition" award for Elbow Park School.
The Chief Crowfoot School was designed with the intent of respectfully celebrating the rich history of the Siksika Nation and the surrounding landscape. The building works to reference elements of the Siksika Nation and the landscape as learning tools for the primary student. The massing of the building was centred around the Cultural Elder Room which serves as the heart of the building. The main entrance faces due east, respecting the Siksika culture and the landscape plan used the school tee-pee as a central element directly adjacent to the Cultural Elder Room to organize the landscape plan.
The depth of cultural teaching within the Siksika Nation takes many forms. Art, language, making, writing and spiritual guidance are just a few elements we drew upon to inform design decisions. We envisioned the school as a teaching element - using textures, colour, materiality and language to make the school a unique building that was part of the community and would hopefully create connections between the culture and the students.
Elbow Park School, a landmark building located in the heart of the Elbow Park neighbourhood, was originally built in 1926. The charming two-storey building was designed to reflect the residential character of the neighbourhood. The June 2013 floods in Calgary caused significant structural damage to the school due to the differential settlement. As a result, it was deemed that the school would need to be demolished and the Calgary Board of Education put out a Public Request for Proposal for a replacement school which was awarded to Gibbs Gage Architects.
Gibbs Gage Architects recognized the historic value the school represented to the community and, upon careful analysis with the client, community and consultant team, designed a replacement school that included the preservation of the north exterior wall and the reconstruction of the east & west walls. Select architectural pieces, such as the library wood hammer trusses and the roof cupola were preserved and re-incorporated into the final design.
Thank you always to our creative and devoted team of professionals, our superior engineering and specialty consultants and to our exceptional, forward-thinking clients.
Seton Recreation Facility
The Seton Recreation Facility in Southeast Calgary will be a City wide destination for recreation and sport training in the heart of one of Calgary's new urban centres. Click on the link below to catch a glimpse of this innovative, sustainable and iconic new City attraction...
Video by Cicada Design Inc.
2015 Alberta Masonry Design Awards
2020 4th Street
Award of Merit - Commercial Building
Eighth Avenue Place
Award of Excellence - Thin Masonry Veneer - Commercial
Award of Excellence - Commercial Building
Seton's Gateway Surprise
Check out the article at the link below: