December 20, 2006
by Canadian Architect
The University of Calgary has appointed internationally renowned Sasaki Associates to lead the master planning for the development of West Campus, an 80-hectare parcel of land owned by the U of C.
The university selected Sasaki after an open selection process, which included public presentations.
“Our intent is to inject vision and innovation into everything we do on the West Campus, to act in the best interest of our students, faculty and staff, and to consider the needs of the greater community,” says Dr. Harvey Weingarten, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Working with Sasaki will enable the University to develop a planned community that will support a number of useful, creative and beneficial initiatives.”
The Province of Alberta gave the land to the university in 1995. The land, which is approximately a third of the size of downtown Calgary, overlooks the Bow River Valley and runs east of Shaganappi Trail between 16th Avenue and 32nd Avenue NW. Currently, the land is home to Alberta Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House, and is across the street from the new Child Development Centre, which is scheduled to open in the spring of 2007.
The University has initiated a master-planning process to develop a balanced, people-friendly, and environmentally sustainable university community comprised of mixed uses, including residential, retail, and commercial space all designed to enhance the quality educational experience offered by the U of C. Development of the West Campus will support the University’s academic plan as well as the recruitment and retention of leading students and academics.
Following U of C policy, the West Campus will be developed as a sustainable community, meeting or exceeding targets and environmental indicators established under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. Sasaki’s commitment to LEED building is evident in the large number of LEED-accredited professionals on staff, and the dedication to creating environmentally responsible designs.
Sasaki brings a multidisciplinary team of planners, urban designers, architects, landscape architects, engineers and interior designers to the project. They have extensive experience in planning and urban design, including campus design and landscaping, all over America, the Middle East and Asia. The firm recently created a master plan for the University of Pennsylvania’s East Campus that takes into account immediate needs, as well as the coming 50 years.
“Sasaki is very excited about the opportunity provided by the West Campus lands to enhance the University of Calgary’s mission and the overall community environment,” says Sasaki principal Daniel R. Kenney. “The West Campus lands can position the university and the City of Calgary as world leaders in advancing the idea of a learning city.”
The Sasaki team also includes Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. (architecture/planning), U3 Ventures (development consultants), GWL Realty Advisors (market research analysis) and Morrison Hershfield (transportation/civil engineering), providing a high level of expertise and understanding of the local environment.