Design team for the Arts Commons Transformation announced

KPMB, Tawaw Architecture Collective, and Hindle Architects will lead the two-phase expansion and renewal project.

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), together with partners Arts Commons and The City of Calgary have announced the team that will design the expansion and renewal of Arts Commons.

Toronto-based KPMB will lead the project, alongside Tawaw Architecture Collective Inc., headed by Calgarian (and Canada’s first female First Nations architect) Wanda Dalla Costa, and Calgary-based Hindle Architects. Tawaw will ensure the Indigenous perspective is thoughtfully woven into all aspects of the design.

Calgary-based PCL Construction, which was awarded the contract for the project’s pre-construction services, will work with the prime design team to ensure the design process is aligned with future construction planning.
“We are so pleased to be collaborating with CMLC, Arts Commons and The City to invest in and contribute to the transformation of cultural life in Calgary. Drawing from our deeply rooted practice and our extensive experience in this realm, our strong, creative and responsive project team is energized by the opportunity to revitalize Arts Commons and create an inclusive, vibrant and resilient place that will serve as both a catalyst for cultural growth and a healing force for Calgarians and the city—especially during these challenging times,” says KPMB, Hindle Architects, Tawaw Architecture Collective, and SLA. 

Over the past year, the project partners have been working through the planning process—creating the functional plan and the business model for the expansion, conducting a building assessment and carrying out public engagement—effectively setting the stage for the prime design team to begin this next exciting chapter in the ACT story. 

City of Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek spoke about Arts Commons Transformation and its impact on the city. “A thriving creative sector is essential to making Calgary a more resilient city. Arts Commons is one of the main pillar projects that will give our city a much-needed boost — it will catalyze growth, diversify our economic drivers and draw even more people to the downtown core.”

Arts Commons—currently home to five theatres and the world-class Jack Singer Concert Hall—will be transformed over two phases. The first phase—now fully funded—will see the expansion of Arts Commons, adding new performance venues and support areas with thoughtful connections to the current building. The second phase, the modernization of the existing Arts Commons, will follow once funding is secured. The project scope for KPMB and the design team encompasses both phases.

According to Alex Sarian, Arts Commons President and CEO, “ACT will help make Calgary an even more livable city by giving Calgarians and our visitors improved access to a wide variety of arts and culture experiences—and more formal and informal gathering spaces in which to enjoy them. Through this transformation, Arts Commons is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and welcoming place for all—and to enhancing our citizens’ quality of life by expanding the ways they can connect with the arts and their community.”

Now that the prime design team is in place, its first step will be to initiate the ACT concept design phase. The team expects to reveal the new design in fall 2022. The first phase of construction is scheduled to begin in 2024.