Urban Architecture - Award of Merit
- Architect: Dub Architects Ltd.
- Developer: Five Oaks Inc.
Location: 9804 Jasper Avenue
Built in 1903, the Alberta Hotel was the most advanced Edmonton hotel of its day. Prime Minister Laurier overnighted on his visit to inaugurate Alberta as a Province in 1905. In 1984 the hotel was demolished to make way for ‘Canada Place’, and its brick, sandstone, cupola and cornice saved.
Using the original artifacts, this project reconstructs the facades, fifty feet west of the original hotel. A new steel structure behind the façade provides 50,000 sq ft of speculative commercial space. The historic hotel bar has been faithfully reconstructed in its original location within the hotel, using salvaged interior artifacts, including mirrors, wall tiles and ceiling sections. The nearby Rothesay Building facade, also salvaged, is integrated along a pedestrian walkway joining Jasper Avenue to the Arts District.
The reconstruction experienced numerous difficulties. Without a good numbering system the stonework had to be puzzled together at another location. Additionally, the Planning Department wanted the addition to reflect the historic façade while the architects insisted the new construction should be a clearly contrasting and contemporary style.
Roof terraces overlooking the river valley to the south set the new façade back from the street, so only the historic façade is visible from Jasper Avenue. The new commercial space facing north emphasizes transparency and openness as a counterpoint to the constricted site on the north side of the building. Extensive triple glazing effectively serves to differentiate between the new and the historic facades.
- A very ambitious project on a challenging site.
- Transparency in back lane is very nice.
- This project has merit to bring back notion of proximity and scale that was missing for years.
- A well-executed project in a category where excellence is rare.
- This project answers well to how a building responds to its urban context.