EPCOR OFFICE TOWER

OFFICE

LOCATION: Edmonton, Alberta

ARCHITECT: Cohos Evamy Architects (now known as Dialog Architects)

DESIGN LEADERSHIP: Michael Poitras, Consultant-in-Charge of Design

DESIGN COMPETITION: Invited design/build/finance competition – First place

CLIENT: EPCOR Utilities Inc.

STATISTICS:

  • No. of storeys: 26
  • Total floor area (above grade): 477,655 ft2 (44,375 m2)
  • Total floor area (below grade): 274,160 ft2 (25,470 m2)
  • Below grade parking: 452 (includes 12 barrier-free stalls)
  • Below grade bicycle parking: 46
  • Loading dock spaces: 6 large + 2 small
MATERIALS:

  • Curtain wall + horizontal wood battens set between the glass
  • Black zinc
  • Honed & bead blasted limestone
  • Flamed black granite floors (lobby)
  • Flamed black granite pavers (exterior)
  • Outdoor landscaping
GENERAL PROGRAM:

  • Office
  • Retail
  • Daycare
  • Fitness centre
  • Bicycle change rooms with showers
  • Connects to Edmonton’s “Pedway” system
  • Outdoor public space
LEED: Silver
COST: $200 million
COMPLETION: Unbuilt

In developing our competition strategy for this downtown competition-winning contemporary office building, we devised a “courtyard” scheme that seamlessly integrates the two existing structures on the site – the 31-storey Bell Tower and a two-storey fitness centre, while providing Edmonton with much-needed outdoor public space.

The design involved extending the two-storey fitness centre north, running it parallel to 102 Street and defining the site’s western edge. Further, we unified the addition to the fitness centre by cladding it in black zinc and adding a combination of retail space and loading docks to the street below. We also created a second floor daycare facility complete with its own landscaped outdoor courtyard for safe contained toddler play, along with conference and fitness facilities specific to EPCOR’s needs.

The rectilinear floor plates of this 26-storey office tower were placed overtop of this two-storey black zinc horizontal form and rotated 90 degrees, so as to define this city block’s northern boundary, parallel to 104 Avenue.

The completed architectural design, a classic “courtyard” scheme, allows for a diversity of outdoor uses at street level, with two commercial towers (EPCOR and Bell) anchoring the northern and southern boundaries of this city block.

To differentiate EPCOR as the prime tenant of this office building from the general leased office spaces we gave EPCOR’s façade a zigzag profile, which was abstracted from the texture of a tree. Conceptually this texture results in EPCOR’s space forming the “crown” of the tree and the general office space below forming the “trunk.”

Solar control (heat gain) was achieved by placing horizontal maple wood battens set between the double glazing of the curtain wall. This special glass, located only at EPCOR floors and the lobby, would create a wonderful sensory effect, reminiscent of the dappled sunlight one experiences while walking through a sunlit forest.