city building gate

City Gate


Date: 2013

Status: Lecture, Exhibition

Location: Calgary, Canada

Program: Office, Mixed Use, Retail, Plazas, Retrofit

Size: 260 000m2

Exhibition: Brutal Intentions - Building Curiosity

Lecture: Re: Education - Dtalks Iconomy, Pecha Kucha Volume 3

Team: Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey


In 2013 SPECTACLE joined with two other Calgary firms to explore the possibility of maximizing the density of the CBE site while still maintaining this important architectural monument. Other contributors to the event included David Down, MODA, Nyhoff Architecture, Leanne Junnila, Lindsay Horan, Kyle May and Michael Abrahamson.

By creating three schemes, we were able to show that it is both possible and beneficial to preserve the existing building - preservation through development. City Gate brings together the disparate programs of the city into one vertical arrangement - the car is supplanted by the pedestrian. A large urban gate provides a monumental axial connection between the CBE and the new park.


City Gate combines combines a mix of functions, typically distributed throughout Calgary and connected primarily by the car, into a vertical pedestrian oriented mini-city.



diagram 1
diagram 2

The maximum density for the block, including density bonusing, is FAR 20. Currently the CBE has 7000 square meters of surface - only 3% of its density potential. Since the City requires that the park be maintained, and we feel the Calgary Board of Education on the East end of the block should be preserved as an important example of 1960’s architecture, the default massing places the entire surface extension on the center portion of the block - the location of the current plaza. Maximization is the best way to preservation.



Hans Kolhoff’s 1988 Atlanpole stacked above the Arc de Triomphe by Jean Chalgrin - a victory for preservation!

The various portions of the building, from bottom to top, include a spiral of shopping, a variety of cultural / public venues including theaters, cinemas and exhibition spaces, offices and a perimeter block of housing.




axonometric site plan

longitudinal section

If City Gate is a new economic and civic engine, the reprogramming of the former Calgary Board of Education Administration Building as a hub of innovation provides the generator to run the engine.






interior - incubator