Location: Medicine Hat, Canada
Program: Office, Retail
Exhibition: Thinking Hat
Lecture: Pecha Kucha Volume 3 Medicine Hat Canada
Interview: CJSW Space + Place with Amery Calvelli
Team: Jessie Andjelic, Philip Vandermey, Christopher Herman
The Sweet Caporal gap on 2nd Street SE creates a massive break between programs and a pedestrians dead zone. The unfortunate loss of Central Block, formerly an office building for professionals, including doctors, lawyers and architects, is a major loss of an important historical icon. How to revive this site and imagine a use that points towards Medicine Hat’s bright future while also preserving a piece of its history?
The Corner Offices project proposes that the site be developed again as an offices program. This time, however, we imagine a program of startup offices that share common resources. In a typical office building, the most exclusive and desirable spaces are at the corners, where top executives can enjoy multiple views and light orientations. However, in a startup situation, everyone is a CEO! As such, each office is provided with two facades to enhance views and light qualities.
In order to create a more diverse program and activate the street, a series of retail spaces are provided at grade. The front facade is eroded near the base of the building to widen the sidewalk and create a small plaza for patios and public furniture. The top of the third level aligns with the adjacent buildings, with the fourth level stepped back to respond to the scale of adjacent buildings. And, the entrance and vertical circulation spaces is located along the adjacent facade containing the Sweet Caporal Ad to keep it in view for visitors and building tenants.
The current site is a vacant plot. The former Central Block building, which burned down in 2007, was at one time an exclusive office building for professionals, including lawyers and architects.
The main floor contains retail spaces and a three-story entrance space that exhibits the Sweet Caporal cigarette advertisement sign.