BPO provider TELUS has revealed bold plans for a LEED Platinum, $400m, 750,000 sq m residential, office and retail tower metres from the recently-completed The Bow by Foster + Partners in Calgary. Immense structures such as these often take time to connect with local residents but if the comments on a news report from the Calgary Herald are anything to go by, the community has already begun to accept this glittering new addition to their city skyline.
BO Kim posted, 'This magnificent jewel redefines the meaning of elegance and prestige on a global scale,' while Tyler Engstrom’s honest commentary read, 'Aside from my distaste for TELUS and the demolition of Art Central, I have to say this: Architecture is a big part of what can separate a city from the rest. Calgary is a world class city, and it’s about time we started looking like one. This is a fantastic design, and I look forward to it being part of our skyline.'
Completion of the TELUS Sky tower is set for autumn 2017 with 155,000 sq ft of the full 430,000 sq ft of office space reserved for TELUS, making the company the largest current lease holder of LEED Platinum space in North America. A 5,500 sq ft public art gallery is also on the cards alongside 341 residential units for rent. Designed by Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and DIALOG - the design team behind the Beach and Howe Tower in Vancouver - with developer Westbank and real estate investment trust Allied Properties, the scheme will take up an entire block on 7th Avenue.
Darren Entwistle, TELUS President and CEO, explains: “Our new development is a powerful contribution to Calgary’s economic strength, culture and social vitality. Notably, TELUS Sky will inject millions of dollars into the community and create hundreds of local jobs while showcasing TELUS’ advanced communications technologies and environmental innovation in a way never before seen in Calgary.”
Sustainable features within TELUS Sky include a storm-water management system for reuse of water for irrigation and in bathrooms. The building has been designed to use 35% less energy than similar size developments but TELUS suggests that with further development, the tower may be able to use 80% less energy that similar properties.
TELUS is no stranger to ambitious architectural projects, already owning a number of LEED Platinum and Gold properties in Canada. These include: TELUS Garden in Vancouver (under construction); TELUS House Toronto; TELUS House Ottawa; and Place TELUS Quebec in Quebec City. The firm has also pledged to invest $700m in new infrastructure and facilities in Alberta throughout 2013 as part of a wider $2bn programme. Calgary will be the recipient of $125m in new infrastructure and facilities from TELUS in 2013.
Speaking on the day of the official unveiling, Alberta Premier Alison Redford said: “We know Calgarians want their downtown core to thrive -the recent floods showed us just how much the area matters to this city. That's why I'm so pleased that TELUS is making this important investment. Today's announcement is a reminder to all Calgarians that they live in a truly world-class city that is getting better by the day.”