telus sky . calgary

BIG . photos: © Laurian Ghinitoiu

The Telus Sky tower creates a lively mixture of living and working spaces in the heart of Calgary city center. Situated at the intersection of light rail and arterial roads, the 60-story mixed-use tower is designed to seamlessly accommodate the transformation from working to living as the tower takes off from the ground to reach the sky.

Downtown Calgary has developed as a typical North American city center with a cluster of corporate towers surrounded by a periphery of low-density suburban homes. The car is an essential part of everyday life moving people in and out of the city, with the programmatic uniformity of the downtown leaving the area empty at night as people return home. By stacking the homes on an office tower, Telus Sky generates a programmatically diversified building with activity throughout the day.

By remaining faithful to the orthogonality of the ground floor, the diagonal shift creates a pixelation of the façade, forming terraces and balconies for the residences. The smooth transition from the ideal floor plate of the office to the optimal floor plate of the residences, generates an elegantly curving silhouette. A network of skybridges enters where the building meets the neighboring building, an existing switching station. A vertical canyon expands the semipublic network upwards. The tiles on the wall of the adjacent façade seem to melt and peel open as pockets for plants.

Above the main entrance, the pixels of the façade extend beyond the site limits, creating a series of canopies, terraces and lounges interwoven across the corner. At night, a 160,000 sq ft art installation ‘Northern Lights’ by Douglas Coupland lights up the north and south façades of the tower making it the largest public art piece in Calgary.

Underscoring the functional design of the building, it was critical for Westbank and the city for Telus Sky to provide holistic benefits for its inhabitants, including: the highest levels of natural light, optimized energy efficiency, reduced water consumption, locally sourced materials, and access to transit. A LEED Platinum building, TELUS Sky provides 100% fresh indoor air supply and the highest levels of natural light in the Calgary market; consumes less water and other resources than comparable towers; and in its construction and operation, sourced materials locally. Respite from the urban environment of downtown can be found via the rooftop garden as well as vegetated terraces on the 4th, 5th, and 6th levels.

Code: WBC
Date: 08/07/2020
Program: Commercial
Status: Completed
Size in m2: 70725
Project type: Commission
Client: Westbank Projects Corp., Telus, Allied Development Corp.
Collaborators: BIG IDEAS, DIALOG, Integral Group, Glotman Simpson Consulting Engineers, LDMG Building Code Consultants, Gunn Consultants, Bunt & Associates Consulting Engineers, RSI Studio, Luxigon, BVDA Façade Engineering LTD, Morrison Hershfield
Location Text: Calgary, Canada
Location: (51.0518,-114.051)
Awards: 2020 CTBUH Award of Excellence Winner, 2021 CTBUH Award of Excellence Winner
Partner In Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Thomas Christoffersen
Project Manager: Christopher White, Carl MacDonald
Project Architect: Stephanie Choi, Michael Zhang
Project Designer: Iannis Kandyliaris
Team: Alex Wu, Barbora Srpkova, Beat Schenk, Benjamin Caldwell, Benjamin Johnson, Brian Rome, Bryan Hardin, Carolien Schippers, Choonghyo Lee, Chris Gotfredsen, Daisy Zhong, David Spittler, Davide Maggio, Deborah Campbell, Dennis Harvey, Douglas Alligood, Elena Bresciani, Florencia Kratsman, Gaurav Janey, Haoyue Wang, Ho Kyung Lee, Iris van der Heide, Isshin Morimoto, Ivy Hume, Jakob Lange, Jan Leenknegt, Jennifer Phan, Julie Kaufman, Justyna Mydlak, Ku Hun Chung, Manon Gicquel, Mateusz Rek, Maya Shopova, Megan van Artsdalen, Michael Zhang, Mike Evola, Peter Lee, Quentin Stanton, Sun Yifu, Tara Hagan, Terry Lallak, Tianqi Zhang, Yaziel Juarbe, Yoanna Shivarova
Project Leader, Interiors: Francesca Portesine
Team, Interiors: Agne Rapkeviciute, Christopher White, Cristian Lera, Jack Lipson, John Kim, Lina Bondarenko, Nicholas Coffee