Foster + Partners' designs for the new EnCana headquarters building, The Bow, have been unveiled today. This is the first significant mixed-use development east of Centre Street in downtown Calgary. Providing an environmentally sustainable headquarters for one of Canada's leading corporations, the design concept has responded to the specific needs of the companys staff. It also creates a generous social space for Calgary, offering a new cultural, civic and shopping destination. The project is integrated with the historic context, seamlessly incorporating a number of early 20th century buildings.
The scope and magnitude of the project offers a unique opportunity to set the tone of development for this emerging area - to forge new urban connections and to expand the boundaries of the heart of the city. The first phase of the development comprises a tower for EnCana, a new public plaza with cultural and retail facilities and a podium building between 6th and 7th Avenue. A truly mixed-use scheme, The Bow provides offices, shops and leisure facilities within one site, offering an ideal model of sustainable urban living by reducing reliance on transport and balancing energy consumption between its mixed-use programme of day- and night-time activities.
EnCana's new headquarters tower reflects the company's values, responding to its progressive approach towards issues of sustainability and providing an unrivalled office environment.
Crescent-shaped on plan, the inversely curved south-facing atrium rises up the entire height of the façade, absorbing the sun's energy to create a tempered buffer zone which warms the tower. Three skygardens divide the building into distinct zones. They form a series of destination floors with lobby areas, meeting rooms, communal spaces and a high-speed lift service running between the lobbies. Additional lifts are at the rear of the building servicing each zone. The entire office space benefits from natural light, with the orientation of the building maximising dramatic views of the Canadian Rockies and the Bow and Elbow Rivers.
Groundbreaking for The Bow is planned for the spring of 2007 pending City of Calgary approvals.