October 4, 2008
Edmonton – International design firm Kasian has been chosen by the provincial government to lead the $356-million rejuvenation project of the Federal Building.
The restored building will include a new 650-stall underground parkade and will open to a public green space, Centennial Plaza, which will extend to and connect with the legislature grounds, covering the equivalent of one city block.
Built in 1958 and unoccupied since 1989, the local landmark will be rejuvenated rather than renovated in order to preserve the original, classic art-deco exterior, said Kasian principal Bill Chomik.
“Renovation means you rip stuff out and you don’t necessarily pay very much attention to the dignity of the original building,” he said.”We want to take the historic character of the building and celebrate it, dignify it, keep it intact as much as possible.”
Alberta Infrastructure aims to make this building an example of environmental sustainability, said department spokesman Darcy Scott.
The interior, most of which has been gutted and cleared of asbestos, will be modernized and redesigned to be sustainable and energy efficient.
“We’re going to be very green,” Chomik said, adding that Kasian will reuse as many materials as possible to reduce construction waste.
Kasian will team up with heritage architects and conservation specialists Goldsmith Borgal and Company, and with urban design and planning specialists Moriyama and Teshima Architects.
The newly restored building is expected to house more than 800 government workers, and possibly a visitor centre. The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of 2011.
by Clara Ho