Designing a legacy space for The Young Canadians, Stampede Showband and Calgary youth

Calgary Stampede

Year Completed

2016

Client

Calgary Stampede

Location

Calgary, AB

Size

465,000 SF

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Master planning a place for artistic youth

For over 50 years, The Young Canadians and Showband of the Calgary Stampede have lit up the stage as the stars of the annual Calgary Stampede Grandstand Show. These performers are part of an arts program that focuses on leadership, community involvement, and a love for the arts.

Due to our master planning expertise, Kasian was selected to complete the master plans for the Calgary Stampede Youth Campus. The Calgary Stampede Organization wanted to create a home for all youth in the city who are passionate about the arts.

Based on the success of the Young Canadians and Stampede Showband, the youth campus creates a place for youth to fully immerse themselves in the arts, while establishing a youth legacy as its focal point.

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Mitigating risks through master planning

The project is located in Calgary’s flood plain, a serious risk for any new infrastructure given the damaged cause by Calgary’s 2013 floods. Our plan raised the plaza by a metre to mitigate this risk. This also required establishing graceful transitions in topography to alleviate downhill slopes.

The Stampede has future yet undefined plans for surrounding development, so we wanted to ensure that the youth campus was self-contained and felt like a European plaza. This way other buildings can be placed around the enclosed campus without disruption as the Stampede evolves.

This project gave us an elevated appreciation for youth and the contributions they make to our community. It’s critically important to address their specific needs in our built environment”

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Bill Chomik

Senior Principal

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Creating connection through safety

We involved Stampede staff, volunteers, teachers, and other stakeholders to advise and suggest appropriate connections and linkages across the campus. We played with various placements of buildings until we found the best strategy to incorporate all infrastructure while creating vehicle and pedestrian connections to the city.

Keeping the health and safety of youth in mind, we used CPTED Standards (Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design) – creating safety through lighting choices, surveillance, access, and aesthetics. We incorporated plenty of visibility between the plaza and the buildings to protect the vulnerable. Passive security was established through transparency in the space and avoiding dead end corridors and blind spots.

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Centering around an enclosed piazza

The enclosed, European-style piazza (plaza) was positioned at the centre of campus, and the elevated amphitheatre was placed along the river for better ambiance and acoustics. We included a grid on the plaza, so the Stampede’s Showband and performers could keep order and stay in straight lines during their rehearsals.

We placed as many trees as possible throughout the space and created a framed, treed entry (allée) into the plaza. To mitigate the hot sun, we planted a semi-circular row of trees on the southwest side of the amphitheater to create shade and break the west wind.

We encouraged the use of different materials on each building, like wood, glass, and brick, in various combinations, to create individual distinction. Each building has its own individual expression, while materials and architectural features tie them together.

Once complete the plan will also encompass a museum, two Calgary Arts Academy schools, heritage buildings, and places for youth to gather and create community through the arts.

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Highlighting the importance of youth

This master plan provides a clear map for future development and expansion.

This project supports youth in the Stampede and Calgary communities – recognizing the importance of the arts and the youth who are interwoven in one of the city’s most cherished institutions. It will leave a profound imprint in the minds of those that use the facility – creating a lasting memory of energy, excitement and promise.

To date, the Calgary Arts Academy, the TransAlta Performing Arts Centre, a replica Westbourne Baptist Church, Oliver House and the amphitheatre are finished; the goal is to complete the master plan by 2025.

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