After 15 years working out of TransAlta Place, full-service architectural, interior design and master-planning firm S2 Architecture is relocating its Calgary studio.
(CALGARY, AB) - Calgary Herald, David Parker
After 15 years working out of TransAlta Place, full-service architectural, interior design and master-planning firm S2 Architecture is relocating its Calgary studio a block away to the IBM three-building, mid-rise complex.
Now under the ownership of San Francisco-based Spear Street Capital and renamed The District, the complex is undergoing a $10-million redevelopment that will include more retail and a glassed-in courtyard between the buildings that makes it a very attractive location.
In August, S2 will move into the entire 6th floor of Building C, providing it with more than 17,000 square feet of space.
The timing is great as S2 principal and co-founder Robert Spaetgens says lease rates, terms and conditions, and enticement and incentives are very much in its favour.
And the firm’s interior design department staff of five in the Calgary office is excited to begin working with a number of new and interesting procedures related to current and future office design requirements due to COVID restrictions and improved technology. The results will also be of great value to clients pondering the same post-COVID interactive questions.
The S2 Calgary office, with a current staff of 56, has remained busy over the past year. Much of the work is within the city but also supports its offices in Edmonton and Vancouver, as well as being active with a number of projects in other locations.
One of the largest is the Willow Square Continuing Care Centre in Fort McMurray with a budget of $104 million. Construction has been completed, and it will open later this year to accept the first flow of residents in 36 long-term units and 72 in supportive living.
Seniors housing has become an important and progressive part of S2’s portfolio, For many years it has enjoyed a good relationship with Silvera for Seniors, currently supporting the organization with the master planning of its Glamorgan site on West Glenmore Trail.
The Brenda Strafford Foundation is another major developer of seniors housing and S2 was awarded the contract to design Cambridge Manor, a 217,000-square-foot, 240-unit residence that opened last fall in University District, overlooking Shaganappi Trail and the mountains.
Multi-family projects in the city include the six-storey residential, commercial live-work development by RNDSQ in Marda Loop, and the twin 27-storey towers by Housing One in Sunalta district, west of 14th Street on 10th Avenue S.W.
Residential design is ever changing, and one of the areas that continues to evolve rapidly is modular housing.
Horizon North Logistics, which has changed its name to Dexterra Group, is another firm S2 has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with.
Modular construction has many benefits, particularly in remote areas where units are delivered after being factory control-built and shipped to site, with construction savings of 50 per cent versus on-site construction.
Speed and flexibility, cost and environmental stability are important but so is the architectural appeal, which is where Dexterra relies on S2’s experience.
It is working on 15 housing projects in B.C. as well as schools, apartments and two hotels, including a six-storey all-modular construction Hyatt in Prince George.
S2 has also earned a reputation across the country in the design of fire stations — architectural firms in other provinces call upon the S2 experience.
A Maplewood fire station complex, the largest capital project in the history of North Vancouver, is an S2 design. Its studio in Vancouver recently moved into new space in the west end of Gastown, and the studio in Edmonton has relocated into an impressive space in the former Molson Brewery building.
Add working on many other current projects — with Populous and Stantec on the BMO Centre, and renovations to the Max Bell Arena and Calgary Winter Club — and S2 will hardly have time to pack up and move.