Alberta designer wins NAIOP recognition for distribution/fulfillment centre design


Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, has selected W. Riddell Kurczaba, a design consulting firm in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta, as one of two winners of the 2013 Distribution/Fulfillment Center Design of the Future.

In its second year, the competition invites architectural firms and design teams that work with developers and owners to submit concept plans for utilization trends, sustainability elements and new building technologies of a distribution/fulfillment center to be opened in 2020.

“Just as the days of shopping via catalogues have gone by the wayside, today e-commerce is transforming yet again how consumers purchase and receive goods, and the resulting impact on commercial real estate could be far reaching,” said Thomas J. Bisacquino, president and CEO of NAIOP. “By addressing this dynamic now, designers are not only able to showcase the creative talent of their firms, but also identify potential logistical challenges, technological needs and cost savings, all of which in the end affect the overall consumer experience.”


Riddell Kurczaba sees the future of distribution fulfillment on the rise, literally, in the form of vertical warehousing. The firm’s concept titled, “The Swarm,” encompasses 800,000-gross sq. ft.  of which 500,000-sq. ft, is allocated for retail warehousing in the building’s central core and 300,000-sq, ft, of residential and office space occupies the building’s perimeter. Intelligent networks with light rail transit (LRT) lines streamline delivery of consumer and materials goods throughout the building, and customers can still access street-level retail stores.


The concept design, if realized, would cost about $160 million to build, the designer says in its NAIOP proposal, supplemented by a YouTube video (which readers of the CaDCR electronic edition can view.)

Riddel Kurczaba’s website says Al-Arqam Amer, managing director of the practice’s Edmonton office, spearheaded the entry.  “Our team was fronted by senior associates Brook Melchin and Peter Schultz, and included recent Master of Architecture graduates Meghan Coslovich, Marla Wirasingh, Chris Sparrow and Alex Egberts,” the practice says, also crediting RK’s communications team, James Kurcezaba and Trevor Ramage. “The collaboration between our architecture and communications groups resulted in one of RK’s best award submissions to date and a new benchmark for all future comopetitions.”


The other NAIOP competition winner is Ware Malcomb of Irvine, CA.


The Swarm project statistics


Site area: 180,000 sq. ft.


Building height: 25 floors.


Retail podium: 200,000 sq. ft., $40 million


Vertical warehouse -2 cores total: 200,000 sq. ft., $20 million


Shipping receiving and horizontal warehouse: 100,000 sq. ft., $10 million


Residential 200,000 sq. ft., 2 cores (250 res units at 800 sq. ft. each): $50 million


Office: 100,000 sq. ft. , 2 core:s $25 million


Project summary


500,000 sq. ft. retail warehouse


300,000 sq. ft. residential/office


Total 800,000 gross sq. ft.: $160 million hard costs


Two levels of parking subject to requirement 150,000  sq. ft./floor, 600 parking stalls: $20 million


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