Architectural design unveiled for Calgary’s Arts Commons expansion

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CaDCR staff writer

The architectural design was unveiled last week for Calgary’s Arts Commons expansion project, after about two years of planning and design work.

The design, by internationally recognized architects from Toronto’s KPMB Architects, Calgary’s Hindle Architects, and Arizona’s Tawaw Architecture Collective, reflects a purpose-built facility aligned with Calgary’s spirit and culture.

“At the heart of the Arts Commons Transformation project is an intention to create a new performing arts space that is ‘of and for Calgary’,” explained Kevin Bridgman, partner at KPMB and member of the prime design team. “This simple yet powerful idea inspired our design for a facility that reflects the spirit of the community it serves and is thoughtfully connected to its history and culture.”

Colliers is the project manager and EllisDon is construction manager. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2024, with completion expected in 2028 or 2029.

The first phase of the $660-million project will add a new building with a 1,000-seat theatre and 200-seat studio theatre to the Arts Commons campus.

“The transformation of the Arts Commons campus is a more than half-billion-dollar investment in Calgary’s arts and cultural future,” said Kate Thompson, president and CEO of CMLC. “Together with our partners, we’ve been working tirelessly to advance the concept and schematic designs for this extraordinary project.

“Today, we’re ecstatic to reach a monumental milestone: the public unveiling of the new building’s design.”

The expansion, part of ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report, will increase Arts Commons’ seating capacity by 45 percent, addressing the city’s growing demand for arts and culture venues.

“A thriving creative sector is essential to making the city more resilient and diverse,” said Mayor Gondek. “The expansion of Arts Commons will elevate Calgary’s stature on the world stage and draw even more people to the downtown core,” said Calgary Mayor Jyoti Gondek.


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