Calgary’s suburban communities have often been criticized by urbanists as brown, beige and boring. The same could be said for most of Calgary’s early city centre condo towers. Westmount Place (1979), the Estate (1980) and Eau Claire 500 (1983) immediately come to mind.
It is true the preponderance of dull and dreary brown and beige buildings makes for a very depressing urban landscape, especially during Calgary’s winter when the grass is brown, the streets are covered with gravel and the leafless trees are a brownish grey. Thank goodness for Calgary’s deep blue winter skies!
Fortunately at the turn of the 21st century, Calgary architects and developers began to experiment, integrating coloured glass and panels into their exterior designs.
Qualex-Landmark’s Mark on 10th (corner of 10th Avenue and 8th Street S.W.) dares to be different. Designed by Vancouver’s Raffi architects, it incorporates panels of pastel blue, yellow and green hues randomly inserted into the opaque panels, creating a softer, more feminine facade. The uniqueness of the building is reinforced with the cantilevered yellow box at the top and the two-storey yellow glass greenhouse space with its bamboo tree growing at the 10th Avenue entrance. The design is bold yet subtle.
Story by Richard White of Calgary Herald