Size: 7,500 m2
Cost: $35 million
Location: Edmonton, AB
Green: Awarded LEED Gold
The new University of Alberta CPOC facility gives definition to the edge of the Utilities precinct, and provides a new public identity for the campus District Energy System.
The University of Alberta required a new facility to support the needs of a growing campus. The location was to be a tightly constrained site at the interface between the Utilities precinct and several high profile campus facilities. Given its context, it became clear that CPOC would have an aspect of unusual public visibility, and so must integrate a level of urban and aesthetic sensitivity unusual for an 'Industrial' building. The project has sought to redefine typical expectations of 'Infrastructure', through a commitment to present a responsible urban presence and an evocative aesthetic expression - responding equally to client needs and contextual considerations.
A sculptural approach was taken, in which simplicity was emphasized in a bold formal gesture that sought to balance monumental scale with articulation at the pedestrian level. A scheme was developed which, in one gesture, addressed a host of considerations from accommodating operational requirements to contributing a sensitive urban presence and making a positive impact on the campus visual environment.
The dramatic tapered wing walls serve in part as integral screening for the large cooling tower units on the roof, as well as contributing to sun shading - and providing a signature element for the facility. The curve or 'lean' away from the public laneway is a gesture aimed at minimizing impact on the corridor by modestly pulling back from the laneway as the walls rise.