Originally constructed in the late 1950s, based on a 1939 design, Edmonton's 10-storey Federal Building stands as one of Canada's finest surviving examples of art deco architecture. In 2008, after sitting empty for decades, the Alberta Government gave the green light for Clark Builders to begin the restoration and revitalization of the building and construct a 650-stall underground parkade and Centennial Plaza, extending the Legislature grounds north to 99 Avenue.
The project was quite extensive, involving the complete renovation and modernization of the mechanical, electrical, and life safety systems and incorporating upgrades and building materials that complemented the original building. A phased construction plan was implemented to minimize disruption while performing upgrades within the occupied building. Additionally, a new public plaza was built over a new parkade, with a large-scale green roof situated atop the adjacent parkade. The landscaping plan was complex, with significant hardscaping and water features incorporated into the site design. The irrigation systems and humidity control required for the living wall were also quite intricate.
In addition to the landscaping, the project required significant plumbing needs to support the integrated water features found in the public plaza and lobby space. The ornate details of the main floor area were also restored to their former glory, dating back 60 years.
This impressive project earned LEED® NC Gold certification and incorporates several sustainable qualities, including Alberta’s first green roofs, an advanced building envelope, and improved energy efficiencies. The impact of the Federal Building's updates went beyond just the Legislature's grounds development and influenced Edmonton's downtown core. Upon completion, the project effectively addressed government space constraints, preserved an architectural gem, replaced two concrete parking lots with lush green spaces, and provided a welcoming and picturesque approach from Capital Boulevard. The project's effects also reverberated across the ongoing downtown revitalization efforts in providing a welcoming and scenic approach to connecting the existing infrastructure.
Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.