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Project Bow Valley College Location Calgary, AB Completion 2013 Size 28,840 m2 Client Bow Valley College Project Type Concept Share this project:

Bow Valley College

What once was old is new again.

North Campus

Through this large-scale renovation, GEC added 7,500 m2 of space within the tight downtown site of Bow Valley College (BVC)’s original 1972 building. We achieved this by filling in space on an exterior plaza at the +15 level and by replacing an at-grade parking structure with street-oriented student gathering, learning, resource and administrative spaces. We replaced exterior corridors with classrooms and offices to increase floor efficiencies and expose students and workers to natural light. In addition, a new internal ‘main street’ circulation connects the core of the building to active and quiet student gathering spaces situated adjacent to windows. The result is a light-filled, student-centred, higher education facility that has expanded and increased BVC’s space efficiency.

GEC completed this high-profile renovation while BVC continued normal day-to-day operations. A major contributor to the successful execution of the project was planning swing spaces and ‘decanting’ of users with an emphasis on mitigating construction disruption and ensuring the college remained fully functional.

GEC worked with BVC to complete tenant improvements within the North Campus once construction of the new South Campus was completed. The design team met with various user groups, including the Executive Team, for the renovation and expansion of the existing Library, Learning Commons, a new Tutorial Centre, Intercultural Centre, Student Association, Lecture Theatre, and additional classroom space.

South Campus

The South Campus expansion at Bow Valley College is an important catalyst for the redevelopment of an entire downtown city block. The new building comprises seven storeys on an ‘L’ shaped site connecting to a development on the west side of the block (known as Block 40). This expansion doubled the College’s seating capacity to 6,300.

The South Campus is a functional space designed across seven storeys, with three levels of underground parkade. In addition to new classrooms, laboratories and specialized learning centres, the facility houses administrative areas, food service facilities, a bookstore, a multi-faith centre, an Indigenous Centre and a roof garden on the fourth level.

The aesthetics of the design incorporate several decorative patterns inspired by cultures from across the globe, including Alberta’s First Nations. The motifs repeat throughout the building as wall coverings, ceiling panels and most prominently in the glazed features throughout the building’s facades. GEC also incorporated water and energy efficiencies into the design.


Year Award Organization
2015 Award of Merit Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America
2013 Top Project’s Award (Commercial – under $50 million) Alberta Construction Magazine


Date TitlePublication
2013.10 FeatureAward Magazine
2013.10 FeatureGlobe and Mail
2012.10 FeatureAward Magazine
2009.10 FeatureCalgary Herald
2006.10 FeatureCNews

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