Addressing the question of how to design a master plan that not only established a sense of community but increased the wellness of residents meant creating a direct relationship between the architecture and the site. A central ‘green’ axis and network of pathways inspires pedestrian activity along the greenway and the multi-family buildings create opportunities for interaction. Natural textures and materiality paired with modern lines give the architecture a simple clean aesthetic that further connects it to the environment. A great deal of thought was given to the design of roof lines – varying the angles in order to bring as much light into the interior space as possible. With every unit offering views of or direct access to the exterior, residents are motivated to get out and enjoy the vibrant outdoor spaces forming a dynamic and active community.
Master Planning, Architecture, Branding and Graphic Design
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
With an approved Land Use Amendment, the site was earmarked as a “Core Regional Commercial Centre” designated with over 1.2 million square feet of retail programming, 1.0 million square feet of office space, and approximately 4,500 residential units. Since the approval, the owner assessed that the scale of development was too aggressive and unattainable, determining a more realistic market driven approach should be pursued.
After completion of a new market analysis, market positioning study, and merchandise zoning strategy reflective of the current market and the owner’s goals and objectives, the owner was ready to move forward with a Master Vision Plan representing the proposed development improvements.
Reztark was asked to first create a mixed-use master plan vision incorporating the two parcels contiguous to the Riocan site. The reduced program called for approximately 450,000 square feet of retail with 650 multifamily units, about 50,000 square feet of office, a theater, grocery store and pharmacy, and a parking facility that would accommodate buses, commuters, and their vehicles.
Reztark was then asked to develop their multifamily community. This included the overall master plan of approximately 2,200 units for the remaining three parcels into a connected, walkable community. In parallel, we were also asked to help them understand their target market and create an overall brand identity for the development that could be carried over into advertising, marketing, and website. Through research into current developments in Calgary and understanding the target buyer we came up with a plan that created an overall green space, we called the Arc of Discovery. The green – a series of connected rock formations, water features, gardens, parks, and tree groves – was to be what couldn’t be found in Calgary. Adding the wellness factor of the community, it creates a natural pathway connecting the entire project. Reztark was asked to begin design work on Site 5, consisting of three level for-sale flats and apartments.
SITE PLAN 2013
INITIAL PLAN 2013
EVOLVED PLAN 2015
Creating a brand for the mixed-use development started with generating a name that conveyed balance – balance between nature and the built environment, convenience and tranquility, and community and home. ‘Solstice’ spoke to that balance. Following the selection of the name, brand collateral was developed for a marketing package and included the design and development of a logo, color palette, print and web collateral.
The Solstice brand personality is best defined by a collection of traits, inspired by the sky.
The color palette is wide and inspired by the natural surroundings in the Sage Hill Environment. The main brand colors are derived from the sky, and compliment the colors grounded in the earth.
Yellow is a dominant source for the letters because yellow is representative as the source of light from the sun.
Internal research conducted on market trends and consumer behaviors provided valuable insight into the consumer profiles of the target residents. Utilizing these insights, our designers generated a relevant and marketable design that offered potential residents an environment to meet their lifestyle preferences.
The imagery needs to capture the effect of light, be it by lens glare, or passing through water. Of all Solstice photography, 80% is to show multiple subjects, interacting with one another, ideally outside.
For the remaining 20% of photographs, individual subjects in the calm of their home, or solitude outdoors are to be used. If possible, the effect of light and action is still to be captured, but it is understood this might not always be possible.
Master planning is about creating genius loci – a space that is alive – through a plan comprised of a program but defined by soul. Engaging all disciplines to create a system of connections, we transform a plan into a series of spaces that encourage community and generate memories ultimately bringing people back to a place. Through collaboration with clients we establish a vision and a program of uses that inform the design and enable us to discover the possibilities of a place.