An urban renewal project that meshes the old with the new, the Arriva development features two modern high-rise towers and two heritage designated schools. The two contemporary glass and concrete residential towers, 34-storeys and 42-storeys respectively, were placed on concrete podiums that contained commercial and office units, as well as the entries to the tower residences above. Each podium contained four levels of underground parking and the surface areas were developed with gardens and surface parking situated as part of the original sandstone Victoria School and wood framed Bungalow School buildings. The buildings were constructed in phases independently from one another. The 34-storey tower was built in its entirety, whereas the construction of the 42-storey tower consisted only of the parking levels and grade level floor.
The development’s design was influenced by the constrained site and location near Calgary’s downtown core. The shoring, excavation and construction phasing and staging, had an effect on the planning of the site, as well as the overall design of the buildings. Similarly, the two heritage schools located on the site, affected the design of the podiums and the below-grade parking levels, as the schools were constructed on shallow foundations. RJC was part of the design and planning for the relocated civil service vaults with the below-grade parking levels and the location of the foundation walls and shoring in close proximity to lot lines and road clearance setbacks.
The podiums were designed with flexibility in mind so that different tenants could be accommodated. An example of this was the inclusion of main floors with increased ceiling heights and inclusion of steel constructed mezzanine floors in those spaces that could be redesigned or modified for specific tenants needs. The flexibility allowed for tenants to provide more prominent entries or expanded and customized studios spaces.