Calgary’s harsh winters

All-Season has been designed to provide quality outdoor public space during every season throughout the year, especially during Calgary’s harsh winters. At the heart of this building is a street-level outdoor market and event space protected from bitter winter winds coming primarily from the northwest. This space also receives direct sunlight as the building is oriented towards the path of the sun with a large, glazed roof structure angled to the south. This roof lets in the warmth of the sun while simultaneously defending against wind, rain and snow.

What surrounds the market and event space is just as important as this space itself – retail/shopping, a community center and gallery, a restaurant and outdoor cafe as well as a residential block all exist to not only help shelter the market and define the overall form of the building but also to enhance the user experience within the site and beyond. Each programmatic element has a strong connection with the market and they all exist in a mutually beneficial relationship by sharing users, pathways, views and access to the street. Through All-Season, this site has received a programmatic infusion resulting in dynamic and meaningful experiences for its users and the community.

This site is within one of the most pedestrian accessible regions of downtown Calgary and replacing the surface parking lot here with a pedestrian-centric intervention is very appropriate. This helps to repair the urban fabric which is perforated with far too much underutilized spaces that turn continuous street edges into empty voids. Bringing a new focus to pedestrians and the street, All-Season faces towards and opens up to 2nd Avenue S.W. – a street with low car traffic that is highly desirable to pedestrians. Most of what All-Season has to offer can be easily viewed from this street and just as easily accessed. Furthermore, this intervention is perfectly situated to intercept pedestrian traffic from Centre Street, which experiences thousands of pedestrians making the journey across the Centre Street Bridge every day. Passers-by have the choice to stay and enjoy the market, grab a hot drink at the cafe, witness a spontaneous event, or simply spend some time basking in the sun.

All-Season is a new way of focusing on pedestrians, street life and public space in a winter city while maintaining a strong connection with the public realm.

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