October 2019

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OCTOBER 2019 | 67 Trinity Hills RENDERINGS COURTESY TRINITY DEVELOPMENT GROUP INC. Trinity Hills by SUSAN PEDERSON T he new Trinity Hills develop- ment just east of the iconic Canada Olympic Park has been coined one of Calgary's greatest new urban vil- lages … and for good reason. This landmark development – cur- rently in the first phase of construction – is due to be fully completed in late 2020 and will be home to more than 700,000 square feet of retail, 250,000 square feet of office space, and two mil- lion square feet of residential units. Once finalized, it will not only com- plement and enhance the dynamic lifestyle associated with those liv- ing in the area, but pay respects to the Indigenous lands on which it stands. After purchasing the 260-acre par- cel of land back in 2012, developers Trinity Group decided to donate 160 acres of the Paskapoo Slopes to the City as municipal and environment reserve lands in order for it to be retained for hiking and biking – which left 100 acres open for development. "Trinity Hills is broken up into three districts: Gateway District, which com- prises Block A and B; Village District, which is being developed by Metropia for residential housing; and Town Centre, which features blocks I and H. All districts are served by two newly constructed interchanges," explains Jeff Goldstein, senior project manager at Trinity Group. As with any development of this size, mass collaboration has been essential throughout to ensure a suc- cessful outcome. Not just with the City, stakeholders, trades and subtrades, but with the community and in particular, the Blackfoot people who have a strong history with the land. "We have been very diligent in our work with the Blackfoot people, through consultations with the com- munity and the Elders, who performed a blessing on the site before construc- tion began," says Goldstein. "During our archeological excavation we dis- covered a medicine wheel that dates back 9,800 years. It was the oldest find in Alberta. It was extremely important to us to be sensitive to the area, and so it was essential to have input from the Elders from the beginning, and that continued right through to design." When it came to the land, the sloped site required 1.4-million cubic metres of soil to be relocated from existing slopes and ravines creating "plateaus" for the various blocks. Poor soil conditions also made for challenging foundation design and specialized concrete columns were utilized. This was also essential in the construction of the slope adap- tive parking garage in Block I. There is street level retail along Na'a Drive and two retail buildings acting as a con- crete podium topped by five floors of wood construction. Alex Burgess, senior project manager with Traugott Building Contractors adds, "In Block B, build- ing a concrete structure 30-feet high on the side of hill in very silty, sandy soil, can be challenging, especially with the wet weather we experienced this summer. The parkade that forms the podium for the buildings above in Block B is large and features four 20-foot-high retail building with para- pets. Once all the structural steel is up, it will be 60 feet above ground. We're using a new lock and load mechanically stabilized earth [MSE] wall, that faces the highway." Sonny Sanjiri of B+H Architects, the executive architects on the proj- ect, says, "The design and patterns of the retaining walls and some of the fea- ture walls throughout the project are inspired by the layered soil geology of the site. We were able to honour the historical significance of the site in our design. The existence of buffalo and bison, for example, is reflected on some steel cut-outs of these animals in the retaining walls." In fact the design of the three dis- tricts has been heavily influence by the Blackfoot people. It takes into account the landforms of Alberta, as well as the striations of colour and materials that will end up imitating a "geode that has been turned side- ways," explains Goldstein. Sanjiri says that meetings with the Elders throughout the design phase also resulted in the team having a better sensitivity that resulted in cer- tain notions of pattern making and iconography. "There are elements of circular motifs and symbolism that were reviewed or discussed as part of the community workshops and char- rettes," he explains. Using a variety of materials includ- ing stone, wood, Longboard and coloured concrete, the design of the buildings will give the impression the entire project was built over time – giving a sense of history to the devel- opment and paying respect to the grounds on which it stands. The Town Centre District, Block I, which is slope adaptive in its design, will feature seven buildings includ- ing main street retail facing Na'a Drive with residential above. Behind the main street, a supermarket is being built and additional commercial buildings. Block H at the site will also be mixed-use and complement Block I in design, and on the site there will also be a seniors residence with 400 units. During subsequent phases on the remaining blocks the project will see further development of retail and com- mercial in this area. "Overall, building massing and artic- ulation of facades along with change in materiality, which include glass store- fronts surrounded by aluminum and steel cladding, some brick and some stone cladding as well, contribute to this layered design approach," says Sanjiri. Sustainability is of course key to Trinity Group and close attention has been paid to areas to minimize the developments footprint where it can. "All the residential suites feature four- pipe fan coil mechanical systems, which is more suited to the seasons we experience in Calgary," says Goldstein. While still early in the construction process (which started in September 2018), Trinity Group and the team are incredibly excited about the future of Trinity Hills. "Trinity Hills is going to serve the local community, whether someone is going to the grocery store or spending the day shopping. And because we have main- tained the natural slopes and trails, soon people can go for their mountain bike ride, and then stop for a cappuccino at the end of the trail. It's a great mix of the natu- ral and modern world," says Sanjiri. Goldstein concludes: "This proj- ect has been an incredible experience. There are so many facets to it, from building the Sarcee Interchange to working with the multiple contractors and consultants and watching the land change over time. The success of this project is important to everyone, and of particular importance to our owner John Ruddy, who is very passionate about this project. It's a great example of how to adapt and develop land, while respecting Indigenous heritage and giving a voice to those who are impor- tant in this area. It's about building something so unique to Calgary, where Calgarians can truly live, work, play." A LOCATION Canada Olympic Park Calgary, Alberta OWNER/DEVELOPER Trinity Development Group Inc. ARCHITECT B+H Architects GENERAL CONTRACTOR (SARCEE INTERCHANGE) Graham Construction GENERAL CONTRACTOR (BLOCKS B & I) Traugott Building Contractors CIVIL ENGINEERING Urban Systems CIVIL WORKS Whissell Contracting Ltd. TOTAL SIZE 100 acres TOTAL COST $300 million 3:29 PM

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