EnCana HQ, the Canada’s Tallest Tower Outside Toronto

At the begining of this month, a new office complex development opened in downtown Calgary. With a stunning architecture built in accord with the unique city climate, the 239-metre-high headquarters tower now dresses the Calgary skyline becoming the city’s tallest building and Canada’s tallest tower outside Toronto. The Bow, as it was named due to its bow-shaped plan, belongs to EnCana Corporation, the Canada’s leading energy company, and was designed by one of the most innovative architecture and integrated design practices in the world, Foster+Partners.

With an unrivalled experience of over 45 years, 620 awards won for excellence and the ability to achieve sustainable design solutions through adequate expressions of public space and civic values, Foster+Partners met this time the EnCana’s business objectives and interests with the design of the new headquarters, and the result after six years is extraordinary.


As part of a mixed-use masterplan which aims to regenerate two entire city blocks on the east side of Centre Street, the major axis through downtown Calgary, the ambitious project manages to capture the collective consciousness of the city and to responds to its civic values, setting a bold new, meaningful symbol in terms of urban, social and environmental terms. Combining the latest advances in building technology with a deep analysis of the climate and organisations, the architects shaped an amazing building design based on sustainable principles.

Every aspect of the skyscraper is designed to be highly efficient. The tower faces south, curving towards the sun in order to take full advantage of heat and daylight, to encourage natural ventilation and help to significantly reduce energy use, and to outline a series of tremendous light-filled six-storey atria with sky gardens, cafes and meeting areas, which bring a vital social dimension to the office floors. In this way, the location of cellular offices is also maximised with beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains. The convex, glazed façade is turned into the prevailing wind, so the amount of steel is reduced and the structural loading is minimized.


The tower base is highly impermeable with a +15 enclosed bridge connection to downtown, an atrium filled with restaurants, cafes, shops and a fabulous plaza, while the atria at levels 24, 42 and 54 incorporate mature trees, seating, meeting rooms, catering facilities and local lift cores. At the very top of the building there is an auditorium which complements the staff facilities in these atria.  The building project’s plan include a pedestrian connection with the downtown network and is fused at two points to Calgary’s system of enclosed walkways, which offers a retreat from the city’s harsh winters. Here’s some beautiful pictures to discover it.

See also another spectacular skyscraper in Canada envisioned by Foster+Partners.






Photos © Foster + Partners


Project details:

Appointment: 2005
Construction start: 2007
Completion: 2013
Area: 199 781 m²
Height: 239 m
Client: Matthews Southwest Developments Limited
Collaborating Architect: Zeidler Partnership
Structural Engineer: Halcrow Yolles
Quantity Surveyor: Altus Helier (Partial)
M+E Engineer: Cosentini
Landscape Architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (Carson McCulloch – Local)
Lighting Engineer: Claude Engle Lighting Design
Additional Consultants: Sturgess Architecture, DA Watt, KJA, Kellam Berg, Cerami, Gensler, Cygnus, leber Rubes, Transolar, RWDI, Brook Van Dalen, Leber Rubes, Hayes Davidson


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