By Nikayla Goddard, November 8 2019—
The City of Calgary’s 2019 Mayor’s Urban Design Awards were kind to the University of Calgary, with the MacKimmie Complex and Professional Facilities Building Redevelopment Project winning the Green City award and the Veterinary Medicine Clinical Skills Building Expansion receiving an honourable mention for City Edge Development.
The nominations are not put forth by individual proprietors like the U of C, but are selected by the third party Urban Design Committee that sorts through their building permit inventory to select eligible work. A total of 98 submissions across 12 categories were judged to weed out the best architecture and public spaces that have been constructed in the past year within the city limits.
Associate Vice-President Facilities Development Boris Dragicevic remarked that he is extremely “honoured and proud” of both of the awards granted to the U of C, especially given that they are selected for nominations by the Urban Design Committee and therefore are “acknowledgements of our effort.”
He added, “MacKimmie is characteristic of the buildings that are leading the way of future Green City developments.”
The funds for the Vet Med building expansion came from the federal government’s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund (SIF). According to the Government of Canada Website, SIF provides up to $2 billion for infrastructure projects at post-secondary institutions to enhance and modernize research and commercialization facilities, as well as industry-relevant training facilities at colleges and polytechnic institutions in Canada.
The MacKimmie Expansion Project began in April of 2016 with the Alberta government announcing initial design and planning, followed by the province announcing in March 2017 that they would give about $270 million over four years to the project.
A UCalgary news article from May of 2016 says that the “original MacKimmie Block was completed in 1963 and housed the Registrar’s office, communications and media services, and seminar rooms used by continuing education. […] The MacKimmie Tower, along with the link to the block, was completed in 1972. The complex housed the university’s main library collection until 2009 when the Taylor Family Digital Library opened.”
Stantec Consulting Ltd. was the architect for the Vet Med building and DIALOG for the MacKimmie Complex.