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    Calgary Herald: Zeidler BKDI busy across city, country

    Last updated 4 years ago

    David Parker, Calgary Herald

    Published: Tuesday, July 15, 2014

    The 36-storey office tower rising rapidly on the corner of 3rd Avenue and 2nd Street S.W. is the first building under construction in Cadillac Fairview's impressive 1.75-million-square-foot Calgary City Centre mixed-use development.

    The block situated between the Westin hotel and Eau Clair Market will also include a five-star hotel, luxury residences and premium restaurant and retail. It was designed through shared cultures and complementary practice strengths of Calgary's BKDI Architects, one of the leading architectural firms in Western Canada, and Toronto-based Zeidler, which has seven offices worldwide.

    The relationship was developed some 15 years ago thanks to the foresight of BKDI founder Peter Burgener, who sought the experience of the Zeidler team to add to his company's strengths for the exciting downtown project.

    Stampede week was chosen as the ideal time to announce the merger of the two firms as Zeidler BKDI - with new logo and colours prominently displayed on its chuckwagon and the new shirts of employees worn throughout the 10-day event.

    Zeidler was the executive architect along with Foster + Partners of The Bow and has now moved its Calgary team in with the 70 staff in BKDI's space in the Western Union Building at 640 8th Avenue S.W. Zeidler's senior partners, Vaidila Banelis and Tarek El Khatib of Toronto, join BKDI partners Jean Guy Beliveau, Stephen Bugbee, Bill Mitchell and Catherine Richardson to form the new Ziedler BKDI partnership group. Michael Cojocar and Martin Veenhoven from Zeidler's Calgary office join Ross Roy of BKDI as principals of the merger and continue in their senior leadership roles.

    The merger formerly recognizes the blend of talents, joint philosophy and experience in a multi-jurisdictional practice that is also working with Oxford Properties on the redevelopment of Bow Valley Square and will bring a number of other local projects to the new relationship.

    They include Zeidler's work for the Calgary Board of Education and Golden Hills Schools Division, the Stadium Shopping Centre Master Plan, renovation of the University of Lethbridge recital theatre, and early education design with the largest child care building constructed in Canada at Quarry Park - a two-storey building that will accommodate 350 children.

    It's going to be a busy office as BKDI recently secured a number of exciting projects which include being selected to design Matco's 5.2-hectare Westbrook Station site, a transit-oriented development bringing high density residential, commercial and retail adjacent to the Westbrook LRT Station; and Phase 3 of SoBow, the residential complex by Matco's M2i Development. Also currently on the books are projects resulting from long-term relationships with Hopewell, Rio-Can, Grosvenor, Western Securities and BMO interiors across Western Canada. For Trinity Development Group it is designing McCall Landing and East Hills, Sage Hills for Ronmor, 85th Street for Bri-Mor Developments, two Calgary Alliance church projects and the renovation and addition to Bowness High School.

    The Calgary office is also working to improve the urban quality of downtown Airdrie, Central Green in Kelowna, City Centre in Saskatoon and King's Wharf in Dartmouth, N.S. The new partnership that Burgener forged enables Zeidler BKDI to provide a broader set of services to its clients, enabling the Calgary office to draw from the resources of Zeidler's offices in Toronto, Victoria, London, Berlin, Beijing, Chengdu and Abu Dhabi.

    Travel Alberta is a key partner in the development and implementation of the province's tourism framework, helping to build and diversify Alberta's economy.

    Board members are appointed by order in council by the government to provide effective governance from across the province. Three new members have been appointed who have the competency, experience and personal attributes to help lead the efforts of Travel Alberta CEO Bruce Okabe and his staff.

    Tracey Edwards, president and CEO of Lakeland College in Vermillion; Rajko Dodic, lawyer and former mayor of Lethbridge; and Shannon Bowens-Smed, president and CEO of Bowen Workforce Solutions in Calgary, will accept new positions on Oct. 1 when long-serving board members Jan Fisher and David Baynes conclude their terms.

    David Parker appears Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. Read his columns online at He can be reached at 403-830-4622 or email

    © Calgary Herald 2014


    Zeidler Partnership Architects' Calgary office merges with BKDI Architects

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Zeidler Partnership Architects' Calgary office has merged with the Calgary-based firm BKDI Architects. The new partnership is Zeidler BKDI Architects.


    CALGARY, July 16, 2014 /CNW/ - This merger represents a combination of a shared culture and complementary practice strengths and is a natural transition from Zeidler and BKDI's 15-year history of joint collaboration as a registered collaborative firm working in Alberta. This merger formally recognizes the blend of talents, joint philosophy and experience of a multi-jurisdictional professional practice. At this time, they are working with Cadillac Fairview on the 1.75 million square feet, mixed-use Calgary City Centre development. The principles of designing attractive spaces for people that respond to rapid advances in industry-specific knowledge continue to guide their work. The merger enables the firm to provide a broader set of services to their clients.

    The merger is in effect as of July 1, 2014. Zeidler BKDI Architects is a firm of 70 staff in Calgary, and will draw from the resources of Zeidler's offices in Toronto, Victoria, London (UK), Berlin, Beijing, Chengdu, and Abu Dhabi.

    Zeidler's senior partners Vaidila Banelis and Tarek El Khatib join Jean Guy Beliveau, Stephen Bugbee, Bill Mitchell and Catherine Richardson, partners at BKDI, to form the new partnership group. Michael Cojocar and Martin Veenhoven join Ross Roy of BKDI as principals and continue in their senior leadership roles.

    The pursuit of quality is the foundation of this collaboration. Both firms are proud of their professional staff, quality of their projects, and the quality of their service. Both firms bring years of stability, a history of client satisfaction and are aligned on professional excellence principles: training and development, pro bono work and workforce diversity. The new firm will continue to focus on client values, and provide high-quality service from the existing team.

    Zeidler is a leading Canadian architectural firm based in Toronto with seven offices worldwide. The firm's portfolio covers a range of work: convention and civic centres, academic, healthcare and research centres, performing arts centres, transportation infrastructure, and residential and commercial properties for clients throughout North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle

    East. Zeidler's Calgary/Toronto team recently completed The Bow as executive architects with Foster + Partners, recognized as one of Canada's iconic statements and one of the largest Class AAA office towers in the country. Named as Azure magazine's "Top 10 Projects of 2012," the towering skyscraper has been chosen as one of Emporis' most spectacular corporate buildings in the world. Zeidler Calgary continues to work on projects with both the Calgary Board of Education and Golden Hills School Division, early childhood education design with the largest childcare building constructed in Canada post-secondary works with the renovation of the University of Lethbridge recital theatre and the Stadium Shopping Centre Redevelopment Masterplan.

    BKDI is one of the leading architectural firms in western Canada. They have completed many significant and varied projects throughout Calgary, across Canada and internationally. The strength of their work illustrates diversity and innovation in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, urban design, and graphic design. The firm's portfolio covers work on a range of projects: from the architectural design of large mixed use projects specializing in high rise residential to master planning of commercial shopping centres and institutional work including schools and recreation buildings. Their credits include architectural work on high-rise residential projects such as Princeton, Arriva, Union Square, Stella, Luna, Nova, CALLA, and Drake. Other projects include The Grand Okanagan Resort, Destination Africa at the Calgary Zoo, Renert Centre for Excellence in Education and the Calgary Winter Club. Creatively, work in interior design projects includes BMO, Vermilion Energy, IHS and Norton Rose. They are currently working on numerous major urban commissions like City Centre Saskatoon, Smith, SoBow Phase 3, Westbrook Station Calgary, Central Green in Kelowna, and King's Wharf in Dartmouth Nova Scotia. The enthusiasm, passion and creativity of each individual that has contributed to their firm is reflected in every project they have completed over an impressive 36 year history.


    SOURCE Zeidler Partnership Architects


    Calgary Herald: Architects, engineers hired for five Calgary school projects

    Last updated 4 years ago

    The city’s public school board hopes to start modernizing or rebuilding five schools before 2015, after selecting the architects and engineers that will oversee the projects.

    Announced by the province three months ago, the Calgary Board of Education announced Thursday it has selected the consultants who will design upgrades for Harold W. Riley elementary school, Bowness High School and Jack James High School, plus rebuild Christine Meikle School and the flood-damaged facility in Elbow Park.

    “We are excited to have these projects move to the next phase,” Frank Coppinger, CBE’s superintendent of facilities, said in a prepared statement.

    “We hope to have shovels in the ground on the replacement schools and the renovation work at existing schools started before the end of the year.”

    The 50 submissions received from the request for proposals to design the school were evaluated by a technical team from the CBE, and the province’s education and infrastructure departments.

    The Calgary-based firm of Gibbs-Gage, which previously handled the controversial $50-million renovation of the Dr. Carl Safran Centre, which is now home to CBE trustees, and another nearby Connaught School, has been chosen to rebuild another historic structure.

    Despite the fact the Elbow Park School was heavily damaged in last June’s floods and is well within the 1-in-500-year flood risk area where provincial guidelines say schools should not be located, the government plans to rebuild the facility on the same site using the existing brick facade and wooden beams in the library ceiling.

    CBE officials have previously refused to provide the Herald with the request for proposal for the project, which might indicate its scope, or to provide any estimate of the cost.

    Last month, the province also turned over responsibility for construction of six new schools in fast-growing Calgary suburbs to the CBE.

    Board officials hope to design and build those facilities in time for the start of classes in the fall of 2016.

    © Copyright (c) The Calgary Herald

    First Canadian Centre – A Tranquil Interiors Project

    Last updated 4 years ago

    We are down to the final week of construction of our beautiful Interiors project in the Basement of First Canadian Centre. Check out the Graphics, The Starfire Glass and the ModularArts panels. Easy to design…difficult to detail and construct…and it will look amazing when it is complete! Stay tuned for those photos….

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    Birthday Bonanza!

    Last updated 4 years ago

    Somebody’s having a birthday! That’s Kayla and Julie on either side of this weekend. A small “girls” lunch to celebrate!

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