Demolition has begun at the site of a long-awaited redevelopment in the Oliver neighbourhood. The old Canadian National Institute for the Blind (now CNIB) building at Jasper Avenue and 120 Street is now in the process of being cleared to make way for the replacement CNIB Tower by ONE Properties.

Demolition begins on the old CNIB building, photo by Dave Sutherland

Photos show the three-storey CNIB building undergoing demolition behind protective fencing. Set to replace it is a 32-storey, 108-metre residential tower that will also serve as the new home for Edmonton's CNIB with a 10,000-square-foot second-floor office, as well as providing four new retail spaces at the street level.

Demolition begins on the old CNIB building, photo by Dave Sutherland

The CNIB Tower is unique in that it has been designed specifically to cater to those with visual impairments. Wallman Architects worked with Chris Downey of Architecture for the Blind to include elements such as tactile paving as well as acoustic differentiation of the ground-level elements to aid navigation around the building, as well as amenities such as a fragrant garden for residents.

Earlier rendering of the CNIB Tower redevelopment, image via ONE Properties

The tower has undergone some revisions since renders first went public; the height has been reduced from 35 to 32 storeys, and the balconies are now half-inset where the renders previously showed fully-inset balconies. The amount of transparent glazing has also been reduced to meet energy codes, though they will be replaced with textural elements as opposed to basic spandrel.

Earlier rendering of the CNIB Tower podium, image via ONE Properties

SkyriseEdmonton will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below. 

Related Companies:  Architecture for the Blind, EllisDon, ONE Properties, Pagnotta, Wallman Architects