Today we take a look back at one of the most striking transformations of a downtown office building in Edmonton's history: The "reimagining" and reclad of the former Associated Engineering building into WSP Place by ProCura Real Estate Services and Manasc Isaac Architects.
If you have only ever recently been downtown, the above 12-storey building probably seems a bit foreign, you might even struggle to place the location, but it's none other than the intersection of Jasper Avenue and 109 Street. Let's walk through the transformation of this late 1970s building - also originally known as Pacific Plaza - until it becomes more familiar to what it looks like today:
In early 2016, the 109 Street facade of the building was partially removed. In its place, new curved steel sections were added to extend the floorplates.
Note the interior hoarding isolating the building from the exterior work; this was due to the building still being occupied while the facelift was underway.
While the exterior precast panels were selectively cut away, newer and more energy efficient (and green-tinted) windows replaced the old ones on the remaining sections.
After just four months, new curtainwall glass began to be installed on the sections where precast cladding was removed, as well as over the new extension above 109 Street; the building may be starting to look more familiar now.
By November 2016, much of the new curtainwall was in place, and new insulation was applied over top of the old precast panels.
Over the winter, the final aluminum cladding was applied over the insulation, and by February 2017 the protective coating was removed to provide the first glimpse of the new metallic exterior, revealing much of what we see at this corner today.
By April, one year after the project started, the transformation was nearly complete, and through the spring the street-level came together with a new main entrance to the office building, and in May - just in time for patio season - Central Social Hall opened their new patio and entrance facing the corner of Jasper and 109.
A much larger outdoor patio also started construction behind the building, taking advantage of the currently vacant land for the seasonal enjoyment of Central Social Hall patrons. Construction on the patio finished in June 2017, just in time for the height of summer.
While this transformation was taking place, interior work was also underway to replace many of the building's engineering systems with more modern and efficient ones. Additionally, in October, the LED lighting lining the new curtainwall sections began testing, bringing much more light and colour (and futuristic look) to the building.
Capping off the transformation, WSP - the building's new main tenant after the departure of Associated Engineering for 9888 Jasper Avenue - had their logo installed prominently at the corner of Jasper and 109 in January 2018.
Not just putting a more modern look on an old office building, the new triple-glazed windows, paneling, and building systems were designed to increase the energy efficiency of the building by over 50%, while targeting LEED Gold standards and also lowering operating costs.
What do you think of the reimagining of WSP Place? Got a suggestion for a Throwback Thursday? Drop a comment below!