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Danish architecture firm BIG has designed a 58-storey skyscraper for telecommunications company Telus in downtown Calgary, Canada. Working alongside local architecture firm Dialog, BIG proposes a mixed-use 750,000 square foot vibrant mixed-use tower that will incorporate office, retail and residential space.

The building will offer 40,000 square metres of office space, of which 15,000 will be occupied by Telus. The upper levels will contain 341 rental apartments, while the ground floor will accommodate shops. Downtown Calgary has developed as a typical North American city centre with a cluster of corporate towers surrounded by a periphery of low density suburban homes. The Telus Sky is an attempt to create a lively mixture of living and working at the intersection of light rail and arterial roads in the heart of the centre, to help create a more varied and walkable city centre for Calgary.

At 227 metres high, Telus Sky will be one of the tallest buildings in the city, just 20 metres shorter than The Bow, which was recently completed by Foster + Partners and is located nearby. The tower will replace the existing Art Central building on 7th Avenue but will include a 500 square-metre public gallery dedicated to exhibitions of work by local artists. Telus Sky will be a LEED Platinum signature development for Telus created by world-renowned architects Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Dialog, along with partners: developer Westbank and real estate investment trust Allied Properties.

With the addition of Telus Sky, Telus has become the largest current lease holder of LEED Platinum space in North America. Following the highest environmental standards, Telus Sky will be the most significant next-generation property in Calgary’s history. It will also feature a storm water management system to recycle rain water for washroom toilets and outdoor irrigation, reducing water use by millions of litres per year. When complete, Telus Sky will use 35 per cent less energy than similar size developments, setting a leading example in sustainability. Plans are underway to improve upon that energy efficiency, with the goal to have the final development use 80 per cent less energy than similar developments.

“Building on the success of TELUS Garden in Vancouver, we are proud to be continuing in our commitment to sustainability with the launch of TELUS Sky,” said Ian Gillespie, CEO of Westbank. “Developing a LEED Platinum building means taking a look at every aspect of design and having ownership that is committed to working harder to integrate those elements. With TELUS and Allied, we have assembled that team and we look forward to working to ensure that TELUS Sky exceeds the LEED Platinum requirements, including a whole block energy sharing centre. Most importantly, we look forward to using every opportunity we have to create a beautiful building for Calgary.”

The development, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017, will provide approximately 250 jobs for Calgarians, and engage local trades and companies to complete our vision.

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