In 2018 the author of this paper began an arduous process to save one of Canada’s most important historic buildings. Voted by the National Trust of Canada in 2017 as, “One of the Top 10 Most Endangered Places in Canada”, this building and the deeply important land that it sat on was slated to be torn down because the City that it rested in had neglected its upkeep. Like so many cities throughout the world, this building and the place and space that it occupied needed a new vision. It needed leadership, stakeholders, visionaries, architects and designers that would fight to tell people about its history. It needed a new presence and physicality that would allow the building to tell stories about ‘its’ past and its hidden contribution to winning WWII. In truth, the preservation of his building needed something substantive that would allow it to become a springboard for creating human connectivity in this area and for (re)creating community. 4-years later, this paper and presentation will relay the story of how this humble 1922 purpose-built WWII airplane hangar was saved and how it is evolving into a significant 200,000 sf. adaptive re-use, mixed use building with 272 residential units and 25,000 sf of CRU space. It will convey the design and financial/political strategies that were used of who, and how a variety of statistics from major reports such as those from the UNEP Creative Economy Reports helped to get this $90-million dollar project off the ground.
Student, MDes, University of Alberta - Industrial Design Program, Alberta, Canada
Architecture, Adaptive re-use, Carbon Neutral, Innovation, History, Design, Creative Economy