Shaw Environmental Research Centre

At the Calgary Zoo, our researchers conduct groundbreaking scientific research every day. This research is very important to the well-being of many animals here in Canada as well as abroad. But we asked ourselves, how many of our patrons really know what we’re doing? The Shaw Environmental Research Centre at the Calgary zoo brings forward a new approach to research, conservation, and education. The many different spaces at the Shaw Environmental Research Centre, showcase all that the zoo has to offer. In the research labs, scientists are helping endangered animals once again thrive in their natural environment. Here we focus on species recovery and are recognized as a North American leader in the science of species reintroduction. Currently, the zoo is researching black-tailed prairie dogs, black-footed ferrets, swift foxes, northern leopard frogs, Vancouver island marmots, whooping cranes, and burrowing owls. To understand how we do our research and how it works, we took a hands-on approach. Zoo patrons are easily able to see into the research labs, engage in lectures from our zoologists and others, as well as have the opportunity to learn in our special classroom environments here at the Shaw Environmental Research Centre. We know that today the education about the conservation of our species as well as many other animals is more important than ever. Moving forward, it is important to share how our advancements are being made and to show the next generation how they can be a part of our research and conservation initiatives. We work to help our planet not only in saving animals but also trying to do our part in saving the planet. The Shaw Environmental Research Centre is a LEED Platinum building with a geothermal energy system, green roofs and corten steel panels to shade from the sun and insulate in the winter. Our building is designed to showcase not only the conservation that we do, but also how our built environment can reflect this. With continued funding from our partners and patrons, we hope to be able to expand our research and help many more animals in the future. Shaw Communications along with the Calgary Zoo have partnered together to give our community a real sense of what conservation means.

The River

“The River” at the Evergreen Brickworks explores the relationship between the Don River and the surrounding environment. Data from the Don River has been adapted to show the accurate flood conditions at the human scale. The information ranges from 1962 to the present. The particular points displayed were chosen as the highest most severe points in this recorded history of the Don River flood levels. In addition to the human scale levels, this installation explores the rapid urban expansion that has happened in the Don River watershed. This expansion has affected the river and the surrounding area in many ways over the years. This expansion of not only the urban environment but also of the flood waters has been explored in the overhead canopy. This canopy follows the shape of the Don River as it flows through the Toronto area. When the river floods, it expands, and so too does this installation.

TRI – Napier Quadrangle

The aim of TRI-Napier Quadrangle, is to study the interaction between public life and public spaces. The first task was to gather research on public life in Copenhagen, a city frequently known for pioneering sustainable urban design. This research was gathered in order to apply and compare findings with Napier University’s campus in Edinburgh. The final objective is to develop and present an innovative and challenging design proposal to enhance, adapt and transform the upper quadrangle and library gardens at Napier’s Merchiston campus. In order to accurately assess and understand the impact of the design proposals, research surveys were conducted by students in both the Danish and Scottish capitals.

Glade

This project was created with influence from Islamic architectural patterning. From the pattern, the modeling began with tracing the lines. From the lines, a square module was formed. From this line module, a 3d version was formed, with two variations. From these two modules, a pattern was created with the openings strategically placed. This pattern was again formed into a square module so that it could be aggregated easily. This larger module made of 3×3 smaller modules was then arrayed into a large pattern. The pavilion itself was inspired by the Beijing Olympics bird’s nest stadium. To create it, lines we created around the base area as well as where the top of the pavilion would be. From the lines it was then lofted to create a surface. On this surface, the arrayed pattern was aggregated. The final pavilion has openings to the outside surface as well as the different level pattern facing the interior. The pavilion is located in a forest clearing or “glade”. The location is in the Rocky Mountains. The pavilion is used as a retreat and shelter for hikers and animals alike.

Leaf Technologies

This Project has won the Steelcase Sustainable Design Award 2016

“It’s like Amazon for Plants!” Leaf Technologies, located in Toronto Ontario, has become one of the most respected mail-order nurseries in Canada. Sustainability and earth-friendly practices have always been a part of our company. It has been our experience over the past century— and science consistently confirms—that doing things in the most eco-friendly way is ultimately the most efficient way, and therefore the most cost-effective way. Leaf Technologies is an online marketplace where small businesses from around the world are able to sell their plants. Online marketplace is a type of e-commerce site where products are offered by third party companies/individuals and transactions are processed by the market operator (Leaf Technologies). The user interface, user experience, organization and accessibility to the product is crucial to attract customers to the websites. As a digital marketplace, Leaf Technologies has an online platform consisting of a webpage and mobile apps, both compatible over a range of devices.

Amalgam Galleries

Amalgam Galleries is an arts-based community hub that focuses on artists as well as introducing the community to local artists and their work. It is Designed to become a catalyst for the burgeoning arts community to form. Amalgam consists of two galleries, an open studio, private studios, cafe, and artists residences. Through this setup, the goal is to bring artists and the community together and give them a platform to promote and engage in the arts. Amalgam originated from the desire to combine the traditional architecture of the post office with modern elements of materiality and form. The main idea was heavily influenced by the concept of shelter. Weather conditions in Hespeler can be very harsh and thus an extension was designed to wrap like a shell around the existing post office building, protecting it from the elements. A unique feature of Amalgam is the central atrium that passes through all floors. The atrium allows light to reach each floor passing through a skylight. The atrium also allows for a direct view to the studio from the main and second floor as well as a view to the sky.