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January 23, 2012

History in the making

The Guardian builds on the celebrated heritage of Victoria Park

Pepper Rodriguez

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The Guardian is being built in Calgary’s historic Victoria Park community; but it is making a history of its own, as not only will it be Calgary’s tallest residential structure, it is also spearheading the revitalization of what is becoming a more and more popular part of town.

This 42-storey modern landmark is being built along Calgary’s notable Beltline area, a district that has long played an important role in the city’s growth. The immense task of designing such a history-making structure falls to IBI/Hancock Bruckner, a renowned architectural firm of the highest pedigree and whom The Guardian’s developer, Hon Towers, shares a history with.

The Hon family had previously worked with Jim Hancock and Martin Bruckner — principals of IBI/HB — and Jakin Construction on the Pointe Claire residential development in Vancouver which, at 35 storeys, was once the tallest residential project in that city.

Now, almost 20 years later, The Guardian has brought this relationship back together — this time to design the tallest residential project in Calgary. Each company has gone on to forge sterling reputations in the real estate development industry in Canada and abroad and The Guardian is their first opportunity to bring this team’s strong sense of design and business savvy to Calgary.

IBI/HB’s selection as the architect for the project, however, is not based solely on their relationship with the Hon family — who also run Calgary’s Jager Homes – but on the strength of their unmatched portfolio. 

IBI/HB is part of the world-renowned IBI Group and has over 200 multi-residential projects in their portfolio. It is one of the leading architectural firms in North America with three Alberta offices — in Calgary, Fort McMurray and Edmonton. They are one of the largest sustainable architecture firms in the world and have 35 years experience in environmentally responsible design.

They have designed and built several noteworthy multi-family projects including the Pinnacle Museum Tower in San Diego, completed in 2005 and widely considered one of Marina’s finest luxury towers; the Benson Tower in Portland; the recently-opened Residences on Georgia in downtown Vancouver which has become an instant landmark; and the historically significant Hotel Georgia. Also nearing completion is West Pender Place, another architectural gem in the Coal Harbour neighborhood of Vancouver.  

The Guardian will mark their first residential project in Calgary, and what makes designing this development a little more challenging is that it will have to be built on an already existing structure — the concrete foundation and parkade of the unfinished portion of the ArriVa tower project.

ArriVa, after completing one tower, went under at the height of the recession. But Nicholas Hon, the principal of Hon Tower, was able to secure the land for phases two and three of that project, recognizing the unique opportunity that this presented.

Hon determined that the opportunity to purchase the site from the receiver at tens of millions of dollars below replacement value will result in enormous cost savings that will be passed on to the customer in the form of higher quality interior finishes, amenities, furnishings, and kitchens. 

The result is some of the most unbelievably affordable luxury condo developments in town. No other project can compare with the sheer luxury and comfort that The Guardian can offer at such a reasonable price.

Each of the 321 homes in The Guardian has been designed to make maximum use of natural lighting, encourage movement and present a blank slate so you can create a space that suits your lifestyle. In contrast with traditional residential towers where the exterior design dictates the way each suite is formed, The Guardian is the exact opposite with an ideal set of interior floor plans informing how the exterior looks.

The rooms within each of the eight floor plans are organized to minimize hallway space and maximize useable space. The interior design maximizes storage space and provides generous closet areas. Suites range in size from 441 to 1,830 square-feet.

With prices starting at a very affordable $150,000, The Guardian is every bit as history-making as it sounds. Sales begin in March at the on-site Bungalow School, a heritage building that has been incorporated in the design of The Guardian and which will serve as the sales centre.

 

FAST FACTS:

Community: Victoria Park

Project: The Guardian

Developer: Hon Towers Ltd.

Style: Mixed-use high-rise with live/work units at base and 

apartment style condos in tower

Size: Starts at 441 to 1,830 sq. ft.

Price: Starts at $150,000 

to $1.5 million

Sales Centre: Located in the historic 

Bungalow School

Address: 400 block of 12th Ave. S.E.

Website: www.theguardiancalgary.com

 

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