Tag Archives: construction

Edmonton Tour: A Changing Downtown

Before I lived in Japan, I lived in Edmonton. And now I’m back. During the eleven years that I was away, a lot had changed. And the biggest changes are happening now. There are massive construction projects going on. In this first part of my Edmonton tour, I’ll show you some major construction projects downtown.

The biggest one is the ICE District. One of the centrepieces of this project is Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers. They’re going to start playing there this fall.

Can you imagine walking up these stairs?

A bit further west, there’s this office building. It’s pretty narrow, but from what I’ve seen of the rendering, it’s a lot of glass.

Moving back to the ICE District, here is the office for the project. Inside, there’s a model of the project, which you can see as the glowing buildings in the window. The three tallest towers will be the three tallest buildings in the city. The tallest will be the tallest building in Canada outside Toronto at 251 metres tall. It’ll be the headquarters of Stantec and above that, condominiums. Can you imagine living in the penthouse?

While walking east, I came upon the Fox towers. The one on the right is finished, while the one on the left is under construction.

This building, Ultima, was recently completed. Looks pretty tall and pretty good.

Back to the ICE District. Here is the main construction site for the Stantec tower and the hotel. Lots of cranes and a big hole in the ground.

There’s a tower that’s been topped out. It’s the City of Edmonton Tower, and will house a lot of offices for the city.

A close-up reveals a gentle curve.

I went up into a parkade across the street to get this photo. It looks much bigger in person. This is where the Stantec and hotel towers will go.

You can see the location of Rogers Place in relation to the hole.

And here’s the City of Edmonton Tower from the other side. You can see the curve here, too.

In the heart of the financial district is the Kelly-Ramsey Building. This office tower is on the site of a historic building that burned down.

Luckily, they were able to save the outside of the building, took it apart brick by brick, and then rebuilt it as part of the podium of the tower.

And that is all I managed to get. There are several other construction sites, most notably the Royal Alberta Museum.

Next time, I’ll give you a tour of the skyscrapers I saw in the early part of my walk.

Comments are appreciated!

Urban Development Fascinates Me – Rogers Place and Skyscrapers

Yesterday, I was downtown Edmonton with my wife, and we went past some major construction sites. Downtown is filled with cranes, and one of the biggest projects is the ICE district, which includes the new home of the Edmonton Oilers, Rogers Place. It also includes the two new tallest buildings in the city and right next to it is the City of Edmonton tower.

I enjoy seeing urban development and watching how it changes the area. Construction is fascinating, and I always wonder what kind of businesses are going into the new buildings. I took a couple pictures of Rogers Place, which you can see below. And notice the halo around the sun?

In this picture, you can also see the City of Edmonton tower under construction. It’s the one with the crane. It has an interesting curve on the south side.

Anyone else interested in architecture and urban development? Let me know in the comments below.

A Real Life Minas Tirith?

It seems there’s a group of architects who want to build a life-sized Minas Tirith in southern England. If you’ve seen the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, then you’ll know the city.  How much will it cost? £1.85 billion! They’re raising the money through crowdfunding. They expect completion to be around 2023.

Not Minas Tirith, but Mont Saint-Michel, the inspiration for the city. This image is being used under the Creative Commons license cc-by-sa-3.0. It is owned by user b3rny at Flickr.
Not Minas Tirith, but Mont Saint-Michel, the inspiration for the city. This image is being used under the Creative Commons license cc-by-sa-3.0. It is owned by user b3rny at Flickr.

So, will they build it? So far, in 15 days, they have received £74,249 for the construction of the city. I really wonder if they can raise that much money. It may take years at this rate. Actually, it’ll take about 1,000 years at this rate. It’s an incredible thing to build, and I’d love to visit it if it’s ever built. If you want to contribute, you can go to the IndieGoGo page and donate. There are still 45 days left in this campaign. It really makes me wonder if they’ll get an incredibly generous group of people to help fund it.

What do you think? Can they do it? And if they do, will you visit it?

Colonising a World: Shelter

When establishing a colony, it’s very important to have some kind of shelter ready.  However, permanent shelter takes some time to build, so something temporary needs to be available from the beginning.  But for a colony of 15,000 people, how can it be done?

Assuming we’re using the initial settlement for Ariadne, it’s on a generally flat coastal plain with grasslands and forest nearby.  Building houses takes quite some time, but construction can start soon after settlement.  In the meantime, the colonists may have to camp.  One option is tents.  Depending on the climate and the possibility of extreme weather and dangerous animals, this may be a risky thing to do.  But in a stable situation, it may be the easiest.

The transport shuttles could also be converted into temporary shelter that could hold a few hundred people, albeit in cramped conditions.  They could be outfitted with kitchens that could feed everyone, though that may be a difficult thing to do.

Another option is to build large structures with easy to assemble prefabricated parts that were transported on the ship along with the colonists.  This may be the best and safest idea.  Although it would likely look like they live in big warehouses, they can be kept safe from the elements, have some conveniences such as industrial kitchens, washrooms with toilets and baths (once connected to a water supply), and some entertainment.  It may be like a huge dormitory, but at least they have a place to stay.  It’s temporary, though.

Over the first few months, a large amount of construction will be taking place, including housing, power facilities, water facilities, schools, hospitals, public gathering places, and more.  But the houses are something that people will really look forward to.

What would they make the houses with?  They could use local trees, though they wouldn’t know if they’re similar to Earth trees.  They could plant bamboo and use that.  It’s strong, fast-growing, and quite flexible, not to mention a source of food.  If the area is seismically stable, using stone or brick is another option.  As the settlement is located near a major river, clays should be abundant and very useful.

Larger apartments may also be constructed, and these would require strong metal frames.  Thankfully, iron should be abundant, and concrete should be easy to make.

In the 22nd century, construction techniques would likely be much better, more energy efficient, and use more environmentally friendly materials.  New technologies and materials may be developed for the colony, as well.  These may be an option, but it’s likely that early colonists will go with the simplest and easiest ways of building homes.

If you could build a house on another planet, how would you build it?