The jury was unanimous in its decision and would like to announce the winner of the RiverWalk West design competition is:
After 9 months of an intensive planning process, the competition team is excited about the results of the competition and what it means for the present and future needs of Calgarians. The winning project will add to the previous river walk projects and achieve the goal of a continuous promenade from the East Village to West Downtown.
About the project
Calgary has an incredible pathway system rooted in the confluence of rivers, open skies, and breathable spaces. A favourite among locals and tourists, the river pathway system connects Calgarians to 700 kilometres of scenic pathways. RiverWalk West presents an opportunity to create a unique identity and continuous public promenade connecting Fort Calgary to the west end of downtown. The redevelopment will continue the work to harmonize flood mitigation, increase stormwater improvements and upgrade the public realm required to support the growing demands for safe recreational and alternative commuter uses.
Recognizing the uniqueness of this pathway system, we took a distinct approach to the design of the new space by initiating a design competition for industry professionals. Design competitions can offer many benefits by encouraging a broad range of innovative solutions, and creativity to a challenging site. The five shortlisted teams participating in the competition were:
- Dub Architects + Hapa Collaborative - Returning to the River
- ground cubed Landscape Architects - Exchange - Realizing RiverWalk West
- Public City Architecture - Raftlands
- space2place landscape architects - Every Step a Story
- W Architecture & Landscape Architecture - Braiding Waters
The winning design meets all the requirements and the key objectives of the project, namely:
- More quality green space
- Celebration of the river
- Contributes to the natural environment and climate resilience
- Acknowledgement of cultural and historical influences
- Design excellence that has a “spark” of appeal
"Exchange - Realizing RiverWalk West" by ground cubed
The shortlisted teams were asked to submit their conceptual designs for this section of the RiverWalk that best meets the goals of the project. The honourable mention and the three other designs are provided in the adjacent tabs.
Honourable Mention Design
Design Competition Gallery
As shown in the evaluation criteria graphic below, public engagement is part of what the jury will be using to help determine the winner of the design competition.
The first phase of engagement (Inspire) sought input from the public about opportunities for RiverWalk West (see the What we Heard Report here). The concepts should reflect the input from the Phase 1 engagement and integrate the goals of the project with the physical and environmental conditions of the site.
The jury and award process are critical in supporting design competitions to ensure they are fair, equitable and meet high professional and ethical standards. The City has engaged a diverse group of specialists and professionals based on their experience and expertise in their field. The jury will be tasked to select a winner based on predetermined evaluation criteria that reflects the goals of the project and the Greater Downtown Plan.
The Greater Downtown Plan identifies five strategic moves to better serve Calgarians and protect the natural edge of the Bow River:
- Improve the Bow River promenade and pathway system from Eau Claire to 14 Street SW.
- Create a better connection between the neighbourhood of Downtown West and the Bow River.
- Create a better connection between the pathway and the edge of the Bow River.
- Create more green space.
- Consolidate and review land use for fragmented City-owned parcels.
This map from the Greater Downtown Plan illustrates the projects that are currently underway, as well as the proposed investments in the west end of downtown. This includes the expansion of the Downtown West River Promenade, now called RiverWalk West.
The project will extend the existing East Village and Eau Claire improvements to complete the river promenade through the downtown. The new section of the riverwalk will tie-into the work completed along the south-side of the Bow River at West Eau Claire Park and extend past 14 Street S.W. The project may include spaces adjacent to the Bow River and Bow Trail S.W.
The next steps
The RiverWalk West project team will work with ground cubed Landscape Architects to refine the conceptual design. The refined design concept will be shared when completed.