It was more than 70 years ago that the Hudson Bay Company opened their doors in downtown Edmonton. In 2005, short on space, and wanting to connect to the downtown community, the University of Alberta purchased the building, which had been sitting empty for more than 15 years, and partnered with our architects and interior designers to give it new life.
The original two-story façade, protected under a historical designation, made the task of introducing much needed open interior space and natural light particularly challenging. Some clever problem solving led to the construction of a fourth story expansion and the removal of 20,000 SF of floor space from the second and third floors to create a clearstory style atrium.
Today, Enterprise Square is home to both retail and academic tenants, but at the project outset, our team did not know what groups would be using the facility. This uncertainty necessitated a build-to-spec approach, challenging our team to incorporate maximum flexibility to meet the needs of any potential tenant. In 2007, the project was deemed so successful it was granted the Award of Excellence in Urban Architecture from the City of Edmonton.