Calgary Downtown Lookout

University Project
Shaganappi Pt, Calgary, AB


A short design exercise to develop a lookout platform celebrating an aspect of Calgary’s urban fabric. A simple sandstone and glass walkway emerges from the grasses of the Shaganappi Point hillside to a point aligned with the railways that bisect the city’s core and have been so critical to it’s development. Undulating sandstone walls emerge and dive back into the hillside, framing the approach to the lookout while interior lights within the structure illuminate it at night.


intent & site

The intent was to allow visitors to connect with the history of the site, the material that made it significant, and the city it helped build. From the outset the goal was to use Paskapoo sandtsone as the primary building material, and to explore excavation over construction, harkening back to the site’s use as a quarry in the late 1800’s. As development progressed additional elements were introduced to deepen the intervention’s connection with the land, the material and the city. A glass incursion atop the furthest point echoes current Calgary’s towering glass skyline built from its sandstone past.

The intervention is intentionally placed intersecting CPRR alignment through downtown Calgary. The railroad is critical to the development of the city, and it is a reason the quarry on the site was established. The intervention intentionally has no paved access, instead short fins of sandstone walls emerge from the topography implying the direction of access. This lack of access route also allows the intervention is disappear into the topography when viewed from the south-west.