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multi-family, residential

2020_concept design

Located within Calgary’s inner-city neighbourhood of Lower Mount Royal, the Thirty merges a challenging site with a unique architectural response. The narrow and significantly sloping site is located a block from bustling 17th Avenue, nestled amongst several multi-family developments of varying ages on three sides and by single family homes to the south.  

Visually, the project is a dense grid of dwelling pods wrapped in metal cladding that float above the descending ground plane, perched atop a light and airy base. Users slip into the building underneath the cluster and through a light filled, fully glazed entrance at the foot of the building. The ground floor carves back into the ground anchoring the building in place. A highly glazed exterior reinforces the notion of eyes on the street, creating a sense of security and connection to the surrounding community.

Seeking to avoid the traditional multi-residential development benchmarks of designing variety to maximize market penetration, we instead looked at the site and its location holistically and set a specific occupant in our mind: young professional millennial’s and Generation Z’s who want to work downtown, be close to active 17th and are looking to enter the housing market.

The youthful definition of community is shifting and yet with regards to younger generations community is still built through shared experiences. In terms of housing, they are less inclined to the typical standard that has prevailed over the last decades. Not everyone seeks to live in the suburbs, stacked units or in townhouses with a private yard. Instead there is a steady turn towards living in active urban areas with have access to spaces where they can have opportunities to gather with their friends and family and share on social media. In response to this shift, approximately 30% of the design proposal is amenity space. Inline with creating community through shared experience, 80% of the amenity spaces through the project as shared amenities open to all residents. 

Focused on providing maximum efficiency within minimal square footage, the 500ft² micro-units boast ample storage, in suite laundry, full kitchen, raised office/den, and three piece washroom nestled within the first half of the unit. The second half of the unit, is a open plan that is programmed by a series of built-in transformation's activated by the user as required throughout the day. 

The Thirty is a  six storey development featuring thirty 500 ft² micro-units with multiple shared amenities throughout. Due to the slope of the site, the lowest two floors carve into the earth with the entrance of the building at grade facing towards 17th Avenue to reinforce the community’s connection to it. The lowest floor contains private resident amenities: refrigerated delivery booths for online shopping, bicycle storage and workshop as well as resident storage lockers.


The second floor houses a commercial co-working space complete with offices, a meeting room, kitchen and open work area. This space would be open to all residents when they need a place to work but would be operated by a local co-working company with active members from all over the city.


The third floor is level with the south lane providing access for a car-share and scooter-share operation [in lieu of tradition on-site parking] as well as loading, waste and recycling. Rooftop amenities include community gardens and a patio.

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