Built in 1903, the Alberta Hotel was the most advanced Edmonton hotel of its day. Prime Minister Laurier overnighted on his visit to inaugurate Alberta as a Province in 1905. In 1984 the hotel was demolished to make way for ‘Canada Place’, and its brick, sandstone, cupola and cornice saved.
This project reconstructs the facades, using the original artifacts, fifty feet west of the original hotel. A new steel structure behind the façade provides 50,000 sq ft of commercial space. The developer plans to reconstruct the original hotel bar in its ground floor location, with salvaged interior artifacts, including mirrors, wall tiles and ceiling sections. The nearby Rothesay Building facade, also salvaged, is integrated along a pedestrian walkway joining Jasper Avenue to the Arts District.
Roof terraces overlooking the river valley to the south set the new façade back, so only the historic façade is visible from Jasper Avenue. The new commercial space facing north emphasises transparency and openness as a counterpoint to the constricted site on the north side of the building. Extensive glazing (triple-glazed throughout) serves to explicitly differentiate between the new and the historic facades.
The project hopes to spark redevelopment of the historic buildings to the east.