Architectural Excellence

Arctos & Bird strives for architectural excellence. We are also practical, which means we work to achieve this vision within the reality of history, time and resources.

Here are some of our successes.

Bison Courtyard

The rooflines rise and fall to match the rhythm of – and preserve sight of – surrounding peaks. The central courtyard gathers people the way a river gathers water.

Bison Courtyard was inspired in part by Holly Middleton, an artist who painted with Canada's famous Group of Seven. She believed buildings in Banff need a sense of adventure, because "people come to Banff National Park for adventure".

Bison Courtyard recreates, at a smaller scale, a sense of the Park's majesty: the awesome origami found in mountain faces. It also references the Town’s storied past, and connects it with the future. The Courtyard’s centerpiece, the Old Crag Cabin, is one of the Banff’s earliest buildings.

Award-Winning Architecture

In 2006, The American Institute of Architects recognized William McDonough + Partners design of Bison Courtyard with an “Honor Award for Design Excellence”.

In 2003, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) recognized Zeidler Partnership’s Calgary office for excellence in contract documentation – the project’s working drawings and specifications.

The awards are significant, says Peter J. Poole, Arctos & Bird’s Principal, because they recognize that “green” architecture can also be great architecture.

Cave Avenue Homes

Nineteen homes, designed to meet or exceed LEED Silver standards, rise in tiers up a wooded mountain slope. The buildings flow with the terrain and fit the natural topography of the site.

Thanks to an underground parkade (complete with bike storage and a shared workshop) you see terraced open spaces, natural landscapes and sweeping peaks instead of parked cars.

Roof planes are tilted to capture maximum light; living spaces are lifted up and oriented towards maximum views. Small rooftop gardens, planted with indigenous species, are both practical and aesthetic.

Cave Avenue Homes showcase the best of modern architecture in the 21st century. They are fluid, open and bright.

The Juniper

This modernist building was designed by Calgary architect Jack Cawston in the early 1950s. It was redesigned in 2004 by Templar Architecture & Design, also of Calgary.

The long, low rise of the structure allows it to fit into, rather than dominate, the landscape. Expansive windows bring the outdoors in, while the building’s angled guestrooms create a jagged wall that mimics Banff’s jagged peaks.

Over time, different owners and managers added rustic Western elements and traditional European motifs: suits of armour and stained glass crests more suited to the Austrian Alps than the Canadian Rockies.

Arctos & Bird’s contemporary redesign of the building features a palette of materials native to Banff, such as Rundle stone and recycled fir. The Juniper has been carefully restored to reflect the building’s original intent: to make it an integral part of the surrounding environment.