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Calgary Bridge Design Competition : Architecture

St Patrick’s Island Bridge Contest, in Canada, North America

Design: W Architecture and Landscape Architecture with Civitas, Inc.

St Patrick’s Island Bridge Calgary
St Patrick’s Island Bridge Calgary |
image courtesy of architects
St Patrick’s Island Bridge Calgary

6 May 2017

St Patrick’s Island Bridge in Calgary

The redesign of St Patrick’s Island is the centerpiece of an ambitious redevelopment strategy for Calgary’s East Village. Charged with transforming a neglected urban island into an engaging park, we drew on the ecological history of the island for inspiration to increase its biodiversity and create a “living island.”

26 Jul 2010

St. Patrick’s Island Survey

CMLC launches on-line ‘Visual Preferences Survey’

St Patrick’s Island Bridge Contest

(Calgary, Alberta) – The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is hoping pictures speak a thousand words in an innovative new survey launched today. The on-line ‘visual preferences survey’ is an illustrative summary of public input to date on suggested uses for St. Patrick’s Island. The new survey asks Calgarians to respond to a series of pictures that represent different options for the rejuvenation of the island.

“These illustrations allow people to express their preferences visually”, said Eileen Stan, Senior Project Manager, CMLC. “The ideas selected for the survey are representative of what Calgarians have told us over the past several months that they want, and don’t want, on St. Patrick’s Island.”

The visual preferences survey runs online at or at ( until Labour Day, September 6, 2010 and provides a visual summary of the feedback CMLC has collected from public studios, focus groups and an earlier on-line survey that ran this spring.

The visual preferences survey will be supported by an on-line campaign and is part of a year long St. Patrick’s Island public engagement program launched earlier this year to grow the vision for the island’s master plan. Other initiatives designed to capture public input include the formation this spring of a St. Patrick’s Island Advisory Committee, as well as up-coming open houses and island tours.

St. Patrick’s Island is 30 acres of green space sitting in the Bow River, directly across from East Village and adjacent to St. George’s Island – home to the Calgary Zoo. St. Patrick’s Island is being envisioned as a major recreational asset for the entire city, and a readily accessible open space for adjacent neighbourhoods like downtown, East Village, Bridgeland and Inglewood.

CMLC is working towards developing East Village into a vibrant community that is well integrated into the downtown core.
18 May 2010

Online survey invites public input on St. Patrick’s Island

CMLC engages Calgarians in master plan process

(Calgary, Alberta) – The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) announced today that it’s launching an extensive master plan process to shape the destiny of St. Patrick’s Island – and the public’s input is welcomed. The associated public engagement program will include a variety of initiatives over the next several months designed to capture Calgarians’ ideas for the future of St. Patrick’s Island. One of the first activities is an online survey launching this week.

Calgary Island
image from CMLC

“Just as we looked to Calgarians for feedback on the new RiverWalk and the St. Patrick’s Island bridge design, we’re now soliciting ideas for the rejuvenation of St. Patrick’s Island,” said Susan Veres, Senior Manager, Communications and Marketing, CMLC. Calgarians will be encouraged to submit their ideas and concepts through a survey available on the CMLC website.

To further assist in the process, CMLC has also formed a St. Patrick’s Island Advisory Committee comprised of 12 members of the community who represent a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise. The group will act as a voice for Calgarians and play a significant role in advising CMLC on the planning and direction of the master plan for St. Patrick’s Island.

“This is an opportunity to take an underutilized environment and create a destination that all Calgarians can use and be proud of,” said Chris Ollenberger, President and CEO, CMLC. “The possibilities for St. Patrick’s Island are really exciting.”

Throughout the summer and fall, CMLC is planning other activities to capture public input on the master plan for the island that include open houses, tours and focus groups.

Through a competitive RFP process, Stantec Consulting has been retained to assist CMLC with the master plan for St. Patrick’s Island and the associated public participation program.

CMLC is working towards developing the East Village into a vibrant community that is well integrated into the downtown core. To learn more about the East Village redevelopment visit


17 Nov 2009

Calgarians help choose top three St. Patrick’s Island pedestrian bridge concepts

Three unique bridge concepts comprise the shortlist

(Calgary, Alberta) – And then there were three. The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and its 10 member advisory committee today announced the three concept submissions selected to move forward to the next stage of the competition for the new St. Patrick’s Island pedestrian bridge in East Village.

The bridge will link St. Patrick’s Island with East Village to the south and the Bow River pathway system to the north. It will provide improved linkages to many different nearby communities including East Village, Inglewood and Bridgeland, and when combined with the improved pedestrian and cyclist connectivity of the Fourth Street Underpass, will play an important role in improving sustainable transportation and recreational linkages throughout the east end of downtown and the Beltline.

The call for preliminary concepts attracted international attention. The finalists were chosen from 33 submissions received from around the world, and displayed a wide variety of ideas and concepts for consideration. The finalists are:

Submission #7
Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design
Buckland and Taylor Ltd. (Vancouver) and Kitchell – Architecture + Design (Victoria, BC)

Submission #15
Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design
ARUP with Falco Schmitt Architects (London, UK)

Submission #29
Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design Calgary Bridge Design
RFR (Paris, France) and Halsall (Calgary)

The advisory committee is comprised of community residents from East Village, Inglewood and Bridgeland, Calgary business leaders, architects, engineers and CMLC management. The group found the six-week process of determining a shortlist for CMLC’s Board of Directors quite engaging and challenging. Over 2000 public comments, solicited through a website blog and three open house events, played an important role in informing the committee’s recommendation.

“It was a tough decision because each submission was compelling in its own way,” said Chris Ollenberger, CMLC President and CEO. “The three finalists were chosen because they’re respectful, elegant and functional, and offer different attributes for consideration. The advisory committee agreed that the bridge should be simple and elegant, and that the scale of the structure, in relation to the site and its surroundings, be complimentary and not be overwhelming. Public commentary also supported this direction and we believe that we have three strong, feasible concepts to move forward with.”

The committee was helped in its decision by Stantec Consulting Ltd. The firm produced a technical overview for each submission -33 in total- to compare every concept against the criteria described in the ‘Request for Submission’ document released in mid August. The next step in the selection process requires each team to advance its concept to the next level by January 29, 2010. In recognition of the three finalists making it to this stage, CMLC will pay each finalist a stipend of $50,000 upon submission of their advanced concepts.

“Producing detailed designs from the concepts, with support drawings and models requires time, money and the focused attention of a team of engineers, architects and designers,” said Ollenberger. “We felt it was important and necessary to provide a modest stipend to provide some assistance to the three finalists.”

CMLC has asked the advisory committee to continue to provide assistance through the next stage of the competition and to make a final recommendation to the company’s Board of Directors in the first quarter of 2010 upon receiving the advanced works by the finalists. Upon receipt and initial review of the work from the finalists, CMLC will host a public presentation by each of the finalists so that Calgarians can hear firsthand the inspiration behind each submission. Subsequently, the teams will then individually meet with the advisory committee for a detailed presentation of their submissions.

“We are very excited by the possibilities that each of the three final concepts presents for the potential of St. Patrick’s Island as a key park space for all Calgarians,” said Ollenberger. “The debate amongst the advisory committee was intense and interesting. We believe that the time has been well spent, and the advisory committee is looking forward to the evolution of the three concepts. Starting today, we invite the public to comment on the three finalists through the CMLC website”.
17 Aug 2009

CMLC Announces Conceptual Bridge Design Competition

New pedestrian bridge to increase connectivity in inner city

17th of August 2009 – Calgary, AB, Canada – The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) today launched another exciting step in the ongoing rejuvenation of the Rivers District, which includes East Village, with the opening of the St. Patrick’s Island Bridge conceptual design competition.

CMLC is seeking submissions for the creation of a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists from qualified candidates who demonstrate cost effective, innovative design with consideration for safety, connectivity, aesthetics and common design guidelines. The competition opens today and the deadline for the conceptual submissions is Monday, September 14, 2009. All design guidelines and criteria are available on the CMLC website at

Photos of the site + aerial location plan:
St Patrick's Island Calgary St Patrick's Island Bridge Calgary Bridge Site

“The design and construction of the St. Patrick’s Island Bridge is an important component of the infrastructure improvements that we are making in the inner city,” comments Chris Ollenberger, President and CEO, CMLC. “We felt that a design competition for this bridge would not only stimulate interest in our revitalization efforts, but would also encourage the participation of talented designers with innovative and creative concepts.”

The link over the Bow River must connect East Village with the north shore of the Bow River and have a landing onto St. Patrick’s Island. The bridge will be an important pedestrian and cyclist connector for many communities and pathway users throughout the inner city. It will replace an older existing bridge near the west end of St. Patrick’s Island which does not currently offer a direct connection to the north bank of the Bow River, and has some existing constraints.

CMLC will invite all Calgarians to view and comment on the competition submissions through the CMLC website. Calgarians will also have the opportunity to view and comment on the shortlisted designs when they are presented at an open house later this fall. And, comments provided to CMLC will be considered part of CMLC’s evaluation process to determine which conceptual design will proceed forward to the design, approval and construction phases. The bridge is tentatively scheduled to be built by 2011.

Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) is the developer responsible for managing the rejuvenation of the Rivers District, which includes the development of a vibrant, mixed-use, inner city community in Calgary’s East Village. Incorporated in 2007, CMLC operates as an independent developer and over the next 10 – 15 years will bring new energy to Calgary’s oldest neighbourhood and redefine the city’s core.

Calgary Bridge Design Competition information from CMLC 170809

Location: St. Patrick’s Island, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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