Context: Employing nearly 300 people in its current operations, the YWCA of Calgary offers emergency shelter, residency, group and individual counseling, instruction, child care, meeting and physical recreation activities, and supports substantial outreach services. The main YWCA facilities, situated on a full block of land at the east end of downtown Calgary, were constructed in the 1970’s to serve a mandate that has since been updated in light of a newly revised mission and vision. In order to provide more suitable facilities to support the revised mandate, the YWCA initiated a project to examine options for the redevelopment of the existing site. The team of Cornerstone Planning Group and Marshall Titttemore Architects were awarded the contract.
Approach: The initial stage of the work focused on consultation with the various programs and services to discuss current operations and how the activities might change in view of the revised mission and vision. A number of scenarios were explored and ultimately resulted in a program setting out the functional and spatial requirements. The next stage involved an examination of alternate approaches to the development of the site. The relative cost, benefits, and risks were assessed and a report was submitted.
Results: The recommendation strategy was presented at Board Meeting work session. The Board endorsed the proposed approach and moved onto the implementation stage.