Bowness Park Redevelopment
Created in 1911, Bowness Park is a popular 30 hectare (74 acres) urban park on the Bow River in the northwest quadrant of Calgary. When amenities began to decline, ISL undertook the project management for the redesign and refurbishment of the nine major park buildings and structures including the teahouse and new concession pavilion.
ISL developed the concept of reinterpreting and re-envisioning the historical elements of the park using modern engineered wood products, in conjunction with hand cut heavy timber posts, beams and trusses. The use of these wood design elements allowed ISL to emulate the historical elements and aesthetic, while ensuring longevity to the structures.
In 2013, as site preparations for the park were being completed, flood waters as high as five feet heavily damaged the existing infrastructure and set back the long range restoration work that was started in 2012. Fortunately, a concerted effort by all the consultant teams and park crews ensured that the project did not suffer from the delays anticipated.
ISL’s approach to design for the structures at Bowness Park was in line with the City of Calgary’s Cultural Landscape Strategic Plan and honoured the special heritage of the park, which was important to the people of Calgary.
Despite delivery challenges including flood damage to the existing infrastructure, areas of the park were re-opened in the summer of 2014. By the following Christmas Eve, Calgarians were able to enjoy skating on the lagoon.
Bowness Park Redevelopment was recognized with a 2016 CEA Award of Excellence in the Building Engineering – Recreational category.