Sidewalk Citizen, Calgary

Studio North, Calgary

Photography: Hayden Pattullo

As Calgary’s first public park and a recently designated national historic site, Central Memorial Park is a pillar in the city’s urban fabric. It carries all the hallmarks of modern typical urban park, however early in its life the Park once featured “garden rooms,” semi-enclosed spaces for picnicking amongst the greenery. This obscure, not well-documented urban detail formed the inspiration for the design of a new restaurant renovation and solarium addition. A dramatic vaulted lattice made entirely of fir plywood, inspired by beehives and old plant nurseries, functions as both columns for the wall structure and rafters for the roof structure of the solarium. A large garage door gives views out to the park and blends indoor and outdoor event space during the summer months, and the space is passively heated by translucent polycarbonate cladding and two fireplaces, which helps extend the patio season into winter. The cladding also has high levels of UV transmission, which helps the growth of indoor fig and lemon trees and numerous plants dispersed throughout the restaurant.