Building Ideas

East Village architects talk about Evolution and FIRST

In the past few weeks, renderings of the exteriors of EV’s first two residential offerings have been finalized by our developer partners. Evolution by Embassy BOSA Inc. and FIRST, by FRAM+Slokker, are as different as they’re striking. James Cheng designed Evolution; Roland Rom Colthoff of RAW Design was the architect of FIRST. We talked to them about their inspiration for their buildings, both of which are steps from RiverWalk on the Bow River in East Village.

James Cheng (Evolution)

EV: What inspired you about the waterfront?

Cheng: Well, if you’re living on the waterfront, you want to see the water. We wanted to give virtually everyone a view, so I was inspired by the hill towns of San Gimignano in Italy. A hill town is fantastic because it has layers and layers terracing up, and then taller towers. What we're trying to do here in the East Village is a bit of a mini hill town with buildings of different heights – buildings stepping up to the towers so the tower isn’t just a square box rising. People on Memorial Drive will look across and see these green rooftop garden steppes.

EV: What’s the most important part of a building?

Cheng: It’s the street and the rooftop, because that’s where the eye is drawn. The top has the responsibility of forming an interesting skyline for the city. The bottom has to be conducive to human interaction. The ‘space between buildings’ is as important as the buildings themselves. 

Ronald Rom Colthoff (FIRST)

EV: How did you get a sense of the river?

Rom Colthoff: I spent three days walking the downtown trying to understand the importance of the river to the city. The Bow River is this forgotten gem. It’s nice to be part of its rediscovery and reanimation.

EV: The building looks “framed” in places.

Rom Colthoff: The tower was designed to make explicit that the view towards the river was its raison d’etre. We framed the façade of the tower on that side as if it were a large periscope. We didn’t go traditional at all. That’s the way we work. But this building also has to make a statement because it is first. It sets the tone and creates the fabric. It’s a new community in the sky.

Click to find out more about Evolution and FIRST.

To see model suites for both projects, don’t miss the grand opening of the EV Sales and Experience Centre March 24th.