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FRAM+Slokker’s FIRST is an 18-storey condo on the Bow riverfront that celebrates the young spirit of East Village.
FRAM+Slokker’s FIRST, the initial offering of seven projects the group is undertaking in East Village, was released in 2012 and is now 70% sold and under construction. FIRST is located just off RiverWalk in the Parkside area, one street back of the Bow River; it offers views toward the river and westward toward downtown. “We spent a lot of time trying to understand the importance of the river to city,” says Roland Rom Colthoff of RAW, the Toronto architecture firm that designed FIRST. “Before East Village, the river was this forgotten gem, and it’s nice to be part of its rediscovery and reanimation.”
FIRST is a striking, 191-unit building surrounded on three sides by a four-storey podium. Its graphic aspect comes from black metal that frames sections of windows to great effect. A courtyard on the third floor gives everyone views and fresh air in a sheltered environment, even in winter.
Rom Colthoff found it both daunting and exciting to design FRAM+Slokker’s first EV building. “You’re taking the first step and everyone’s looking at that,” he says. “We’re trying to find a new palate of materials, a different palate for Calgary. We’re setting the tone for a new kind of high rise, a new community in the sky.”
Phase one of the multi-phase project has been dubbed FIRST, for the free-spirited pioneers who will make East Village their home. And there are plenty of them in Calgary. “No doubt about it, there’s a sense of energy at so many levels,” says Ralph Giannone, an architect of FRAM+Slokker’s projects. “On the business side, it just smells like potential, and there’s a sense that things can get done there.”
The FRAM+Slokker companies, headquartered in Ontario, have together built some 90,000 residences in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. Port Credit Village, a multi-award-winning community in Ontario, is among the many successful developments this partnership has produced.
FIRST is a graphically-striking 18-floor building surrounded on three sides by a four-story podium. There are views both toward the river and westward, toward the city. “We’re not going traditional at all,” says Rom Colthoff. “That’s part of the way we work.” The graphic aspect of the building comes from black metal that frames sections of windows to great effect. Wood framing on the low rise adds to the visual interest. A courtyard on the third floor of the low rise gives everyone views and fresh air in a sheltered environment, even in winter.
What’s it like designing a developer’s first East Village building? “It’s kind of daunting,” says Rom Colthoff. “You’re taking the first step and everyone’s looking at that. We’re trying to find a new palette of materials, a different palette for Calgary. We’re setting the tone for a new kind of high rise, a new community in the sky.”