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Old 01-13-2022, 01:06 PM   #1621
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CMLC has actually been involved in some pretty amazing projects in the City and I can’t point to any major fails by them.
I like CMLC as an organization, but as a strong, local representative for construction and development in Calgary with the portfolio of projects they work on and the citizens they represent, they could do a much better job hiring and showcasing local, specifically architects, and keeping more of that money within municipal borders. A MUCH better job.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:03 PM   #1622
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I like CMLC as an organization, but as a strong, local representative for construction and development in Calgary with the portfolio of projects they work on and the citizens they represent, they could do a much better job hiring and showcasing local, specifically architects, and keeping more of that money within municipal borders. A MUCH better job.
I know this is often a drum trumpeted by citizens every time we build something, but isn't this basically impossible with current procurement rules that The City needs to abide with?
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:12 PM   #1623
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Anyone who went to the Flames games in the 80,90, and early 2000 knows what Vic Park and East Village was like.

It was sketchy as heck. There was basically Ribtor, Orange lofts, parking lots and dilapidated drug houses.

I walked home from Orange to the Riverfront in 2004 and my girlfriend freaked out I would do that at 1AM. She was right too, just a sea of parking lots and sketch bags in the pitch black.

How they turned it around in frankly less than 10 years is nothing short of amazing.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:24 PM   #1624
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I know this is often a drum trumpeted by citizens every time we build something, but isn't this basically impossible with current procurement rules that The City needs to abide with?
No. With the City and related organizations, anything over $75,000 has to go to an RFP process, anything under can be sole sourced. For projects that go to RFP, CMLC or any public organization (and any partners) can ultimately decide who they really want anyways (regardless of a scored evaluation criteria, where goalposts can constantly be moved depending on who's looking at it). This is way more common in the public sector than you think. Been doing RFPs for spanning three decades now.

Last edited by Muta; 01-13-2022 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Three decades, not two.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:49 PM   #1625
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No. With the City and related organizations, anything over $75,000 has to go to an RFP process, anything under can be sole sourced. For projects that go to RFP, CMLC or any public organization (and any partners) can ultimately decide who they really want anyways (regardless of a scored evaluation criteria, where goalposts can constantly be moved depending on who's looking at it). This is way more common in the public sector than you think. Been doing RFPs for spanning three decades now.
I can assure you whether there is an RFP process or not, it is no coincidence that every controls project “tendered” by the city goes Siemens way just as one example.
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Old 01-13-2022, 02:56 PM   #1626
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I like CMLC as an organization, but as a strong, local representative for construction and development in Calgary with the portfolio of projects they work on and the citizens they represent, they could do a much better job hiring and showcasing local, specifically architects, and keeping more of that money within municipal borders. A MUCH better job.
My thoughts are that they've done a decent job with local architects. Just a quick look on the CMLC website shows Dialog, S2, MBAC, O2, Kasian, Stantec, McKinley Burkart. Possibly others. Lots of local consultants on these projects as well.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:05 PM   #1627
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My thoughts are that they've done a decent job with local architects. Just a quick look on the CMLC website shows Dialog, S2, MBAC, O2, Kasian, Stantec, McKinley Burkart. Possibly others. Lots of local consultants on these projects as well.
Yes, as locals. They're there to stamp the drawings, maybe provide some base design ideas, and that's mainly it. Many of these projects have outside 'expert' architects, or 'starchitects', who do the shiny conceptual work that you see in the news, and they get a good cut of the consultant fee - and while they're good at it (that's not the issue), their work isn't as specialized as you think; local firms can do that role too if given the chance. There are many talented people from around the country, the continent and the world that work right here in this city, within many talented firms - such as the ones you've listed.

Want an example? There's about seven firms in town that could easily do the new Events Centre on their own, right now, easily - no HOK needed. However, that's a route CMLC and the Flames will never go down. That's just not how the industry works, for better or worse.

Last edited by Muta; 01-13-2022 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:27 PM   #1628
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I don't know how I feel about Gibbs Gage designing the new arena...
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:29 PM   #1629
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Originally Posted by OldDutch View Post
Anyone who went to the Flames games in the 80,90, and early 2000 knows what Vic Park and East Village was like.

It was sketchy as heck. There was basically Ribtor, Orange lofts, parking lots and dilapidated drug houses.

I walked home from Orange to the Riverfront in 2004 and my girlfriend freaked out I would do that at 1AM. She was right too, just a sea of parking lots and sketch bags in the pitch black.

How they turned it around in frankly less than 10 years is nothing short of amazing.
But it was fun.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:43 PM   #1630
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Another chance to do an inverted bowl but they'll likely blow it and end up with some cheap design. And it'll take 10 years to design it.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:48 PM   #1631
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Originally Posted by dieHARDflameZ View Post
I can assure you whether there is an RFP process or not, it is no coincidence that every controls project “tendered” by the city goes Siemens way just as one example.
Your example is likely correct but something like Controls can be pretty messy spread across multiple properties if there's no universality to it.
Kinda like running a car with engine parts from different brands and manufacturers, you can probably make it work but it ends up being inefficient and more expensive in the long run.
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Old 01-13-2022, 03:53 PM   #1632
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Yes, as locals. They're there to stamp the drawings, maybe provide some base design ideas, and that's mainly it. Many of these projects have outside 'expert' architects, or 'starchitects', who do the shiny conceptual work that you see in the news, and they get a good cut of the consultant fee - and while they're good at it (that's not the issue), their work isn't as specialized as you think; local firms can do that role too if given the chance. There are many talented people from around the country, the continent and the world that work right here in this city, within many talented firms - such as the ones you've listed.

Want an example? There's about seven firms in town that could easily do the new Events Centre on their own, right now, easily - no HOK needed. However, that's a route CMLC and the Flames will never go down. That's just not how the industry works, for better or worse.
I can say from first hand experience, this is underselling the efforts of our local consulting teams, significantly. It is much more than stamping drawings and chiming in once and a while.

It a nice spin on things to say the local guys can do it on there own but the argument I will make is the contributions to our City by Allied Works, Snohetta, BIG, Foster, Cheng, N3, are that they raise the bar for our own design community. Just take a look at some of their work on-line and compare it to our own. I should be self evident almost immediately as to what I am saying.

I saw the same thing fifteen years ago in Toronto when Daniel Libeskind and Frank Gehry were awarded the ROM and AGO, so this isn't something uniqur to Calgary. It happens everywhere. I think CMLC deserves a lot of credit for selecting design firms they have from outside the City. I won't say who but there are a few firms here, some of the larger ones, who simply can not meet the standard, or even close to it, set by the likes of Snohetta and the others I mentioned. Many firms prioritize profit, others prioritize design.
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:09 PM   #1633
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I can say from first hand experience, this is underselling the efforts of our local consulting teams, significantly. It is much more than stamping drawings and chiming in once and a while.
Fair enough; however it actually isn't that far from the truth in reality, and I'm speaking from personal experience too. The point is moreso that local firms have the ability - and talent - to do more of the total workload on their own, especially if given the chance. And in these times and this economy, we should really be supporting local wherever and whenever we can - even in the professional services industry.

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It a nice spin on things to say the local guys can do it on there own but the argument I will make is the contributions to our City by Allied Works, Snohetta, BIG, Foster, Cheng, N3, are that they raise the bar for our own design community. Just take a look at some of their work on-line and compare it to our own. I should be self evident almost immediately as to what I am saying.
100% agree. I am not downplaying their contributions in the slightest. Those are all talented designers that have had a positive hand shaping our built environment. That said, there is talent in this city, right now, that have worked at international firms such as those - in addition to local designers who are talented in their own right. I think it's damn good practice to look at the talent within the firms, not just the local firm name.

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I saw the same thing fifteen years ago in Toronto when Daniel Libeskind and Frank Gehry were awarded the ROM and AGO, so this isn't something uniqur to Calgary. It happens everywhere. I think CMLC deserves a lot of credit for selecting design firms they have from outside the City. I won't say who but there are a few firms here, some of the larger ones, who simply can not meet the standard, or even close to it, set by the likes of Snohetta and the others I mentioned. Many firms prioritize profit, others prioritize design.
You're right - this happens everywhere, which is why I stated public organizations as a whole. However, I think the bolded is quite subjective; I agree with you to a degree, but that doesn't eliminate the talent and abilities of other locals.
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:13 PM   #1634
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The Flames bungled the arena deal so poorly people are starting to think CalgaryNext was a good idea?

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Old 01-13-2022, 04:33 PM   #1635
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I don't know how I feel about Gibbs Gage designing the new arena...
Honestly the latest version of the arena looked about on par with a Gibbs Gage design. I could just never get excited about this building.

Whether by an international or local firm, I hope the next version of this arena is designed with a bit more... ambition.
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Old 01-13-2022, 04:57 PM   #1636
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Good discussion. Liked the comments from Womius, Muta and TOFan in particular.

CMLC does do a good job (also speaking from personal experience) and they have done a good job with increasing the level of architecture in the City.

There are talented firms in the City; whether any of them could have done the Central Library, for example, is a bit of a question - though it is clear Dialog did a tremendous job as the local firm on that project.

Typically, there is a reason why firms become 'starchitects' in the first place - they are good at what they do. That includes understanding how to navigate the RFP and interview process, not only the design aspect of things.

Not sure what will happen with the next arena project, but I would prefer to have someone like CMLC on board, especially if public monies are involved, to ensure that Calgarians get the most out of their dollars.

Hopefully, there will be another path forward for the arena sooner rather than later.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:05 PM   #1637
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Anyone who went to the Flames games in the 80,90, and early 2000 knows what Vic Park and East Village was like.

It was sketchy as heck. There was basically Ribtor, Orange lofts, parking lots and dilapidated drug houses.

I walked home from Orange to the Riverfront in 2004 and my girlfriend freaked out I would do that at 1AM. She was right too, just a sea of parking lots and sketch bags in the pitch black.

How they turned it around in frankly less than 10 years is nothing short of amazing.
100% agree...The saddledome didn't do anything to revitalize that area. Some times I wonder how many areanas/stadiums people have gone to in their lives, as typically the buildings themselves create enormous dead zones around them. Those dead zones can turn nasty quick.

The best stadiums I've been too integrate into their surroundings. If Calgary built an "Eats" area with that land that operated 300+ days a year and had 20 boutique restaurants running out of shipping containers with two big bars that had live music and a 3000-5000 seat "concert hall". Indoor / outdoor spaces with heaters, and good public transit...that's the area you put an 18000 seat arena in, with shops on the ground level.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:24 PM   #1638
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Want an example? There's about seven firms in town that could easily do the new Events Centre on their own, right now, easily - no HOK needed. However, that's a route CMLC and the Flames will never go down. That's just not how the industry works, for better or worse.
I'll bite. HOK is best of breed when it comes to sports facilities. You are dropping $600M+ on this undertaking. I can't think of a single reason to not go for a top firm. I don't think it's as simple as being local and being capable of doing the job.

Cana just did the refresh at Max Bell, doesn't mean they are the best to build the event center.
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Old 01-13-2022, 05:53 PM   #1639
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I'll bite. HOK is best of breed when it comes to sports facilities. You are dropping $600M+ on this undertaking. I can't think of a single reason to not go for a top firm. I don't think it's as simple as being local and being capable of doing the job.

Cana just did the refresh at Max Bell, doesn't mean they are the best to build the event center.
You're right, HOK is one of the well-known sports design firms out there right now, I agree. That doesn't mean someone local, if given the chance, can't do it just as well. There's lots of designers in Calgary who have worked on arena projects of all sizes, and big international projects. You're assuming they can't do what HOK can, and that's just not true. Give them the chance. Arenas are not structurally complex facilities. It's more about a smart and compelling vision, and executing on that.

Did you know a local firm designed the Saddledome? Obviously it's outdated now, but at the time, was a beacon of design and engineering achievement.

Keep in mind, the Flames Event Centre design to date, and Rogers Place in Edmonton, are HOK specials. If you think those are mind-blowing designs just because it's HOK, then I'm not sure what to say. I realize there's lots of factors that go into the design that's shown publicly (including client preference and value engineering which the public does not see), but if you think that product is something that could have only been done outside of Calgary, we'll have to just agree to disagree.
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Old 01-13-2022, 06:02 PM   #1640
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Fair points. I totally get what you are saying, and can draw a parallel between this topic and F1 circuit design.

Hermann Tilke does all of them. The reason is honestly, just because. What happens if he retires or otherwise.... Who knows? It's one of those things; do you want to be the first to find out? Probably not. I think that level of conservative thinking keeps the status quo, well, quo.
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