The dream of the Artists Quarters is a community of artists and arts organizations living and working in an urban arts village.
Artists Urban Village and Arts Habitat Edmonton have partnered with the City of Edmonton in the development of a new facility for artists and arts organizations. Located only two blocks east from the core of the arts district including the Citadel Theatre, the Winspear Centre, the Art Gallery of Alberta and one block from the proposed new LRT station, The new Artists Quarters will be an integral part of the redevelopment of the east side of downtown Edmonton.
Space availability status:
The Artists Quarters is in the planning stage. Get in on the ground floor (or any floor!) of this exciting project … and be part of the imagining! Please fill out our Letter of Interest if you are looking for live/work, work only, and/or commercial space in the building.
Supported by research and in response to the recommendations contained in the The Art of Living, The Artist Quarters will provide support to multi-generational, mixed-income artists of all artistic disciplines and respond to the critical need in Edmonton’s arts and cultural community for affordable, appropriate and sustainable live and work space. The City has also identified this project as a dynamic catalyst for further development in “the Quarters Downtown”, attracting commercial and residential developers to become neighbours of this unique artists’ village.
Arts Habitat with Artists Urban Village completed a comprehensive Business Plan for the Artist Quarters in the spring of 2011, and in the fall of 2012 completed the Feasibility Study with the development team. The Feasibility Study has been funded through Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation and development funds from the City of Edmonton.
Along with Arts Habitat and Artists Urban Village, our Integrated Project Delivery team include Kasian Architecture and Williams Engineering as the prime consultants with Chandos as our IPD Construction Manager and The Communitas Group as our Project Manager.
The Artists Quarters will be a sustainable development providing home and live/work studio space for multi-generational, mixed-income artists of all artistic disciplines above three floors of space for nonprofit arts organizations. The project will contain over 60 residential units combining live/work and/or separate studio options, single or family size units, equity and non-equity affordable units. The form of tenure will be modeled on the cooperative structure. As common areas are crucial for the creation of community, we include a 5th Floor communal kitchen and dining area, a shared library, workshop and community garden.
The Podium (first four floors)
The four floors of arts organizational space will house a theatre, dance studio, art gallery along with Arts Habitat offices and many affordable studios for both individual artists and small to mid-size arts organizations. Our “anchor partner” arts organizations include the Alberta Craft Council developing an Alberta craft sector of creative, skilled, viable, and sustainable craftspeople, studios, businesses and networks, the affordable, high-energy improvisation theatre of Rapid Fire Theatre and contemporary dance.
We consider the following principles of utmost importance.
The Artists Quarters must be:
Design considerations unique to arts uses will include:
Environmentally and economically sustainable
Artists Quarters has as one of its goals to be “Environmentally and economically sustainable”. As such, the project development team have embraced two distinct design strategies which are designed to advance the sustainability goals: Passive House Design and Integrated Project Delivery.
Environmental sustainability has many facets, but in light of the growing consensus that the world needs to move towards a carbon neutral future, the key element in the AQ’s sustainable design target is reduced energy and resource consumption and a Passive House design approach has been adopted as the best way to achieve this target. The Passive House design concept has its origins in Germany in 1990 and is described as “a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency in a building, reducing its ecological footprint. It results in ultra-low energy buildings that require little energy for space heating or cooling.” In fact, PH buildings are designed to reduce heating and cooling energy by up to 90% and do so through a combination of elements including: super insulated walls and windows, air tight construction, and South orientation of every suite’s primary living spaces. An additional element is the inclusion of heat recover ventilation units in each suite, which ensure that occupants enjoy a healthy fresh air indoor environment while still saving energy. PH designed homes are not only good for the environment and healthier for the occupants but when combined with green financing, end up being both affordable to build and to operate.
Green financing simply uses the savings created by reducing the energy footprint of the building to finance the additional cost of upgrading the building to PH standards.
AQ is also being developed using an Integrated Project Delivery approach. In a nutshell, IPD creates a team approach to the entire design and construction process, with owners, designers and builders all forming part of a contractual team, and who together have input into and assume shared responsibility for the design and construction of the project. This co-operative and integrated approach has historically resulted in buildings which not only tend to be significantly more integrated, holistic and of better quality but which also have delivered projects that are on or under budget, and on time.
Thus by combining the goal of creating a building dedicated to serving the arts community with the Passive House design and the Integrated Project Delivery approach, the Artists Quarters development promises to deliver affordable, quality and sustainable commercial and residential spaces that will be a jewel in Edmonton’s landscape and community for many decades to come.
What is The Quarters Downtown?
The City of Edmonton is leading the redevelopment of The Quarters Downtown. More Info
The area extends from 97 Street to 92 Street, and from 103A Avenue to the top of the river valley (approximately 40 hectares or 100 acres). It includes the Boyle Renaissance, a made-in-community solution that will provide a range of market and affordable housing opportunities and a variety of services such as childcare, family services, cultural opportunities, park space and a community garden. The Quarters Downtown will be made up of five distinct districts or precincts. There are four “quarters” linked by The Armature, each having their own unique character and design.
Please fill out the Expression of Interest. if you are looking for live/work, work only, and/or commercial space in the building.