BIG Unveils ‘Telus Sky’ Tower in Calgary

  • 08 Jul 2013
  • by
  • Editor's Choice Mixed Use Skyscrapers
Courtesy of

In an attempt to transform ’s corporate-centric downtown into a walkable, dynamic community, TELUS has commissioned BIG to design a mixed-use skyscraper in the heart of the Canadian city. Known as TELUS Sky, the 750,000 square foot tower is designed to “seamlessly accommodate the transformation from working to living as the tower takes off from the ground to reach the sky.”

Courtesy of BIG

In order to achieve this, the large floor plates for workplaces recede to allow for the slender dimensions of residential floor depths. Similarly, the texture of the façade evolves from the smooth glass, enclosing the work space, to a three-dimensional composition of apartments and balconies. According to BIG, the “resultant silhouette expresses the unification of the two programs in a single gesture – in rational straight lines composed to form a feminine figure.”

Courtesy of BIG

TELUS Sky, scheduled for completion in the fall of 2017, will be a LEED Platinum signature development at the 7th Avenue block in Calgary. It will be realized as a collaboration between BIG and the Canadian architecture firm Dialog, along with partners developer Westbank Corp with whom BIG is already collaborating upon the Beach & Howe Tower in Vancouver and real estate investment trust Allied Properties.

Courtesy of BIG

Architects: BIG
Creative Director: Bjarke Ingels
Partner In Charge: Thomas Christoffersen
Project Leader: Iannis Kandyliaris
Project Manager: Chris White
Team: Carolien Schippers, Choonghyo Lee, Maya Shopova, Brian Rome, Dennis Harvey, Ivy Hume, Manon Gicquel, Michael Zhang, Barbora Srpkova, Isshin Morimoto, Ho Kyung Lee, David Spittler
Client: Westbank, Telus, Allied Properties
Area: 750,000 ft2
Year: 2017
Photographs: Courtesy of BIG

Cite: Rosenfield, Karissa. "BIG Unveils ‘Telus Sky’ Tower in Calgary" 08 Jul 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 24 May 2015. <>
  • Simon

    Oh, BIG, you do repeat yourself. This is basically the inverse of the Beach and Howe tower in Vancouver (very similar tapering, exactly the same “box/shells” facade articulation).

    The only new thing about this project, the Marilyn-Monroe-skirt-swoosh thing happening at street level, is also just plain dumb and awkward.

    It’s downright depressing that this is among the best architecture that our corporate development culture in North America will allow us to build. Ugh.

    P.S. Calgary is cold. All glass facades in that climate? A brilliant way to waste tons of energy. Just remember that next time Bjarke starts prattling on about “hedonistic sustainability” — he’s big on the “hedonistic”, small on the “sustainability”.

  • B K

    Correct me if I’m wrong…but is this not just an upside down version of the BIG Vancouver Tower seen here…

  • Oldschool

    Derivative? Yes.
    Better than anything currently in Calgary? Absolutely

    Rather this than the crap that comprises 99% of Calgary’s downtown skyline that I walk by everyday on my way to work…

  • Olu Fagbewesa

    BIG is loosing it..!

  • Olu Fagbewesa

    Personal Identity against “Genius Loci”…How does this embrace and understand its immediate context? Whats a splayed scottish skirt doing on the streets of Calgary? P.S That amount of glass in a very cold region…Triple + X glazing right? Bjarke!

  • Michael

    Is this firm even trying anymore?

  • Matthew

    “In an attempt to transform Calgary’s corporate-centric downtown into a walkable, dynamic community…

    …BIG proposes a corporate-centric developer tower completely out of scale to its context whose only possible public amenity is a ground-level Starbucks.”

    I mean…just be honest with yourselves.

  • Abe Froman

    How cute! Bjarke is becoming the next Daniel Libeskind before our very eyes.

    • JC

      are you joking? DL at least did and still does great architecture in a specific context of descontructivism, BIG has just been bulshitting everyone from the beginning with the criticism of modernism and hedonistic sustainability, and as he once said: what is great about my architecture is that when I dont build this or that project there is a chinese rich dude and buys the idea and all I have to do is – cmd scale.

      I’m glad that big would never stand a chance on building in my two countries, Portugal and Switzerland.

  • Patrick Langford

    Jealous much? I’m sure your work on that McDonald’s project is magnificent!

  • Tim

    Bjarke is to Architecture what Michael Bay is to film making. Nothing but spectical. The sad thing is as long as you can wow the public it seems the story doesnt matter. Got a boring extrusion? Twist it!! Got a boring story? Blow stuff up!!