Something Borrowed, Something New

Though merely in framing stage, the Smithbuilt project is attracting attention with its blend of 100+ year old elements and the brand new additions we are creating today, in 2016.  So often we find the old being replaced by the new for monetary reasons, aesthetic reasons, and/or functionality.  At Placeworks, we are enjoying the effort we are putting in to letting the past shine through while we redesign this heritage building. If you share our love for heritage buildings, check out the links below and take a look at some of our favourites in Calgary. In the comment section, let us know which heritage building(s) you admire!

Emily joins placeworks!

A huge welcome to Emily Jepson, who joined us at placeworks three weeks ago.

We’ve been lucky enough to have come to know and dealt with this dynamic designer and personality for the past couple of years while she was part of the LightForm team here in Calgary. Emily brings great design and project skills to placeworks – particularly in interiors and lighting – and is already becoming an important part of our Client’s projects.

Although Emily is a “born and raised” Calgarian, she now calls Cochrane home and spends as much time as possible in the East Kootenay. She attended The Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna for her formal design education, where she also almost by accident, acquired some amazing photography skills.

When you get a chance, please intorduce yourself to this awesome individual!

In summer, thoughts turn to our Homes and what-if’s…

Render Feb 26 - 2

As schedules slow down a bit over the summer holiday’s, many people start to think about their homes and their relationship with them. If you need some help answering any questions that might arise, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we’ll gladly do what we can.

Most people have not gone through the process of designing and building new homes or significant renovations – the whole idea of it can seem complex, daunting, and a general mind-field. As a means of introduction, we’re happy to help take away a bit of the mystery and hype, and talk with you to help evaluate what might be the best way forward. Your situation is different from anybody else’s – understanding and fitting your needs is paramount.

In return, we hope you get to know us and out of that, perhaps there will be a fit between us. In return, me might ask for a cup of coffee and an open mind.

Don’t think that this approach is only suited to residential work! We think looking at your commercial needs in this manner is just as appropriate.

Don’t hesitate to give us a call. Happy summer contemplation!

Collaboration and Community – Bridgeland Market

As you know, we’ve been working hard to catch up on documenting some of our more recent projects. At the top of the list is the Bridgeland Market. Here are a few teaser images thanks to Robert Scott Photography!


Bridgeland Market has been open and a busy and vibrant hub for a couple of years in the incredible Bridgeland community in Calgary. Yousef Treya envisioned a contemporary take on the traditional corner grocery store where high quality goods and produce mixed freely with conversation and friendship. If you haven’t been there, it is a must. The market is an example of just how great Calgary is becoming.

Although Yousef and his family have been been in business in this building and across the street at Tazza Deli since the 1980’s, he downplays how well the market has filled a need for this and the greater neighborhood and his own creativity and acumen in pulling it all together. Placeworks’ involvement was as a part of a rewarding collaboration with him and Shayne McBride who helped nail down the branding and exterior signage.

The project remains one of our most rewarding. Calgary just needs more folks like the Treya’s!




Smithbilt Hats at the Fletcher Mill Building

New Garage Night South view MAY 14

street view

smithbilt view (reduced)

Friday’s Calgary Herald spilled the beans on a project that we’ve been working on for the past while with Calgary’s iconic Smithbilt Hat Company. The longtime manufacturer of the cowboy hats so representative of our City envisions an adaptive re-use of the 100+ year old Fletcher Mills (known to many as Sure-Gain) in Inglewood to be their new home.

Once restored and improved, the Mill will house the manufacturing, retail and community activities of Smithbilt. It will also have a very interesting residential component in the upper levels of the metal-clad, wood-framed agricultural building. The entire project, the vision, and the commitment to a re-use of a historic resource says volumes about the character of Smithbilt and the primary owner Cam Clark.

There have certainly been challenges to move this to reality, but it has been a pleasure for our office to be a part of it. Even if the Herald misidentified me!

Smithbilt invests in Inglewood

West Hillhurst Sneak-a-Peek!

Amazing shots that were just dropped by photography of a project that was just finished for a pair of our great clients.

This West Hillhurst home is the second we’ve worked together on with them in the past few years. Their changing circumstances and travels gave us a rare chance to collaborate again. Hats Off as well to the crew at Conroy Custom Homes.

More photos will be found shortly when the new comes to life.



What DO we do?

We’ve been remiss. Since many of you visiting here probably don’t know a lot about what placeworks actually does, here goes.

For the most part, we do architectural design. Seems simple, but in our reality, it is pretty messy, complex, and wide ranging. Our bread and butter is and has always been residential design.Within that, our projects include new homes, additions, renovations, interiors, and landscaping for private clients and developers. Associated with this residential work, we’ve also become adept at dealing with complex planning and community requirements. These projects have been designed and built across Alberta, BC, in Saskatchewan, and even in Montana.

We enjoy dealing with individuals and families and their lives and work to design solutions around those. Important to us is being able to help potential clients understand what options are even open to them and how they might approach embarking on changes to how they live – most people have never gone through a design process before. Our services include varying mixes of working together to create great design, finding builders, getting approvals, and providing assistance throughout the construction.

placeworks also has built expertise and experience in commercial design, in particular with office fit-outs and tenant improvements, retail, food and beverage, and the odd climbing wall. We care deeply with creating facilities that not only work well for a business, but also are exceptional expressions of the spirit of these enterprises to their clients, customers and staff. Along with this design oriented work, we’ve developed some expertise at addressing and evaluating complex Land-Use issues. A real belief in effective collaboration has worked well both with regulatory bodies, communities, and neighbors.

Our commitment to collaboration also extends to partnering with other design and Architecture practices, consulting engineers, builders, and trades as is required and appropriate to creating great solutions. It can be a lot of fun as well!

If you feel that we can assist you at all – even if it is just answering a few questions – please don’t hesitate to call us at 403-261-0092 or email us at

Website, Wes, and Wonder

The new website is on its way. Last week, we spent a fun morning at Adina Photography’s studio getting the team’s portraits taken. The dogs participated as well, of course! Jayseadesigns will be finishing things off in the near future and many of our recent projects will appear!

Wes Bou-Saleh has just joined us to spend his work-placement term from Dalhousie. We’re excited to have this creative, humorous and friendly fellow who hails from the Sylvan Lake area in the office until the end of August.

Things are rolling here on a number of projects including some residential, a sports-health clinic in a great mid-century modern building in the Beltline, and the Sure-Gain Fletcher Mills historic site in Inglewood. The projects at our favorite Village Brewery (a cool lab overlooking the ‘floor) and Source Energy Services new headquarters on the main floor of Victoria Park’s Biscuit Block are now complete – images coming soon!