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…

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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!




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

New Faces at placeworks design

It’s been busy here in Inglewood and we’re remiss to post an update of some recent arrivals and news in the studio.

Michael McKeown has recently arrived in Canada after graduating with a Master of Architecture at Queen’s University in Belfast, Ireland and has joined us. He and a fellow student made the big speculative  step to come to Calgary and already he has been making a difference to our work and as part of the office. It has been great!

Erika Hornquist has joined us as our fall co-op student from Dalhousie. She’s really from Fernie, BC which makes us all happy, but has been a part of that amazing program in Halifax that is putting out some great students. We’ve been spoiled with the co-op students from Dal over the past few years and Erika looks set to continue that.

It was sad to say good-bye to Fatima Rehman as she headed back to Dalhousie after her 6 month work-placement position here. Michael and Erika are funny, but Fatima’s irreverent way of slicing to the core of things is missed. We wish her all the best as she buckles down to her studies again.

Magda Gawlik has returned from her excellent travels in North Africa and in the East. Stephanie, Cam, our clients, the dogs and I all missed her but have been enjoying the stories as she settles back in to the office.

Life and work are busy for all, there are some great projects in the office, and as winter slowly approaches, we’re having a rewarding time.