Yeehaw! A New Home for Smithbilt Hats, Just In Time for Stampede.

Smithbilt for blog post - with grass41 months.

30 pages of architectural drawings.

6 permits and permit revisions.

3 designated uses.

1 project.

Voila! You have the recipe for the completely unique, challenging, and equally rewarding mixed use project of ours that we are excited to get to share with you. Continue reading

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!

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

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.

New Website for placeworks – thoughts?

Ya, it’s time.
We love the look of course – thanks, Angie – but things have changed and it needs an update. People, projects, tech platforms, and much more have moved along.
Preliminary wants include:
– mobile friendly
– easier project look-up
– more news, fresh content
– more projects
– more dogs
If you have any thoughts, comment here or fire us a note to info ‘at’
We’d appreciate your input!

Construction is underway on Kelvin Grove – time for another image…

Kelvin Grove Living placework’s interesting project in Kelvin Grove in SW Calgary has begun construction so everyone is a bit excited.
Braden has been working his magic along with Magda on the interior so we thought we’d share this new image of the living room that opens up into the tremendous backyard. 75′ wide lots have their advantages.

Magda rules the Waves at Penticton and Windermere Triathalons!

placeworks’ amazing Magda Gawlik just finished off the second of two big competitive open-water swims in the past month with a 2nd place at the Penticton Challenge! She also had the 5th fastest swim of anybody at this famous event – pros, men and woman. The Polish Hammer strikes again.
This result is in addition to her great 5K swim at Windermere a few weeks ago where she was the top 19+ year old woman and 5th overall.
Congrats to Magda – we’re proud!

Pecha-Kucha – crazy title, great event!

Calgary Arts Development is presenting Calgary’s inaugural Pecha-Kucha Night on September 14!  Come on out for a dynamic and engaging evening focused on emerging cultural spaces such as Calgary Folk Music Festival’s Festival hall, Cantos’ National Music Centre, and others.

Devised as a place for architects, developers, and designers to meet, network, and show their work in public, Pecha-Kucha Night is now taking place in 221 Cities around the world. The format is simple: speakers present 20 slides for 20 seconds each slide.

Calgary Arts Development’s first Pecha-Kucha Night will present a dynamic list of cultural space creators who will highlight and discuss the exciting projects in the works for the City. Oh, Pecha-Kucha is Japanese for chit-chat…