Alt Hotel Calgary University District


A privileged living environment in the downtown core

The Alt University District hotel is ideally located in the heart of a new urban community developed around local services, aiming to offer high-density construction that encourages active transportation and the use of rapid public transit connected to the area. Additionally, situated just steps away from Calgary's finest restaurants and retailers, the hotel provides a privileged living environment in the downtown core.

Integrated into a mixed-use urban development project, the Alt University District hotel was designed to seamlessly fit into this new environment in harmony with the residential and commercial components of the lot. Although managed by different entities, the hotel and residential components form and function as a single urban entity. The architectural composition offers a variety of densities, volumes, and textures to create a visually stimulating whole that expresses different uses while reading as a cohesive entity.

The architectural vision for the project was driven by the ambition to craft an elegant structure that seamlessly blends into the neighborhood. The glass-clad base anchors the hotel on a human scale to create a canopy that welcomes and protects pedestrians. The tower, divided into two distinct volumes, presents varied vertical profiles that subtly rest against the base, ensuring a smoother integration with the neighborhood's predominantly six-story architectural landscape.

On one side, the volume presents itself in a dark and powerful aesthetic, contrasting with the residential building, while on the other, it adopts warm tones in harmony with the overall site, blurring the boundaries between public and private spaces.

A LEED certified project

The establishment features 155 rooms spread over 15 floors, including 16 universally accessible rooms, six meeting rooms, a gym, spacious lounges, and a welcoming lobby providing direct access to a café and restaurant.

The hotel meets requirements for active transportation, ecological stormwater management, waste management, and urban heat islands reduction, justifying its LEED certification.

The hotel incorporates the colorful and creative design of the brand, seamlessly blending into the dynamic and diverse neighborhood where it is located. The ground floor was designed with utmost transparency, allowing the activities of the commercial units to animate the sidewalk and courtyard between the buildings, enhancing the pedestrian ambiance and creating a lively atmosphere.

When the outdoors blends into the indoors

Upon arrival, guests are welcomed into a spacious lobby with a cozy atmosphere and urban look. The reddish-orange exterior brick is introduced indoors, the concrete floor is exposed and polished, and industrial-style glass partitions are integrated into the vestibule and elevator lobby. The lounge areas on the ground floor and the 2nd floor are accentuated with their wood-paneled walls, modern integrated furniture, and abundant colorful sofas and armchairs.

The presence of several pieces by specially selected local artists adds uniqueness and a familiar touch to the spaces. A nod to the academic environment, the main lobby's spiral staircase is inspired by those found in old-fashioned libraries.

While the public spaces are colorful and eclectic, the rooms invite to relaxation with their understated materiality in warm and neutral tones. Metal details on the wardrobes add a contemporary touch, complemented by the graphic design on the glass shower wall introducing greenery reminiscent of the province's grand landscapes. The finishes were chosen for their durability, and the custom environments are inspiring and fresh. Emphasis was placed on flexibility.

The bathrooms in the rooms were designed to be prefabricated in a woodworking shop to reduce the time and labor required during on-site installation and ensure optimal quality control.