The Simmons building itself was built in 1912 by the Alaska Bedding Co., and has since been restored to house three restaurant tenants including Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, Charbar and Phil and Sebastian Coffee Roasters. We were approached by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation to take on the restoration of Calgary’s iconic Simmons Building to develop what has become a key component of Calgary’s RiverWalk, while maintaining the integrity and spirit of the structure.
Heritage buildings play an active role in our growing city, and are not only important for their educational potential, but also for their ability to both link us with our past and add a rich diversity to the modern urban fabric. The Simmons Building was the first public space to open in East Village, and has already had major social impact in Calgary.
The restoration of the Simmons building reminds the community of its great history, preserving its story through this architectural revival. True to its warehouse past, the building showcases the production aspect of each business. You can see where your bread is coming from, and where the coffee beans are being roasted. This brings a realness to the space and enriches the connection between customer, product, and supplier. This strategy unifies the larger architectural interventions with the interior components.