RPK Architects worked collaboratively with Assist Community Services to design a facade improvement that respected the tight construction budget and local community history, while revitalizing the building’s exterior.
Located just west of 97 Street on 105A Avenue, the centre provides valuable services for new Edmontonians from a variety of backgrounds that need help establishing a new home. As such, RPK strove to create a welcoming feeling with a high level of visibility. The selected design activates the most prominent corner of the site with a vertical extension comprised of brightly coloured panels and illuminated signage. This ribbon of panels then leads visitors across the building’s facade to the main entrance, located further in the site, where again signage reconfirms the destination. The ribbon and bright red panels will refresh the building’s exterior, while respectfully referencing traditional Chinese cultural motifs. The intervention abstractly reinterprets both dragon forms as well as a colour that is traditionally associated with happiness and good fortune. Lyrically, the red ribbon dances across the building’s frontage, created by many differently hued red panels. This is analogous to Assist’s mandate to aid in creating a healthy and vibrant community composed of many newcomers. More pragmatically, the ribbon also houses additional lighting for the building, aiding in safety and visibility issues around the site.