In order to add to the character and prestige of Calgary’s premier new office address and Canada’s first pre-certified LEED Platinum office tower, the Owners of Eighth Avenue Place, Ivanhoé Cambridge, AIMCo and Matco, have put together a first-class collection of Canadian modern art. The remarkable lobby art collection showcases paintings and furniture from the last half-century.
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The project’s owners felt it appropriate to ensure that the same level of expertise and careful attention to detail expended on the overall building architecture and streetscape was also brought to bear on the selection of interior finishes and building artwork. To that end, experts in Canadian art were extensively consulted to help with the selection process. The mandate for the selection of the building’s art collection was “six iconic paintings by six iconic Canadian artists.” The owners are very pleased with the resulting collection and hope the project’s tenants, their guests and Calgarians will feel the same way.
3300 Chair (1956)
The 3300 series was created for the SAS Terminal at the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen, one of Arne Jacobsen’s (Danish, 1902-1971) architectural masterpieces. In harmony with Jacobsen’s architectural work at that time, the 3300 series is cool and formal. Furthermore, the 3300 series exudes Jacobsen’s unfailing sense of line and proportion and his ability to design everlasting classics. The 3300 series forms and elegant contrast to the organic shapes of the Egg and Swan chairs, also designed especially for the Royal Hotel.
The 300 Chair was thoughtfully selected for the lobby of Eighth Avenue Place because the lines and angles of its design echo the building’s silhouette as well as the lines and angles of the lobby light boxes.
In his pursuit approach to architecture and interior design, Eero Saarinen (Finnish-American, 1910-1961) sought the essential idea and reduced it to the most effective structural solution within an overall unity of design. “The underside of typical chairs and tables makes a confusing, unrestful world” explained Saarinen. “I wanted to clear up the slum of legs.” In his pedestal collection, which includes a dining, coffee and side table, Saarinen realized his ideal of formal unity.
With its gentle, organic forms and pedestal base, the Oval Coffee Table presents a strong but appropriately complementary form to the more rigid geometries of the Eighth Avenue Place lobby, formally relating more to the interior landscape and planting than the surrounding architecture.
Considered a seminal leader of 20th century design, Florence Knoll (American, b. 1917) created what she modestly called the “fill-in pieces that no one else wants to do.” Like so many of her groundbreaking designs that became the gold standard, her signature bench is characterized by the objective perfectionism of the mid 20th century and is perfect for both formal and casual settings.
Due in part to the piece’s understated and classic elegance, the Florence Knoll Bench is a staple in lobbies, reception areas, art galleries, and museums around the world. As such, the piece was specifically selected to provide a small amount of seating in the elevator lobbies, where Eighth Avenue Place’s art collection adds colour, texture, and life to the space.