The core inspiration for the Northwest Campus project was the Edmonton Police Service’s (EPS) decision to integrate, for the first time, previously dispersed functions in a single, community-focused facility. The intent of the design was both to provide EPS with the infrastructure it needs to deliver its mission and to physically express and advance the core values of EPS – integrity, accountability, respect, innovation, courage and community. The building’s dynamic, organic form and spatially interconnected organization capitalize on an unprecedented opportunity to infrastructurally support EPS in building strong relationships among previously disparate internal functions, while creating a dynamic yet welcoming and secure interface with the wider community.
The building is located on the northwest edge of Edmonton, Canada, adjacent a ring highway encircling the city. The facility was conceived as a civic focal point, physically expressing EPS’s forward-thinking values by creating positive relationships within a new community and shaping connections beyond. The architecture creates a transparent and welcoming public front, a dynamic gateway into the city from the north, an animated streetface for new public roads, and a visible relationship to the adjacent highway and city beyond. In contrast to the typical North American siting of police buildings behind large parking lots, the building mass was shifted to the street edge, creating an urban and accessible frontage while allowing the building to integrally frame a large secure court.
Both environmental and social sustainability were foundational drivers of the design. Geared toward energy efficiency in a cold climate, the building is detailed with a high-performance rainscreen assembly featuring continuous outboard insulation and a distinctive standing seam metal cladding on thermally broken clips. High-performance curtain wall and HVAC systems complement the envelope strategy. Maximizing the facility’s beneficial impact on the wellbeing of both EPS’ members and recruits as well as members of the community required careful and creative spacing planning to create bright and welcoming spaces while balancing rigorous security requirements.
The project establishes a multi-function campus for the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) and presents a formal alternative to traditional police facility design. The facility collocates several of EPS’s key functions for the first time including: recruit and employee training for the entire Service, including classroom, training, simulation and administrative space; EPS’s information and records processing and management functions; a 60-cell temporary detention facility processing all initial arrests in the city; and a new local division station serving the northwest quadrant of the city, including a planned new surrounding neighbourhood. The core urban design and spacing planning challenge was to create a welcoming public face and workspace while hosting a variety of sensitive programs requiring high degrees of physical security – including an exterior court to accommodate police vehicles and detainee transport vehicle arrivals. Inside, a double-height circulation spine creates a welcoming public lobby and open connections among the key staff programs in the building – actively encouraging interaction and collaboration among Service members. Material choices and planning balance the need for privacy and security while maintaining a bright, collaborative work environment and community interface. Building siting was used as the primary means of establishing a secure perimeter, minimizing the need for unwelcoming secure fencing and other barriers.
Teeple's design process focuses on establishing a dialogue between designers, clients, and consultants. For EPS, they worked diligently to understand and incorporate the City of Edmonton's and Edmonton Police Service's wishes into their design. They reflected both our needs and our aspirations into the design.
Teeple Architects (Design Architect) shapes buildings through an open, collaborative process rooted in curiosity and pragmatic optimism. Founded in 1989 in Toronto, Canada, the firm has built a reputation for design excellence and leadership through a broad range of acclaimed institutional, commercial and residential projects. The practice integrates sustainability and technical expertise with formal exploration to create buildings that embody and activate the dynamism of the communities they serve. The firm’s work has been recognized internationally and nationally, including six Governor General’s Medals for Architecture (Canada’s highest architectural honour), six AIA awards, a Holcim Award for sustainable innovation, and four Innovation in LEED® Awards, and have been recognized by The Plan Awards three times.