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CORE – Simons


To bring the first La Maison Simons to Calgary in the historic Lancaster Building at the CORE – a natural marriage of tradition and one of Canada’s most innovative retailers.

  • Renovation of an existing heritage building
  • Modern and historic contrasts in architecture and design

Completion date – Spring 2017.


Quebec’s leading fashion authority, La Maison Simons, enjoys a rich heritage dating back to 1840. With its roots as a small dry goods store in Quebec City, the company has since transformed into a leading specialty retailer. The selection by La Maison Simons to locate its first store in Calgary in the historic Lancaster Building at the CORE is a natural marriage of tradition.

The Lancaster Building is one of Calgary’s first steel-frame buildings rising to 9-storeys, and considered the city’s first skyscraper. Completed in 1918, the Lancaster building has been home to the Grain Exchange, an Eaton’s store, the post office and the office of Prime Minister R.B. Bennett.

The Lancaster Building is balanced by its terra-cotta base and articulated brick pilasters extending to an expressive cornice at the ninth floor. The simple yet stately features of the Lancaster Building have been the source of inspiration for both La Maison Simons’ design and the architectural team. The team focused on simple yet powerful strategies intended to highlight the architectural features with the goal to conserve this piece of heritage and integrate it into a new era.

The architectural proposal combines conservation and reconstruction, balanced with modern interventions that activate the façade. The contrasts between modern and historic will breath new life and reignite interest in Calgary’s first skyscraper.

Cushman & Wakefield

Development Manager:
Cushman & Wakefield Asset Services

Base Building Architect: MMC International
Simons Architect – McKinley Burkart