The CORE Shopping Centre
The CORE Shopping Centre, also known as Eaton Centre, is downtown Calgary’s only shopping center. It spans three city blocks and contains approximately 150 retailers on four levels. When The CORE decided to undergo a major renovation in 2010, GSky was chosen to provide and design a two-level living Green Wall on the 3rd and 4th levels. This Green Wall was strategically placed so it could make a large impact to both outdoor and indoor viewers. To the south it faces the complex’s interior, and to the north side it faces outdoors to Calgary’s popular 8th Avenue pedestrian mall.
Consisting of nearly 40,000 philodendron plants, the 3,017 square foot GSky Green Wall is the second largest in North America. Four different Green Wall sections make up a double-sided, floor-to-ceiling “S” shape that spans two levels of the shopping complex. The Green Wall installation also features a sitting area, providing a refuge for shoppers to sit, eat from the nearby food court, and relax. Through the plant’s natural filtering system, it will provide shoppers as much clean air as 30 14-foot tall trees. Multiple doorway entries are included in the wall’s design so people can enjoy both sides.
Because of the Green Wall and other green features, The CORE is currently pursuing certification for LEED-Commercial Interiors (LEED-CI).
The primary challenge with this massive Green Wall was the size and unique shape. Due to the fact the Green Wall was located on two separate floors and was also double-sided, it resulted in the creation of eight separate walls to look like one. The Green Wall was trimmed with 1,000 linear feet of stainless steel trim and had over forty irrigation zones for water. The many doorways that cut through and underneath the Green Wall were also challenging. One doorway had a 17 foot wide opening which required a very large and very heavy 17’ long, 3’ wide and 8” deep curving drain basin installed above the heads of thousands of customers that pass underneath it. The curves in this wall make it visible from both sides at the right angles, which really makes an impression. This was by far one of the most challenging installations GSky has ever accomplished.
Maintenance is performed on the Green Wall on a weekly basis. Because the Green Wall is separated by a massive gap between the North and South sides of the shopping centre, two irrigation control units with two separate telephone lines had to be installed in order to properly monitor the system. Maintenance is done with a ladder to reach up to the highest 14’ high points.