Arts Hub Discovery
South side

Arts Hub Discovery
South Entrance

What is this building made of?

Most of us can recognize sandstone, but do you know what kind of sandstone this is?

> It’s PASKAPOO! The sandstone bricks for this building were quarried locally, from the Oliver Brothers Quarry (Paskapoo Slopes). The quarry was close by, about where Sunalta School is now (Crowchild Trail and 17th Ave on the ridge). It was hauled by horse and wagon to its present location. 

  • cSPACE hired Matt Bodner, a real Stonemason, from a long line of stonemasons, to help with the restoration of the stone (supported through a grant from Calgary Heritage Incentive Grant helping property owners with repairs to historic structures)
  • Can you see any of the spots that were restored? Hard to tell but you can sometimes see a change in the shade of the stone where it’s been washed or had scratches ground out of it

Read more about the building’s sandstone restoration project here.


Yesterday Today Tomorrow by Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee

Look up and you’ll see 105 suspended hourglasses flowing and turning in this Historic Grand Entrance. There is one for each year of the school’s existence. King Edward school opened in 1912, closed in 2012, and then reopened as an arts hub in 2017. Every hourglass has its own internal GPS configured timing, ranging from 1 minute to 4 hours. Twice a day, at noon and midnight, all the hourglasses turn over together at the same time. 

Each hourglass connects to a brass tag on the wall with a message written on it. Every one answers the question, As part of a community project, the artists first gave people a number (in minutes). Then they asked them to finish this sentence, “It is the time it takes to…” What you read on the wall tags are the results of what they thought they could do in that time. What’s your favourite answer?

As you watch the streams of sand rain down inside the hourglasses, the artists hope you will let your imagination wander. First, take time to think about the passing of time, and how it relates to the materials, people, and ideas of this special place. Notice how the hourglasses create complex shadow patterns on the wall. Then savour how they turn and interact.

Using the hourglass as a powerful symbol of progress and momentum

First, sandstone bricks were ground into sand by the artists by hand with a mallet. Although original to the building, we couldn’t use the damaged bricks in the restoration. So they now have a new life and purpose as sand in the hourglasses. This is a small example of what we mean by “adaptive re-use.” It is a way to reimagine places or things that might otherwise be discarded.

King Edward school is also an example of adaptive re-use. When the school closed in 2012, it might have stayed closed forever. But cSPACE Projects was able to work in partnership with the City of Calgary and the Calgary Foundation to give it new life as an arts hub. While the school retains a lot of its old character and charm, things like the heating and cooling systems are brand new and energy efficient. Can you find other examples of adaptive re-use inside?

This amazing project, Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow is supported through the City of Calgary 1% Public Art Policy.  The Alberta Foundation for the arts includes this in their permanent collection.

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