St. John’s architect Jim Case, principal of Sheppard Case Architects, has fused mercantile history with modern design in the new Fortis Place, a landmark 12 storey Class A office building opening in downtown St. John’s during Q1, 2014. “Close attention to site development considerations, the use of wood materials in new ways, the subtle reintroduction of brick masonry, the sweeping curves of the building to break down the box, vertical service cores moved to the inside of the building in an attempt to conjure height elegance, burying the car park, and the study of city viewplanes to preserve existing and create new ones … these are the innovations of which I am most proud,” Case says.
Floor-to-ceiling windows with non-reflective curtain glass, an exceptional view and a protruding northeast corner with a direct view to the Narrows and Signal Hill provide an inspiring natural workspace for occupants of Fortis Place. Project management support services were provided by Stantec and Project Management Services Inc.
A split-core concept with elevators, stairs and building services at two sides, in opposite corners, ensures building access flows from bottom to top, offering optimal safety and convenience. Construction partners include Pinnacle Engineering Limited as well as elevator experts Morrison Hershfield.
262 tenant parking spaces, as well as secure bike racks, will be located in the bottom of the building, enhancing the focus on landscaping around the property. Traffic congestion will be alleviated by a circular parking system encouraging drop-off and pick-up at the front of the building. The project team is aiming for Gold LEED status, and will incorporate 20 per cent landscaped space into the property. Geothermal energy for the heating and cooling systems maximizes the energy efficiency of the site.