Spider Block

Named after the Volkswagen beetle spider sculpture that sat on the previous site, the Spider Block is a four-storey mixed-use retail and residential building in the trendy southwest community of Marda Loop in Calgary, Alberta. The facility has opened its doors to multiple local tenants including Pharm, Tokyo Smoke, the Daily Brett and Curo Chiropractic. Marda Loop is home to over 150 shops, boutiques and restaurants, providing residents and visitors with a walkable and vibrant destination in one of Calgary’s most popular communities.

Williams Engineering (WE) was inspired to partner with Light-Weight Building Systems as the structural engineering sub-consultant on this modern development. Acting as the structural Engineer-of-Record for the project, WE provided design services and solutions for the building and foundations, conducted site reviews during construction and reviewed and sealed the engineering drawings for the site. The construction of the building features a 300mm thick composite concrete metal deck system supported on load-bearing steel studs for the framing above the main floor. The main floor is a transfer slab consisting of cast-in-place concrete beams supporting a one-way slab. This structural system also features an above-grade parking slab, consisting of a two-way concrete slab system. The below-grade parkade is constructed on a concrete structural slab framed with beam drop panels and concrete columns.

The site had a challenging elevation difference along 14th Street and 29th  Avenue, resulting in the need for a significant retaining wall along the west side of the site. The retaining wall incorporated the shoring wall and was constructed using an infill of gabion rock. In addition, the building had a steeped main floor that impacted the design in shallow beams due to the limited headspace in the parkade. With proper communication and coordination, WE was able to provide solutions to these challenges while minimizing cost.

Spider Block is a welcome addition to the fast-growing neighbourhood of Marda Loop, with a stylish urban exterior and built with the highest quality of materials. The WE team was able to utilize their range of expertise to deliver this resilient design, fulfilling our devotion to creating a positive impact within the community.