Calgary's Phillips Building stands in defiance of its skyscraping neighbours, evoking a lost late expression of International-style architecture that is too often dismissed by purveyors of progress. Developed and owned by Phillips Brothers & Associates Land Development Limited, the purpose-built office building, though petite, helped quench the thirst for office space in the 'oil patch' area of downtown Calgary, where major oil and gas companies set up their headquarters.
The two-storey, walk-up, square-plan building is located mid-block on 4th Avenue SW between 5th Street and 6th Street SW. It was built in 1968 with a design by local firm Clayton Bond & Mogridge Architects, who had amassed a strong portfolio consisting of projects like the Condon Building and the 1956 terminal building at the Calgary Airport.
A visually impermeable facade of Venetian marble surrounds the rectilinear front, with four columns erupting out of the perimeter grid to create a perfectly symmetrical elevation. A block of marble announcing the building's name projects out of the central series of floor-to-ceiling windows, which are divided by teal spandrel panels and anodized metal mullions. These I-beam protrusions are both a decorative element and a functional one, with its tracks guiding window washing equipment.
Phillips Brothers & Associates later went on to become PBA Land & Development. The Phillips Building was the company's first development, and used it as their main office. Today, the company is located in the 1911-built Graphic Arts Building, which received a significant and award-winning upgrade in 2004.
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