Photo by ASHLI BARRETT/Advocate Staff

Accountants put wedge into Gasoline Alley

Accountants may have a reputation for being staid and conservative, but Olsen Joly LLP’s future home is anything but.

Accountants may have a reputation for being staid and conservative, but Olsen Joly LLP’s future home is anything but.

The Red Deer chartered accountants are developing a wedge-shape building on Laura Avenue in Gasoline Alley that’s been turning heads since it started taking shape several months ago.

Currently about a month from completion, it represents a unique design for Central Alberta, said architect Cory Gene Leniuk of JMAA Architecture.

“It’s fun when somebody lets us actually push the envelope,” said Leniuk, praising Richard Olsen and David Joly for literally thinking outside the box.

Most developers want to maximize the usable space on their building’s footprint — which results in rectangular structures with more than one floor. Olsen Joly’s partners thought a single level would be better for their staff and clients, but were mindful that this would be the exception on their street.

“We thought it might look kind of odd if there were a bunch of two-storeys on each side of us,” said Joly.

So they asked Leniuk to design a one-storey building with a lofted front.

“That is, quite frankly, where the shape came out of it,” said Leniuk. “It was to minimize the effect of going two floors as a box, as a rectangle, which inevitably led to the wedge shape.”

Rather than allow the upper portion of the building to go to waste, he designed a mezzanine where mechanical and electrical components are located, as well as a storage area.

The building also has a narrow layout, which allows natural light from both sides to illuminate the interior. Leniuk said JMAA Architecture’s own building, Red Deer’s historic CPR Station, benefits from a similar configuration and this impressed Olsen and Joly.

“The boxes we see are terrible with respect to natural light, as the interior of the buildings are so much farther away from the exterior wall,” he explained.

Joly said he’s pleased with his firm’s new building, which is being constructed by Shunda Consulting and Construction Management Ltd.

“It’s going to look really nice.”

Officials with Red Deer County were also impressed with the design, said Leniuk.

“They were thrilled that something like that was going to land in the county.”

He’d like other property owners to take note and also opt for unusual designs when building.

“I think it proves that it can be done.”

Joly said his firm, which employs 14 — including chartered accountants, certified general accountants and support staff — had become cramped in its existing premises at 4620 48th Ave.

“That’s why we’re moving. We just don’t have the space.”

Nothing suitable was available in Red Deer’s downtown, so the firm opted for a move to the county. The increased parking and improved accessibility there should be good for clients, said Joly, and there’s room on the lot for a future expansion or even a second building.

Olsen Joly is expected to relocate in mid-June. Founded in 1981, the firm has been in its current building since the early 1990s, said Joly.

Leniuk identifies one other interesting feature at the new building. Boulders are strategically located at the rear to protect the ground from water running off the long slopped roof.

“It’s literally going to be a waterfall when it rains hard.”

Just Posted

Blackfalds firefighter battling cancer

A volunteer firefighter in Blackfalds for 15 years, Dave Sutherland now battling… Continue reading

Red Deer transit users are concerned about the future

But recreation centre users are glad facility hours were maintained

Community cardiac awareness dinner and show to be held

Continued focus to bring cardiac catheterization lab to Red Deer

Red Deer businesses react to 2.02 per cent tax increase for 2018

Chamber would prefer zero increase, while DBA thinks it’s reasonable

Bring on the rodeo says Red Deer County mayor

Canadian Finals Rodeo’s move to Red Deer good for whole region, says Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month