Space to grow

Kipp McGonigal and his family built their forever home at Cooper’s Crossing

With a background in cabinetmaking and a flair for design, it’s no wonder that Kipp McGonigal is passionate about architecture. So, when it came time to build his family’s dream home, he turned to McKee Homes, an Airdrie-based design/build firm he had worked with previously to great success.

With four kids ages eight through 11 and a pet bunny, the McGonigals wanted to create a family-friendly space in a family-friendly neighbourhood. It also needed to be a home that could take McGonigal and his wife through their retirement years. They found the perfect lot, located on a park in the Airdrie community of Cooper’s Crossing, and set their long-awaited plan into motion.

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Ahead of the curve

Cooper’s Crossing provides, walkability, amenities and classic architecture in Airdrie

On Airdrie’s southwest side, Cooper’s Crossing stands as an example of what a great master-planned community can look like. It was named after the Cooper family, who farmed the land for more than 100 years. The 320-acre development features 44 acres of parkland, two six-acre ponds and Discovery Park – a multi-generational gathering space with a fire pit, toboggan hill, secret forest, play structures, half-basketball court, gazebo and picnic area.

“Buzzwords like placemaking, walkability or ‘live, work, play’ communities are popular today, but we had a firm grasp on the importance of these concepts 20 years ago when we first started designing Cooper’s Crossing,” said Paul Gerla, owner and manager of WestMark Holdings Ltd, the Airdrie-based developer behind Cooper’s Crossing.

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Living architecture

Green roofs add a touch of nature to the concrete jungle

Great thinkers have always known that nature is essential to the human spirit. Perhaps that is why more and more architects, designers and builders are choosing to create green retreats in their designs, including rooftops that allow the eye to drink in nature’s beauty.

“There are just so many benefits to green roofs,” said Kerry Ross, one of Canada’s leading green roof experts and the first accredited green roof professional in the country. She spearheaded a number of “living architecture” projects, including the eco-roof at the University of Calgary Research Park and the green roof initiative at Calgary City Hall.

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The last best west

Historic West Hillhurst still embodies can-do spirit of its founders

Residents in the inner-city, northwest community of West Hillhurst cherish the values of yesteryear – community, connectedness, family friendly programming and volunteerism.

“There is such a great camaraderie here,” said longtime resident Chris Koper. “There are so many older community members that love to tell stories that connect us to the past.”

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The great indoors

Becky Feasby’s Briar Hill home showcases natural and manmade beauty

When Becky Feasby and her husband Colin first laid eyes on their 1960s-era, two-storey home in Briar Hill, they knew they had to have it. It wasn’t so much for the home, which was dark and in need of a major overhaul, but for the fantastic third-of-an-acre lot peppered with century-old trees. The couple thought that over time they would upgrade the home to suit the demands of their growing family – they have two teenage daughters – but when push came to shove, they realized that it would be more economically feasible to rebuild. (more…)

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