Former planetarium eyed as arts space

The building that used to be the science centre in downtown Calgary might be repurposed as an art space.

Modernist 1960s-era building has heritage status

The city is looking at having the old science centre building turned into an arts space. (Calgary Heritage Initiative Society )

The building that used to be the science centre in the west end of downtown Calgary might be repurposed as an art space.  

City council is taking ideas from arts groups interested in moving into the site of the former Centennial Planetarium at Seventh Avenue and 11th Street S.W.

The old planetarium was built in the late 1960s in the modernist style. (John Spittal/CBC )

The concrete building went up in the late 1960s and now has heritage status.

In 2011 the Telus World of Science moved out of the structure, reopening as the TELUS Spark Science Centre at 220 St. George's Drive N.E.

Largely windowless and a good example of mid-century modern architecture, the old building would be well-suited for arts purposes, said Sarah Iley, the city’s manager of culture.   

"We're just going to be fascinated to see what people come up with because I think there's so many different approaches now and it's fascinating to see what one can do with a really fabulous piece of architecture," she said.  

Terry Rock, president of the Calgary Arts Development Authority, said his organization is willing to help arts groups develop their ideas.    

"There's often a fantastic marriage between heritage and the arts. Old buildings work well for these new uses," said Rock.

"And so I think also the west end of downtown needs more animation and so that's another really important thing."  

The city is accepting submissions until June.