The name Battistella is well-known throughout Calgary, but it comes from modest means.
Giovanni Battistella came to Calgary in 1959. Life in post-war Europe was challenging, and work was hard to come by, so Giovanni, an Italian bricklayer, followed his two brothers to Calgary, Canada.
A few years later, Giovanni met Jaqueline, an Englishwoman who had come to Calgary, a city that wasn’t even 100 years old yet, in her search for a better life. The two young Europeans met during a dance at the Italian Club (of all places) and fell in love.
Giovanni continued working as a bricklayer, and Jaqueline went on to get her bachelor’s and her master’s degree in psychology. She had considered doing a Ph.D. until the opportunity arose for the couple to build a Fourplex. Giovanni had already built a home for his own growing family, so instead of pursuing her Ph.D., Jaqueline helped Giovanni build their first Fourplex. Not long after, they began to build single-family homes on very narrow lots.
Nowadays, we know them as infill homes, but back then, they were almost unheard of in Calgary. Giovanni and Jacqueline were at the forefront of these innovative abodes, and they gained an immediate reputation for building something unique, innovative, and edgy.
In 1980, there was a panel of judges from Ottawa who were in Calgary evaluating entrants to the Governor General’s award. On their way to assess another home, they saw a Battistella infill home. They pulled over, the whole jury got out and said, ‘this has to be entered,’ and they won! Almost 40 years later, the Governor General’s award is still a badge of honor for Battistella Developments.
As they grew older, Paul and Simon, the Battistella brothers, became embedded in their parent’s mission to build sustainable, innovative homes in inner-city Calgary. The brothers would spend their weekends helping their parents, pushing brooms, and cleaning, and they quickly became as important in the family business as Giovanni and Jacqueline.
Ten years after winning the Governor General’s award, Giovanni and Jacqueline built Connaught Gardens. Once again, the couple had built something original and cutting edge which unsurprisingly, won numerous architectural recognitions. To this day, Connaught Gardens truly exudes the essence of Battistella Developments, cutting edge, yet timeless design, combined with the desire to improve the quality of homes in inner-city Calgary.
That’s what Giovanni and Jacqueline Battistella established, and that’s what their sons Paul and Simon, alongside their dedicated team, continue to do today. In a small yet committed manner, Battistella endeavors to build better lives in Calgary’s inner-city.