Project: Glacier Skywalk
Cost: Not disclosed (under $50 million)
Location: Rocky Mountains, outside Jasper, Alta.
Project delivery method: Design-build
Contractor: PCL Construction Management Inc.
Architect: Sturgess Architecture
Engineers: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. (structural), SMP Engineering (electrical)
Touch the sky
The Glacier Skywalk is a dual Alberta Construction Magazine Top Projects Awards winner this year. The judges chose it for commercial projects valued under $50 million as well as in the Design—Commercial category.
If and when you have the opportunity to visit the project, it is likely to take your breath away as there is no other attraction quite like it in the Canadian Rockies.
The Skywalk is a cliff-edge steel, glass and concrete walkway that extends along the Sunwapta Valley.
Brewster Travel Canada, the project’s owner, says the vision behind the Skywalk is to create a world-class fully accessible experience in Jasper National Park that “engages visitors to learn about glaciology, geology and the unique ecosystem of the Columbia Icefield area.”
Rising 280 metres—that is nearly six times the height of Niagara Falls or about half the height of the CN Tower in Toronto—above the canyon’s floor, the walkway extends 30 metres from the cliff.
There are two main highlights to the project. First is the cantilevered walkway, not an easy item to build in any mountainous region. Second, the materials used in the build were selected to minimize the environmental and visual impact on the local ecosystem.
From a design perspective, the Skywalk has already received international recognition. It received a Future Projects category award at the World Architecture Festival 2011.
THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN
The Glacier Skywalk is also the winner of our first-ever People’s Choice Award.
As the name implies, the award is open to voting by the general public.
The Skywalk garnered 198 of 1,452 votes.