Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2016 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2016 Recipient

Glacier Skywalk
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Sturgess Architecture

Lead design architect(s): 

Jeremy Sturgess, FRAIC

The Glacier Skywalk is a private initiative in a public park.  The project weaves a continuous thread that empowers guests to encounter the untouched environment. The Skywalk Vista subtly, yet heroically, cantilevers 35 metres from the mountainside, allowing visitors to experience the grandeur of the gorge 280 metres below.  An efficient material palate for the off-grid structure consists of Corten steel, glass, wood and stone that collectively contribute to a seamless relationship between natural and manmade. The project fulfills a mandate by Parks Canada to encourage visitors to observe first-hand the effects of climate change.

Jury Comment(s): 

"This extraordinary landscape intervention challenges visitors to experience the scale of the Columbia Icefields on foot, rather than from a car.  Tough materials such as Corten steel and the jagged, fractal forms along the pathway emulate the thrust-fault movement that has shaped glaciers. Like many outstanding works of architecture, this projects offers users a unique opportunity – a viewing platform to see the world in a whole new way. The jury notes that the skywalk makes you feel safe and frightened and the same time: that’s its magic."

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Photo: Robert Lemermeyer

Photo: Robert Lemermeyer

Photo: Sturgess Architecture

Photo: Brewster Travel Canada

Photo: Robert Lemermeyer