First visitors experience the Sturgess Architecture-designed Glacier Skywalk
The Canadian Rockies are renowned for their raw beauty and wild, complex ecosystems. Visitors to the Jasper National Park will now be able to connect with the rambling wilderness in a whole new way as the Sturgess Architecture-designed Glacier Skywalk is open to the public.
Visitors will be able to board a free shuttle bus from the nearby Glacier Discovery Center and take a five minute scenic trip to the Glacier Skywalk. At the end of a cliff-edge Discovery Trail, visitors will find themselves facing a glass-floored observation platform, 280m above the Sunwapta Valley.
Designed by Sturgess Architecture with Read Jones Christofferson Engineering, Golder Associates, SMP Engineering and PCL Construction, the Glacier Skywalk is part of an immersive experience which enables visitors to the Jasper National Park to learn about glaciology, geology and the ecosystem of the Columbia Icefield area.
With its near-zero footprint, the Glacier Skywalk is built into the native bedrock using Corten steel, glass and wood. The design team have ensured that the materials used work with the natural colour palette of the raw environment and are free of paint and toxins.
Sturgess Architecture explains: “The complex landscape was the inspiration for the project’s design and materiality. The thrust-fault geological movement in the area has created a fractal landscape that informs the larger formal gesture of the architecture.
"The angular forms, rusted hues and warm texture of Corten steel finish relate to the rocky outcroppings of the surrounding mountains, while the glazing mimics the glacial flow.”