Empire Iron Works Ltd. detailed, supplied, fabricated and erected the support structure steel for the Art Gallery of Alberta.
The project is a renovation of the existing concrete building to create flexible, museum quality space for the gallery’s permanent collection and major exhibitions. It consisted of a two-story vertical addition above the existing building and the addition of an atrium.
Structural steel was the obvious choice for the vertical addition because it minimized the impact on the existing structure, reduced loads on the foundation, and provided unimpeded column-free interior space. The entire addition is supported by only six columns.
Construction of the atrium presented challenges due to the complex geometry. While the structure itself looks quite light and airy, there are heavy loads and members that line up with each other precisely.
Museum quality, climate controlled interior space demanded a high performance building envelope. This created a challenge where architectural features were designed to penetrate the envelope.
Teamwork between the organizations involved allowed for the transformation of the square concrete structure to become a part of a new functional eye-catching steel sculpture. This innovative set of sculptural steel installations won a CISC Alberta Region Award in 2011 in the Architectural category.