Empire Iron Works Ltd. detailed, supplied, fabricated and erected the steel for the Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park project.
This structure set in a hillside overlooking a peaceful valley stretches into the sky supported by four teepee structures. The teepee poles are fabricated from tapered steel tubes that simulate the wood poles of a time long past. The teepees support the floor and roof structure. The footprint of the building matches the teepee wall coverings laid out on a flat plane. The atrium walls support the glazing with bow like trusses and the roof is attached to “travois” poles that cantilever over the plaza area overlooking the valley.
Sourcing tapered posts for teepee structures reflecting aboriginal culture proved to be a challenge for this project.
The use of structural steel allowed the architect to utilize ancestral structural forms such as the teepee form to be used as actual supporting structure rather than for display purposes only.
This innovative set of sculptural steel installations was a CISC Alberta Region Award Finalist in 2009.