Steeling the Show: TELUS Spark Honored at Alberta Steel Awards

Steeling the Show: TELUS Spark Honored at Alberta Steel Awards

It’s impossible to miss the futuristic color and shape of the TELUS Spark building if you’ve made your way around Calgary in recent years. Constantly changing from purple, to white, to red, the distinctive science centre literally transforms the landscape boarding Nose Creek, Deerfoot Trail and the world-famous Calgary Zoo.

Apparently the fine folks at the Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) have noticed.

TELUS Spark recently took home top honors in the Architectural category at the CISC 2013 Alberta Steel Design Awards of Excellence. As part of one of the largest recognition programs in the industry, the awards evaluate steel design and innovation excellence and promote the advantages of steel in construction.

“The structural design solution is the result of a wonderful collaboration between the design disciplines and a fully integrated design process,” says architect and DIALOG principal Alan Collyer. “It is an honour to be recognized for the innovative design which resulted and for the positive contribution the building makes both within the broader urban fabric of the city and in terms of building ‘community’.”

The architectural category critiques top steel structures in which architectural considerations predominantly influence the design, particularly those with exposed steelwork.

“The geometry and design aesthetic of the long-span trusses in the atrium clerestory and in the soaring volumes of the dome lobby were conceived to compliment the dramatic spatial quality of the major public spaces within the building,” adds Collyer. “The trusses cast dynamic, visually engaging shadows throughout the day which bring the space to life and speak poetically to the notion of scientific discovery and transformation, both key design objectives/considerations for the client.”

TELUS Spark is an extraordinarily energy efficient building and is certified LEED Gold. Featuring the reclamation of a previously contaminated site and high building standards, the facility is a living example of urban and environmental renewal through sustainable stewardship. Porous paving, bio-swales, on-site water retention/reuse and wetland areas are integrated with a high performance building envelope that uses solar shading, natural light and has a solar ready roof. Additionally, more than 78 per cent of build waste was recycled during construction, further achieving the projects mandate to provide a bright future for future generations of Calgarians.

“Calgary has been built by people who tackled the challenge of a tough environment to create a city of wealth, energy and promise,” says Jennifer Martin, TELUS Spark President and CEO.  “Our new facility (plays) a key part in turning the next generation of youngsters onto science, technology and art to generate a skilled, innovative and entrepreneurial future work force, while fostering an informed, scientifically-literate citizenry.”

TELUS Spark was also the 2011 winner of Alberta Construction Magazine’s Top Project, Institutional.

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