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Riding the Wind

Inspired by the unimpeded Alberta wind, the Edmonton International Airport Combined Office Control Tower is as functional as it is beautiful

Edmonton, Alberta

Demarkation point

Sitting within the colorful landscape of northern Alberta, the tower was specifically designed to fit naturally within the high grass and blowing snow on the surrounding prairie fields.

Existing services

The tower saves space and costs by tapping into existing services (water, electricity, etc.) at Edmonton International Airport by fitting on top of an existing terminal. At the same time it meets all security and sightline specifications.

Tight security

Security is maintained using ground-side public access and a mezzanine level bridge, which allows visitors and staff to occupy the tower without having to repeatedly clear security. Additionally, the tower is constructed as a post disaster response building and incorporates structural steel throughout, including steel plate shear walls.


The use of sculptural zinc cladding, as well as optimal solar orientation, allows maximum natural daylight in the winter and shading in the summer.

Green features

Other green features in the building include rainwater harvesting and under floor air distribution.

Project facts

Size: 8,410 sq.m / 90,525 sq. ft
Cost: $70 Million
Builder: EllisDon
Client: Edmonton Regional Airport Authority
LEED: LEED Gold Certified
Completed: 2013

Achievements & Awards

Award of Excellence – Transportation; Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

Award of Excellence – Engineering; Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) Awards, Alberta Region

Award of Excellence – Building Engineering; Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA) Showcase Awards

Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award (100,000 - 249,000 sq ft Category); BOMA Edmonton

Design Commercial; Top Project Awards Alberta Construction Magazine