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Casting the Edmonton Archdiocese’s 100-year history of faith and learning

Edmonton, Alberta

A Journey of Faith

We traveled to significant churches and seminaries across North America with Archbishop Rev. Richard Smith to find inspiration for this important project. Together, we were driven in part by Rev. Smith's statement about the seminary's importance at the outset of the project, which was simply, “The Catholic Church thinks in hundreds of years.”


The spiritual centre of the seminary is the chapel, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is a focused, enclosed, spiritual space - a place of worship, a place of communion, and a place of celebration. It was created entirely of cast-in-place exposed concrete. The chalk-white concrete was cast in one single, complex pour planned collaboratively between designers and architects over 18 months. The chapel walls are 450 millimetres thick, 11 metres high, and have a visually exposed area of over 700 square metres. The result is a visual, structural and acoustic sanctuary worthy of this sacred space.

In the Garden

A walled garden, as described in the Prairie Design Awards, extends the chapel outward to engage nature. It is a quiet outdoor space in the middle of an active urban environment. It is a place for the seminarians to reflect, to breath in life and to think about man’s place in the world and our relationship with this fragile and remarkable planet.

Gospel of John

The massive doors to the chapel were cast in bronze by local craftsman and tell the miraculous story of Jesus and the fisherman as relayed in the Gospel of John.

Psalm 36: 9

Seven historic stained glass windows made in France in the 1950s are incorporated into the design.

Project facts

Cost: $22 Million
Size: 7,600 sq. m.
LEED Certified: Bronze
Completed : 2010
Builder: Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd.
Client: Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton

Achievements & Awards

Award of Excellence, Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards Canadian Consulting Engineering Awards

American Concrete Institute (ACI) Alberta Chapter Award of Excellence

Lighting Design Excellence Award, Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of North America

Design Award, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute

Award of Excellence, Alberta Masonry Design Awards