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Hidden Gem

A campus landmark for over 30 years is redeveloped to show off the many facets of the ALES faculty.

Edmonton, Alberta

Those squares aren't for decoration

Squares embedded in the glass panes are actually photovoltaic panels that store solar energy and help power the building.

A new destination on campus

The atrium has been a hidden gem on campus for over 30 years. The previous atrium housed tropical plants (and some birds!) that made for a warm walk-through, but over time had structural deterioration and water leaks. The redevelopment allows plenty of natural light, better snow-load-bearing capability, and work spaces so students can gather and stay for a while instead of breezing through.

A reflection of the faculty

The new jewel-like atrium uses materials that speak to the faculty. Douglas fir beams support the large panes of energy-efficient glass. Terraces of polished concrete are a nod to the faculty's soil studies.

Walls that speak

A mixed-media mosaic is laid out like farm fields with 84 squares containing objects chosen by faculty members. The hemlock accent wall commemorates the Fort McMurray fire of 2016, which is an event that will be studied by ALES for decades to come.

Project facts

Size: 1900 sq. ft.
Client: University of Alberta
Completed: 2016