Local Glass & Steel 2


Art Gallery of Alberta (Art Gallery)


The new Art Gallery of Alberta opened in 2010. The glass featured in the Gallery is used principally to show a sculpted ribbon of stainless steel that undulates throughout the space and gives the feeling of unending continuity, similar to that of the extensive river valley. In the words of architect, Randall Stout “. . . the presence of rational, functional spaces within free-form glass expressionism . . .” combined with the stainless steel to allow the large glass atrium to be profoundly exhibited. A zinc-clad volume that beholds the galleries is shown cantilevered over the glass atrium walls. There are also two-story steel trusses on the perimeter along with diagonal planes. The interior is a massive and engaging space that is clearly an ambitious and well-executed design and is well suited for a building poised to harbour large inventories of art and patrons.


Edmonton City Hall (Civic Building)


The pyramid design of the Edmonton City Hall shows a criss-cross design of sand-blasted glass with the effect to emit large amounts of natural light into the lobby areas. The forging of metal bracing to support the glasswork is skilfully shown throughout the design. The prominence of glass in the interior is further heightened as shown in the artwork displayed in the stairway niches on the main floor (acid embossing) and the silk and fibreglass art presented in the second floor etchings. The overall interior is dominant but inviting and incites the visitor with the importance of civic stature.


Citadel Theatre (Performing Arts Centre)


The Citadel Theatre is the second largest performing arts centre in western Canada. There are several enclosed theatre spaces within the Centre but also has an amphitheatre in the centre of the lobby. The theatre was designed with extensive interlocking glass that is used to great effect against the 30 foot indoor waterfall and floating pool located in The Lee Pavilion. Throughout the lobby area of the interior there is an expansive garden with a variety of local and exotic plants that are further accentuated with low-level lamps that guide the visitor down the carved stone path. These effects, together with the exterior light of daytime or the twilight of evening, display reflective images of drama and intrigue throughout the interior space. The appeal is highly appropriate for the use of this interior.


Rutherford House (Historical Home)


The home was built in 1911 and belonged to the first premier of Alberta Mr. Alexander Cameron Rutherford; it is listed as a Provincial Historic Site. The home is an Edwardian design and has much of the wood and plaster embellishments that were fashionable at the time. The picture enclosed shows the stained glass work that is so aptly displayed in the ceiling of the landing of the circular staircase that is accessible from the center of the house. The use of lead to separate the bevelled and stained glass is a striking presence the visitor can see from either the top or the landing of the stairs. Despite its relative small size as compared to the massiveness of the staircase, this window displays a decent amount of light and is a welcome accent to the rather dark effects of the wood panelling and staircase.

Photo Credit:

“AGA on Churchill Square” by Stella Blu


Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons


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