ADVANCED INTERLAYER SOLUTIONS
The Glacier Skywalk, a 35 m (115 ft) cantilevered glassfloored observation platform some 280 m (918 ft) above the Sunwapta Valley in the Canadian Rockies, gives its visitors a unique bird's eye view of the awe-inspiring power and beauty of Mother Nature at her absolute finest.
Minutes from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre on the Icefields Parkway, this breathtaking structure, jutting out from the cliff face, is a superb example of SentryGlas® ionoplast interlayers in action; combining sympathetic aesthetics with vital strength, environmental ruggedness and longevity. The initial design concept called upon a structure that drew inspiration from the surrounding environment and then extending and integrating it in a way that did not detract from the beauty of the site. Brewster Travel Canada worked with Sturgess Architecture and structural engineers Read Jones Christofferson Engineering to conceptualize the design. The construction team, led by PCL Construction used German specialist glazing subcontractor Josef Gartner GmbH to supply and install the glass, who in turn used BGT Bischoff Glastechnik AG, also from Germany, to actually laminate the panels.
According to John Kooymans, Principal at Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.: "Laminated glazing panels were specified for this project because of redundancy and the code requirements for floor glass. SentryGlas® offers better post-breakage behavior and performs better in exterior climate conditions, it is also stronger and stiffer than other laminates on the market. We try to use it for all critical post-breakage conditions and overhead glass. It allows for less or thinner lites, which can be more complementary to the surrounding structures."
"We design the glass make up to ensure structural and post breakage behaviors meet or exceed the needs for the codes and project specifics, " Kooymans adds. "We allow the glazing company who wins the bid to tweak the design if they wish, based on supply and fabrication preferences, but the original design protects the details and the costs."