High on transparency
The Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park won a Future Projects award at the 2011 World Architecture Festival in Barcelona — 2½ years before the steel, glass and wood structure built into bedrock, and free of paint and other toxins, had even opened. “The jury was unanimous,” the judges said. “This is a simple, elegant yet highly emotional project.” Located a five-minute coach ride from the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre on the Icefields Parkway, which stretches for 232 kilometres passed snow-capped peaks, glaciers, mountain lakes, waterfalls and alpine meadows, it begins with a Discovery Trail. Six interpretive stations detail the area’s geology and ecology; at the end is the curved, glass-floored observation platform that hovers 280 metres above the Sunwapta Valley. The Skywalk was built in the one percent of the park reserved for infrastructure and services, respecting the 99 percent that is zoned wilderness. It’s open May through October 19. Adults $24.95; kids 6 to 15: $12.50. glacierskywalk.ca.
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