Posted: 4 months ago

Partnerships that soar

As I drove down the highway approaching one of Calgary’s newest communities, Township, developed by Royop I couldn’t help but marvel at how the city has grown since I first moved here as a child in 1979. In fact, as I reflected, cities on a whole have changed a lot. In the article 50 ways American city life has changed in the last 50 years, it is intriguing and disturbing to see the disruption and the evolution of cities. Experiences, community living, being bold and being creative are evident in more places. New design concepts for out of the box thinking is being driven by leaders who want more; Supported by teams of perfectionists with type A-personalities that push the limits to evoke an emotion.

I knew I was going to be seeing what we, at the office, have been calling “The Crane”. As I turned into the parking lot, not sure where I was going, I knew immediately I had arrived. In front of me was a stunningly majestic structure of a graceful and elegant bird. Waiting for me under her intricate wing is Amy Ghalambor, Project Manager with Heavy – who nurtured this project from conception to its dramatic realization.

Under her wing

The concept was to choose a material that could represent the colourful Albertan environment. After exploring different material, Heavy decided that dichroic glass provided the desired experience and effect since it cast shadows of color onto the ground, the surrounding shrubbery and trees to delight and capture the imagination of children and adults alike. The team at Goldray were thrilled when our product, Dichroic glass was specified.

Amy shared how the project found its way to Heavy. Their client, Royop presented the initial concept created by Urban Systems. Heavy then developed an evolved design into its current state. The triad started collaboration early, even before concept development. The result was both meaningful and efficient.

“The structure is so intericate that quality controlling all the material coming together was paramount,” said Amy. “Every piece was checked against the drawings. Attention to detail is so critical because it impacts the result we are looking for.” With a glean in her eyes and while briming with pride, Amy says “The way people experience this piece… it is amazing!”

Why was Dichroic glass used?

Heavy wanted a glass that would bring color and movement to the piece. Amy explained that it was important to incorporate color to depict the drama of the ups and downs of Alberta life while creating a mood using light diffusion and reflection.

In 2013 Goldray Glass worked with Ross Barney Architects who executed the first application of dichroic film laminations on the Ohio State University South Campus Central Chiller Plant. The building envelope included a total of 177 dichroic fins that were mounted onto the façade to throw shadows of varying sizes, colors and intensities throughout the day, depending on where the sun was positioned. Goldray knew the power of Dichroic and how it could deliver what Heavy was after.

Goldray offers a Dichroic glass that can be used as a laminate or a monolithic option. This flexibility is important for projects where glass thickness is a critical factor.

Proud to be part of the story

Representing a mother bird, protecting all who gather below, the design references wind, sun, foothills and the prairies. It honors the elements that make Calgary and the surrounding rural communities majestic and magical. Those who look closely will see the lights dancing as the Alberta wind blows and shifts, offering viewers a spectrum of vibrant colors taken from Alberta's brilliant landscape.

Fun fact: With a wingspan of 80 feet, Windward Light is wider than Air Canada's small passenger aircraft, wing tip to wing tip.

Congratulations Heavy, Royop and Urban Systems for bringing this project in on time and on budget. The team at Goldray glass are thrilled for the opportunity to be part of this beautiful attraction.

Based on an interview with: Amy Ghalambor, project manager, Heavy



How to choose the right glass for your project