Art Gallery of Alberta

Project by Randall Stout Architects

The Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) is located in downtown Edmonton, in the province of Alberta, Canada and was designed by Randall Stout Architects with architect of record HIP Architects .

A massive ribbon of stainless steel wraps around and through the building serving both functional and visual architectural elements. Dubbed "The Borealis", this represents the northern lights, a frequent phenomenon of the Edmonton night sky. The borealis snakes through the gallery's interior and emerges above the building to form the roof's canopy, and then drops again to serve as a “snow cone," collecting snow and ice.

Photo of the The Art Gallery of Alberta

Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the curving borealis, winding through the AGA Cafe

The curving borealis winds through the AGA Cafe.
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo shows the outside of the Art Gallery of Alberta upper deck

Outside on the Art Gallery of Alberta Deck.
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the Replace

Dusk at the AGA.
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

The sleek curving borealis is paneled a stainless steel surface. The applied non-directional surface treatment of the metal gives the building its muted glow, reducing and nearly eliminating any harsh glare from the sun.

The "borealis" is engineered using the ZEPPS™ process, , a system developed by Zahner to simplify the construction of complex structures and facades. For a curvilinear form that wraps around and within the building, an intelligent structural system was required to handle the curves and handle all structural loads. The ZEPP™ Process was engineered so that the Flynn on-site workers could easily install the pre-fabricated panels.

The building also features a variation on the Hunter™ Pre-weathered Zinc Patina. This surface is used throughout the interior and exterior on flat and geometric surfaces. It is similar in appearance to slate or limestone.

Photo of the AGA Deck clad in Hunter Pre-weathered Zinc Patina

AGA Deck clad in Hunter™ Pre-weathered Zinc Patina
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the Flatseam panels on the Art Gallery of Alberta

Flatseam panels on the Art Gallery of Alberta
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the Flatseam panels on the Art Gallery of Alberta

Art Gallery of Alberta
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Photo of the Curved Panels on the Art Gallery of Alberta

Curved Panels of the Art Gallery of Alberta
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Making the Art Gallery of Alberta

Zahner is one of the few organizations in the world that has a dedicated team for handling design-engineering processes. The Design Assist Group (DAG) divides the project and translates the architects' intent into engineered subsections and parts which the draftsmen and project engineers can then rapidly push to the fabrication facility.

DAG produced several scale mockups (see below) of both the flat-lock zinc siding as well as the curvilinear Angel Hair™ Stainless surface. These mockups give a sense of the upcoming quality, as well as aid in identifying potential problems and develop essential solutions.

Photo of the Early AGA mockup

Early AGA mockup
Photo © Randall Stout Architects

Zahner design-engineered, fabricated, delivered the components of the Art Gallery of Alberta for intelligent installation by the installers at Flynn in Canada. This process was made possible by intensive design consulting sessions early in the planning process, facilitated by the Design Assist Group (DAG).

Design Assist | BIM to Build

Zahner's Design Assist Group sets the project foundation. As the construction world continues to move towards digital and cloud computing, DAG leads the way with Building Information Modeling frameworks, so that all participants are aware every stage of construction.

The structure was divided into several complex components, and to keep the entire project organized required a strong Building Information Model (BIM). Drawings from the architect were digitally defined and refined into a working model which served to involve every aspect of its construction.

This makes complex components, such as the architectural metal wing flying through the window, possible (see below). Coordinating multiple trades is one of the big strengths of BIM. It also plays a large role in condensing the construction down to its essentials.

Photo of the Art Gallery of Alberta during Construction

Photo © Zahner

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