Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 70

CRITIQUE

READ BY | LU PAR RYAN WAKSHINSKI

A WALK IN THE PARK

book info
GLACIER SKYWALK
Clea Sturgess,
Trevor Boddy,
Jeremy Sturgess
Photography by
Robert Lemermeyer
Figure.1 Publishing, 2017
7" x 8", Colour, 116 Pages

EN_
PERHAPS I HAD been living in a corten steel
cave (inside joke), but I had not heard of the
Glacier Skywalk until I attended a lecture by
lead architect Jeremy Sturgess at the World
Design Summit in Montreal in October, 2017.
This soft-spoken, but clearly passionate,
thoughtful and visionary designer had but
15 minutes to summarize a project that might
be considered a life's work, and he pulled it off
brilliantly. Enthralled by the project, my first
thoughts were that this should be featured
in a LANDSCAPES | PAYSAGES article and
secondly, this should win a CSLA Award
of Excellence.
There is of course an entire book dedicated
to Glacier Skywalk, and unfortunately, as
there were no LAs involved in the design, it
is ineligible for the CSLA Awards Program.
Ironically, the Alberta Association of
Architects told the project team that Glacier
Skywalk was not a work of "Architecture"
either, and therefore ineligible for that
group's annual awards. No matter, it won the
Governor General's Award for Architecture in
Canada in 2016 - they aren't sweating it!
GET OUT OF THE CARS!
As to the book, it is a delightful synopsis of
the stunning project from design competition
brief to project completion. The narrative
navigates the ins and outs of a design-build
tender for a complex and challenging viewing
structure commissioned by Parks Canada
to get visitors out of their cars and onto
the landscape.

The writing is a delicate mix of experiential,
poetic storytelling (sometimes a bit overdramatic, but then look at the project!)
describing one's experience of the walkway,
and a concise, theoretical explanation for the
architectural and structural design decisions
made throughout the entire collaborative
process. The prose is definitely written for
designers and architects; it is perhaps a bit
overly "archi-speaky," but when you are
cantilevered 35 metres from the cliff edge
and 280 metres above a ravine, standing on
a glass floor, again, one can be forgiven for
over-indulgence.
Graphics run the gamut from site plans and
conceptual sketches to maquettes, 3D model
shots and working drawings to construction
photos and exquisite brochure promotional
images, including some fascinating abstract
images of the various construction materials.
In short, nothing is missing.
I do have one criticism: the frequent use
of the term man-made. In these inclusive
times, surely the authors could have found
a less gender-specific pronoun. I also could
not help but wonder what the project might
have been if a landscape architect had been
involved, but I suppose that is water under
the cantilever...
Which returns us to awards categories.
The Glacier Skywalk is the kind of project
that makes you question the separation
between disciplines. Is it art? Architecture?
Engineering? Landscape Architecture?
Experiential Theatre with a CustomComposed Brass Trio Soundtrack? Read
the book, and you will learn that the answer
is all of them. There are simply not enough
awards to give.
ryan.wakshinski@gov.mb.ca

RYAN WAKSHINSKI has worked for Manitoba
Conservation, Parks and Natural Areas since 2009.
He is currently a director with MALA and sits on
the CSLA Editorial Board.
70 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2018

To Begin With
Our Writers
Upfront
Essay
THE TRIAD OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
CHANGZHI WETLAND PARK
AFTER THE DESIGNERS LEAVE THE ROOM
YOU CAN ONLY DESIGN A RIVER ONCE
CONVERSATION
A “PUF” OF INSPIRATION: TOWARD NET ZERO NEIGHBOURHOODS
THE TOUGH GET GOING ON THE WAY TO TRANSFORMATION
THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION: A STORY ONLY THE LANDSCAPE CAN TELL
INTERVIEW
CRITIQUE
PARTING SHOT | UNE DERNIÈRE SALVE
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - Intro
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - To Begin With
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - Our Writers
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 11
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 12
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - Upfront
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 20
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - Essay
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - THE TRIAD OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 30
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 32
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - CHANGZHI WETLAND PARK
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - AFTER THE DESIGNERS LEAVE THE ROOM
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 39
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 42
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - YOU CAN ONLY DESIGN A RIVER ONCE
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 46
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - CONVERSATION
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 50
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 54
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - A “PUF” OF INSPIRATION: TOWARD NET ZERO NEIGHBOURHOODS
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - THE TOUGH GET GOING ON THE WAY TO TRANSFORMATION
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - THE HALIFAX EXPLOSION: A STORY ONLY THE LANDSCAPE CAN TELL
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - INTERVIEW
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 66
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 67
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 68
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 69
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - CRITIQUE
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 71
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 72
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 73
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 74
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 75
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 76
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 77
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Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 81
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 82
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 83
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 84
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - 85
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - PARTING SHOT | UNE DERNIÈRE SALVE
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2018 - cover4
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