Edmonton International Airport Combined Office and Control Tower

Transit & Aviation

Inspired by the unimpeded Alberta wind, the Edmonton International Airport’s combined office and control tower is as functional as it is beautiful. Designed to fit naturally within high grass and blowing snow in the surrounding prairie fields, the striking tower is a landmark for the capital region. The addition to the airport’s existing structure adds new office space, a new airport control tower, and expanded retail and hospitality for air travelers.

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Location
Edmonton, AB
Client
Edmonton Airports
Completion
2013
Collaborators

EllisDon
Suehiro Architecture
RHEINZINK
Thermal Systems

DIALOG Services

Architecture
Electrical Engineering
Interior Design
Mechanical Engineering
Structural Engineering

The project looks up to a vast prairie sky and stands tall in an expanse of colourful windswept fields.

The combined office and airport control tower announces that you’ve arrived in Edmonton, and is a memorable landmark as planes depart the capital region.

The combined office and airport control tower announces that you’ve arrived in Edmonton, and is a memorable landmark as planes depart the capital region.

The combined office and airport control tower announces that you’ve arrived in Edmonton, and is a memorable landmark as planes depart the capital region.

The combined office and airport control tower announces that you’ve arrived in Edmonton, and is a memorable landmark as planes depart the capital region.

The tower uniquely accommodates a fully functioning air traffic control cab at the top with streamlined downward viewing angles and clear sightlines to aircraft gates and runway thresholds.

The project includes expansion of the retail area and amenity space for departing and arriving air passengers.

The Team

The sculptural image of prairie grasses moving from the unimpeded wind blowing in from the west provided the design inspiration. Add to this the natural formations of frozen motion encapsulated in windblown snow drifts or in the erosion of hoodoos, and the concept for a design symbolic of Edmonton’s prairie location was born.

The profile of the façade is designed to provide optimal passive solar shading on the south and west sides while providing maximum light penetration on the north. This passive sustainable design approach was fundamental in establishing the siting and orientation of the new combined office and control tower.

Mechanically, all air distribution to occupied floor areas is carried through under slab ductwork. This strategy provides for a more comfortable and reliable interior climate for those that work and gather in the building. Another sustainability feature is rainwater harvesting. All roof surface run-off is collected in a cistern centrally-located within the main terminal for grey water use and distribution.

Limited construction access on the active side of the airport influenced the design. Continuous concrete truck access for large pours wouldn’t be possible on the airside, so the post disaster building is designed wholly of structural steel with steel plate shear walls.