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Glenmore Dam

Project Details

Glenmore Dam


Calgary, AB, Canada


City of Calgary




Specialty Lighting Design

  • 2022 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) - Illumination Award of Merit

The Glenmore Dam’s architecture is defined by its purpose. As a gravity dam, it utilizes its own weight to contain the river’s water pressure. This design results in a massive structure comprised of poured concrete and steel. The architect’s thought beyond functionality, imbued the dam’s form with art deco features on a scale to fit the size of the dam; the columns and arches, the long balustrades, low relief pilasters and classical cornices all in-tended to be viewed from a distance. The modern structure, added during the rehabilitation, visually harkens back this heritage architecture.

To date, these design features have been visible only during daylight. SMP’s lightSPACE studio brought a refined lighting design sensibility to the project. The design approach was threefold: To provide temporary lighting for pedestrian and construction work during the construction phase; Permanent architectural lighting, accentuating heritage architectural elements of the 1933 structure (composed of discrete luminance sources to ensure the visual prominence of the architecture, rather than the sources of light); and Illuminate the pedestrian and bicycle pathway safely and aesthetically (ensuring its compliance to any civic Pathway standards).

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