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Glenmore Dam, Refurbishment

Project Details

Glenmore Dam, Refurbishment


Calgary, AB, Canada


City of Calgary




Electrical Engineering Consulting Services and Specialty Lighting Design

  • 2022 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) - Illumination Award of Merit
  • 2022 Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) - D.E. Frost Award for Excellence in Lighting
  • 2022 Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA) - Award of Excellence in Water Resources
  • 2022 Consulting Engineers of Alberta (CEA) - Award of Excellence in Community Development

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 resulted in a massive structure comprised of poured concrete and steel. The architects thought beyond functionality and imbued the dam’s form with art deco features on a scale to fit the size of the dam — the columns and arches, long balustrades, low-relief pilasters, and classical cornices are all intended 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; install 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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