Project led by Tanya Luthi while employed at a previous firm
Bing Thom Architects (now Revery Architecture); Manasc Isaac Architects
39,000 m² (420,000 ft²)
Structural Engineering Consultant
Targeting LEED Silver
Located at the edge of MacEwan University’s downtown campus, Allard Hall is an iconic building housing a diverse array of arts programs, including visual, performing, and communications arts. This 420,000 ft² building is an academic and cultural hub in the heart of Edmonton.
The hall includes a 450-seat proscenium theatre, a 200-seat recital hall, a black box theatre, art galleries, dance studios, music rehearsal spaces, a recording studio, classrooms, as well as office space. The focal point is a full-height atrium spanning across the entire width of the building. Crossed by playfully angled stairs with balconies that provide gathering spaces, the atrium is a natural hub of activity that encourages social interaction among the faculty and students.
In addition, the hall features unique exterior glazing that evokes piano keys to match the function of the building. And roof clerestories provide ample natural light to the interior of the large floor plates
Challenge: The original design used reinforced cast-in-place concrete, a common structural system in the Edmonton market. However, with spans of up to 20 metres (60 feet), the design lacked material efficiency, and original bids came in far above the client’s budget. The team had to propose solutions that would allow the project to proceed according to its original schedule while cutting cost.
Solution: The structure was revised from traditional reinforced concrete to post-tensioned concrete, resulting in one of the first post-tensioned structures built in Edmonton in decades. The reductions in concrete volume achieved by switching to post-tensioning helped bring the project back within budget. The structural design team worked under extreme schedule pressure to deliver the revised design quickly enough to keep the project on schedule.