St. Joseph Seminary is an important legacy for the Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton. It evokes the tradition of monastic buildings with their cloisters, courtyards and gardens.
At the heart of the seminary, visually and spiritually, is the new chapel, a sanctuary created entirely with cast-in-place fair-faced visually exposed concrete. The chalk-white self-consolidating concrete was cast 11 metres high in a single massive pour.
To achieve seamless integration of structural engineering and architecture over the visually exposed wall area of over 700 square metres, the design team developed an extensive project management and risk control plan for the concrete work.
The entire project team included a structural engineer, architect, interior designer, construction manager, formwork contractor, formwork supplier and concrete supplier working together for more than 18 months to develop a methodology to achieve the highest possible levels of architectural finish.
Using modern materials, the design team elegantly re-imagined arches, buttresses, and side aisles, creating a new home for seminarians that will inspire the spirit for centuries to come.
The seminary speaks to history and continuity, and about our past and our future and the possibility of change. The combination of stone, brick, metal and glass provide a quiet, elegant palette.
The composition of the materials expresses the three major elements in the seminary – the chapel, the community spaces and the residence. At the head of the seminary complex is the Chapel – orientated eastward, it is an exploration of faith.
The tyndall stone and brick walls, stained glass windows and enclosed garden are grounded in history, modelled on the form of the basilica. The transparent walls and steel arches, the patterned glass and metal panels are more contemporary. The building is a play of solidity and transparency.
At the southwest corner of the chapel sits the bell tower and cross. It is an ever-present orientation point and beacon of light within the community.
The quality of design, detailing, fabrication and construction for St. Joseph Seminary is unsurpassed and recalls the craftsmanship of times of old.
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaArchitect: DIALOG Area: 7,600 sq. m. Builder: Dawson Wallace Construction Ltd. Cost: $22 Million Year: 2010 Client: Catholic Archdiocese of Edmonton LEED Certified: Silver