The Glacier Skywalk is a 1,500-foot-long interpretive walk carved and folded into the mountainous landscape of Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The Corten steel and glass structure cantilevers outward, overlooking the Sunwapta Valley and facing the Athabasca Glacier. It is situated in an icefield straddling the Continental Divide where the North American watersheds diverge to the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the Arctic Oceans.
The walkway is based on the concept of cropping out from the landscape, creating an experience of a natural extension of the land. The parabola cantilever, with a glass floor of tempered and heat-strengthened glass, reveals an unobstructed view below. The cantilever is the result of an engineering technique that takes advantage of a balance formed by opposing tension and compression members and thereby eliminates the need for a more traditional superstructure of pylons and cables above the outlook.
Corten steel was selected for its weathering properties and the relationship to the changing mountain face that it represents. The materiality of the outcropped steel will age and the size of the Athabasca Glacier will alter; both capturing a capacity to mark time with change.