DIALOG’S divine way with concrete

International design firm DIALOG has been honored by the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Alberta Chapter 2011 with an Award of Excellence for its innovative work on the St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton. The ACI Awards of Excellence celebrate excellence in concrete design and construction. The Seminary was recognized for innovation in many areas – including design, construction methodology and sequence, concrete mix, and risk control. The awards gala was held on May 13 at the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis, where the DIALOG team was on hand to accept the award.

“The Catholic Church thinks in hundreds of years.” Those were the words of the Archbishop of Edmonton at the outset of the St. Joseph Seminary project.

That one simple declaration shaped the design, guiding the designers to create a beautiful seminary with a sense of permanence: a modern rendition of traditional church architecture with timeless elegance. The heart of the seminary is the chapel – constructed of soft-white self-consolidating concrete cast in a single massive pour, with walls 450 millimetres thick, 11 metres high, and a visually exposed area of over 700 square metres.

“The risks of casting nearly 350 cubic metres of a highly customized concrete mix – without construction joint – while achieving the highest possible levels of architectural finish are daunting,” says Jeff DiBattista, DIALOG principal and structural engineer. Facing this challenge head on, the design and construction management teams worked hand in hand with specialized concrete subtrades throughout the design process. Recall DiBattista, “We all worked together for more than 18 months to develop a methodology that proved wonderfully successful.”

DIALOG has a track record of award-winning collaborative design excellence. Founded by the merged firms of Cohos Evamy + Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden + Mole White Associates + Office for Urbanism, DIALOG is committed to the practice of sustainable design with a focus on the success of clients and communities. Working from studios in Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver, DIALOG credits its strength to its outstanding multidisciplinary team who deliver excellence and a collaborative approach to the provision of architectural, engineering, interior design, planning and urban design services.

For more information visit www.designdialog.ca