Pulling back the curtain on Heavy’s greatest hits

Proper placemaking is not just about the destination. It’s also about the journey.

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This week, we’ve decided to take you behind the curtain to share the backstories behind some of our most unique projects to date, as told by the people here at Heavy Industries who have been involved in their creation.

From the massive Carrington art feature that acts as a tapestry atop the northwest Calgary community’s new skate park to the spiral staircase at the Telus Sky building in downtown Calgary that once hummed a most “disturbing” tune, we are excited to provide a unique perspective to the “Heavy Way.”


Bella Concert Hall Acoustic Panels

“This job was particularly special to me because it was my first installation with Heavy. One of my favourite features is that we used 11 different types of sheet material between the balcony units and the panel – and every material type and thickness used served a unique purpose. For example, the ¾” MDX (water-resistant MDF) was used when internal ribs extended further than 8’, exceeding the length of the MDO (water-resistant plywood) sheet size. The internal ribs all needed to be water-resistant and coated with an epoxy sealant to prevent moisture penetration from the GFRC backfill. “

– John Houseman, Designer

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Carrington Community Features

“What’s interesting about this project is how it all went together – and how much it weighs. I hauled each piece of it to the site. Add up the weight of all these pieces together, and it’s amazing to just see it standing over the skate park.”

– Craig Ford, Shipping & Receiving

Inverted Lake

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“One of my favourite projects at Heavy so far is also one of our most recent ones, the Ned Kahn-designed Inverted Lake project for Daniels Corporation in Toronto’s East Bayfront. It is comprised of approximately 26,000 flappers suspended on over 4.4 kilometres of cable that are supported by metal-fabricated tress.

– Jonathan Noel, Project Manager

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Telus Sky Spiral Stair

“This was one of my favourite projects because of the scale, design, materials and installation are all very unique – from the seamless cladding and marble treads to the fibreglass soffit and it being prefabrication/installed between the 59th and 60th floors.

Something most people wouldn’t know is that when the stairs were first modelled by engineering, we discovered that the geometry of the design caused a specific frequency of vibration that caused people to feel nauseous. To mitigate this, we designed a tuned mass damper to go in the mid-landing. The damper is similar to what’s used in the seismic design for skyscrapers, and consists of a water reservoir and springs.”

Kevin Poole, Pursuits Lead – Project Development

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“This was my second spiral staircase, and my third staircase overall so I was able to apply all of my previous learnings, while also collaborating with the architect (Hindle) and engineers (RJC) to solve its complexities.

An interesting thing about the stair is that it is so large and freestanding that we had to add 1200kg of steel weights to the landing to prevent users from getting a nauseous feeling while on the stair due to its vibrations.”

Anthony Felix, Senior Designer

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Paisley

“This is my favourite project for a couple reasons. The first is it was the first project where we engaged an artist, making it a pioneer of Heavy’s Plan-Build process as we know it today. Second, I think it’s a beautiful project – the way it looks different in the day and at night – and how it effectively uses lighting to be dynamic.

Interestingly, the design for Paisley was actually inspired by another project. We had previously worked with artist Dan Corson on a project in Portland called Nepenthes. Our client (Brookfield) liked it so much they wanted their own set for their development in Edmonton. We engaged Dan to play with his design, allowing us to re-use the original molds. The end result was a monochromatic paint job (versus the colours used in Portland), and dynamic lighting that changes colours that can be programmed to mimic a strobe light, lava lamp or static as the client desires!”

Kyle Bell-Cook, Business Development

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Project Development Department

“It’s a new department that includes everyone on most of our projects. This allows us to best plan our projects and make them the best they can be. We’ve been doing project development since the company’s inception – we just hadn’t formalized it until recently. We see an opportunity in this grey area for our clients and our team.”

Ryan Bessant, President