Grand Prize Winning Entry 2009 SSEF Steel Design Competition
The aviary is located on the brink of the Niagara Gorge and operates primarily as an educational center focused on native species of birds found in the Gorge. The form of the facility not only allows for the visitors to observe the birds on flat ground amongst vegetation, but the structure also extends down over the edge of the cliff where a generous stair carries visitors out away from the wall so that they may observe cliff dwelling birds in their natural habitat from an ideal vantage point.
The Feather in the Glen Bird Sanctuary is a large and extremely light structure achieved through a complex interdependence between tension and compression members in its structural system. Hollow steel sections span large distances made possible by the use of hundreds of tension cables that provide a high degree of lateral stability and stiffness to the sections. The loads acting on the structure are reduced to their essential lines and picked up with a minimal use of the material. The interdependence of such a system consisting of a single material demonstrates the incredible versatility of steel.