707 Fifth – Manulife Place Pedestrian Bridge

The city of Calgary has one of the world’s most extensive networks of elevated pedestrian pathways. The skyway system, known as “+15,” spans nearly 16 kilometers to connect dozens of buildings within the downtown core. SOM took on the challenge to design a new pedestrian bridge to connect a new tower, 707 Fifth – Manulife Place, to the existing network, while creating a unique architectural expression for this landmark project in downtown Calgary.

It was a challenge that required innovative solutions: providing a seamless connection to adjacent buildings while managing subgrade conditions, installation sequences, and non-structural coordination. With a total length of 82 meters, the bridge features an elegant structural system known as a suspended lenticular truss, spanning 29 meters. Cables were tensioned as part of a careful sequence, with the arch members installed after tensioning but prior to casting the concrete floor slab.

All steel was fabricated to stringent Category 4 standards for Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS). The architectural cladding systems were designed to attach directly to the structure and eliminate secondary mullions. The bridge floor was pre-loaded before installation of the cladding to take out camber and minimize impacts on the cladding due to movement. Due to the structure’s sensitivity to temperature differentials, the project required a careful calibration of forces between the stainless steel cables and carbon steel frames to achieve a reasonable camber profile.