December 7, 2017
by Canadian Architect
Completed in 1969, a prominent John B. Parkin / Bregman & Hamann design in downtown Toronto is being transformed through a recladding project led by WZMH Architects and structural and facade engineering consultants WSP Canada. Formerly known as the Simpson Tower, the 33-storey building at 401 Bay Street is being re-skinned with a new curtain wall system by manufacturer Cintec North America.
The Simpson Tower in 2008, prior to re-cladding. Photo by SimonP via Wikimedia Commons.
Altering the modernist aesthetic of the Simpson Tower through a new high-performance glass building envelope, the re-cladding project has drastically changed the highly visible face of the 60s design at the southeast corner of Bay and Queen. Now nearing completion, the project was initiated following the sale of the building from Hudson’s Bay Company to Cadillac Fairview.
Quickly following the CF takeover, the project was spurred by the building’s gradually deteriorating condition and sub-par thermal performance. In a conspicuous departure from the the original bronze-tinted glazing, the 1960s cladding system has gradually been replaced by a new envelope, characterized by a combination of muted blue-green curtain wall with lighter spandrel elements.
A rendering of the completed project. Image via Avison Young.
The cladding system reattached the cast panels (as a result of failing ties) while providing anchor points for a new glass curtain wall. WSP and Cintec reworked potential solutions until the anchors developed were unique, project specific and withstood testing and application. Enclosed in mesh fabric sleeve, steel bars were installed into the façade, and then injected with a specially developed grout under low pressure.