We love to watch buildings in the process of construction in this city, and just about our favourite thing to do after the first floors of concrete and rebar have risen into the sky is to agonize over the cladding before it appears: the buildings just don't look anything like they are going to until those vast gaps between the concrete slabs are properly clad. Will it look like it did in the rendering? How high a quality will the glass be? Will it be curtain wall or window wall? How reflective will it be? And especially: might it be cheap green glass?

Well, some highly anticipated glass has gone up in the last few days on three high profile projects, it's only green in one case (not the cheap stuff), and it has all been caught by a couple UrbanToronto photographers… and we are happy to share the progress with you.

Amongst the photos uploaded over the long weekend by UT member Atlantis are two below of Ïce, the York Street condo/office complex from Lanterra and Cadillac Fairview now under construction just north of the Gardiner. This complex will feature two slender towers, of 57 and 67 storeys, with all four faces of each bulging outwards, in a Scandi-modernist design by architectsAlliance.

Ïce condos Toronto by architectsAlliance for LanterraRendering of Ïce condos completed, image courtesy of Lanterra Developments

Above is what we've been promised in the renderings, and now we're getting an idea of how that will be realized. The glass - as promised in the renderings  - has a blue hue, but more interesting than that is the questions remaining about the balconies: the towers will have alternating full and juliet balcony sections on them which can be clearly seen above. In the image below we see the face closest to us where a juliet glazing strip will be attached, while the face receding from us on the right will have a full balcony.

Windows now appear on Ïce condos Toronto by architectsAlliance for LanterraWindows now clad a floor at Ïce, image by Atlantis 2012.05.20

Below we get a closer-up look at the clips that will be holding the juliet balcony glazing. How will that look? Click on the photo for an expanded view, and you'll see that the clips are arranged in an alternating pattern, angling left - right - left - right above the floorplate. The closest set of clips (on the right) where the juliet glazing ends reveals only two clips there, not four. Nothing like this has appeared on the exterior of any other Toronto condo we know of, so we have to ask: what will the balcony glazing look like here? We're dying to know!

Windows now appear on Ïce condos Toronto by architectsAlliance for LanterraWindows now clad a floor at Ïce, image by Atlantis 2012.05.20

Just a little east of Ïce is L Tower, a 58-storey condo appended to the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts which also bulges, but this time the bulge is vertical, outwards until the 42nd floor, where it begins to taper back towards a peak along the southern edge of the tower. 'Starchitect' Daniel Libeskind's design is drawing a lot of attention for developers Cityzen, Castlepoint, and Fernbrook Homes, for several reasons, and recently including the fact that the cladding has been applied and removed a couple of times, ostensibly while testing has been performed to make certain that this window wall/curtain wall mix will perform as required.

Windows now appear on Ïce condos Toronto by Studio LibeskindWindows now clad a few floors at L Tower, image by Atlantis 2012.05.20

Above, and below in close-up, we now have a few floors of glazing to consider on the north face of L Tower. This face uses curtain wall, and it's looking sleek in its blue-gray tint, including the (strangely enough again) ice-blue mullions and louvres. White spandrel panels will form randomized stripes up the face of the tower as more floors of glazing are installed.

Windows now appear on Ïce condos Toronto by Studio LibeskindWindows now clad a few floors at L Tower, image by Atlantis 2012.05.20

Below we get a look at the west face, which employs a window wall system. Colouring of the mullions and glass is the same, but we are seeing a lot more white spandrel along the floor slabs, as well as more ice-blue aluminum along the tops of the windows. The full effect of this face will be different from the north face, and it will be very interesting to see their similarities and differences play off each other once we have many more floors of glazing to compare and contrast.

Windows now appear on Ïce condos Toronto by Studio LibeskindWindows now clad a few floors at L Tower, image by Atlantis 2012.05.20

All of this is new to us: The L Tower renderings have been somewhat vague in regards to the cladding details, as per below.

L Tower Toronto by Studio Libeskind for Cityzen, Castlepoint and FernbrookRendering of L Tower complete, image courtesy of Cityzen, Castlepoint, and Fernbrrok Homes

To the west in Etobicoke's Humber Bay Shores area another high profile glass installation is heralding the upcoming completion of South Beach Condos. This project by Amexon is just to the south of the Gardiner at Park Lawn Road, and it features two 28-storey towers designed by Arsenault Architect and II By IV Design Associates. The location alongside a major highway means tens of thousands of people will see them every day, and will make these two towers landmarks in Toronto's growing western skyline.

South Beach condos Toronto by Aresenault Architect and II By IV for AmexonRendering of South Beach condos complete, image courtesy of Amexon

The renderings for South Beach have always promised lanterns up top glowing blue and green by day and night, and we have recently seen the west tower, the blue one, with its electric blue glow after dark. We don't have a photo of that for you yet unfortunately, but it's pretty eye-catching, and we are looking forward to a good nighttime photographer coming up with a worthy pic to share! 

Lantern glass is being installed at South Beach condos Toronto by AmexonLantern glass is being installed at South Beach, image by Cruzin4U 2012.05.20

Thanks to UT member Cruzin4U we now see that by day the two towers will be distinguished by the colour of the glass in the lanterns: the glazing for the east tower lantern is now being installed, and it has a green tint. While the blue glass of the west tower lantern does not given you a true idea of the neon hue of the nighttime lights, we get the idea now that the glass is coloured to help the lights of each tower work their magic.

If you're curious about any of these projects, you'll find more photos by these photographers in all three UT Projects and Construction Forums threads with more views of the recent progress. The threads are linked next to the UrbanToronto dataBase entries which you will find below, and visiting them also provides you with the opportunity to participate in the discussion too, if you so desire!