It will be a surprise to many that the new SickKids Learning and Research Tower on Bay Street, which topped out many months ago already, will not be officially open until the fall of 2013, but the building is amongst the most technologically advanced and most technology-packed ever constructed in Toronto, and this means that months more work is going into readying it for the thousands of scientists and technicians for whom it will provide their new state-of-the art lab, conference, and office space.
Until it does open, there are always a couple new angles we can cover from the outside of the colourful Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed tower. Today, a couple of head on views of the fit-out taking place inside, more easily glimpsed in the evening than by daylight.
The individually coloured panels on the exterior are the back portion of the two piece spandrel and window system. In each case the fritted outer pane was broken during installation, and will be replaced. Frit is a baked porcelaine dot, or line in this case, which cuts down on light and heat transmission through windows. From inside it appears translucent. Frit is being used increasingly on glass to cut heating and cooling costs, for aesthetic reasons to add detail and architectural pattern to a building's exterior, for privacy purposes on balcony glazing where it also helps to hide occasional clutter, and to mitigate bird-strike: birds can see the glass once there is a pattern on it, and are far less likely to injure or kill themselves flying into as they can now avoid it.
UrbanToronto was lucky enough to get a hard hat tour of the project a few months ago, and the comprehensive reports that followed can be found linked below this article. You can also get a look at the renderings of the completed project in UrbanToronto's dataBase entry for the project, or join in on the discussion in the associated Forum thread.