The remarkable challenge at Queen Richmond Centre West involves the suspension of a 13-storey office building over top of two four-storey historic buildings. With the century-old corner property gutted, its interior completely retrofitted and its brick shell restored, attention has shifted to the foundations that will anchor the development's massive supports. 

&Co Architects' design integrates two existing heritage buildings on the site, a new concrete stair/elevator core, and an expansive, L-shaped, 5-storey glass enlosed atrium that will no doubt be the project's pièce de résistance.

Allied Properties REIT, &Co ArchitectsRendering of Queen Richmond Centre West atrium, image by &Co Architects

Facilitating the open design while carrying the tower above will be three 70-foot-tall 'delta frames'. Each is comprised of one-metre-diameter tubular steel members, positioned at angles to intersect at midpoint and connected by cast steel nodes. Local firm Cast ConneX was engaged to engineer, detail and supply these custom castings.

Construction crews are currently preparing the mat foundations in sections, laying the rebar and building the formwork for the concrete pour. The photos below illustrate the 4 touch points of the tubular members.

The frames will be delivered and installed in the next month and the connecting of the steel nodes to the columns where they intersect will be done in the field. An interesting detail will be at the lobby's finished floor, where the perimeter of the tubes will be surrounded by frosted glass and lit from below, emphasizing how it engages with the structure below (see rendering above).

Allied Properties REIT, &Co ArchitectsRebar for mat foundation, photo by UT forum member Red Mars

Allied Properties REIT, &Co ArchitectsRebar for mat foundation, completed mat behind, photo by UT forum member Red Mars

The Queen Richmond Centre West development will be constructed in two phases. Below is a cross-section through the site that illustrates the 70-foot clear height between street level and the underside of the tower.

Allied Properties REIT, &Co ArchitectsNorth-South section looking west, image courtesy of Allied Properties

Allied Properties REIT, &Co ArchitectsAerial view of QRC West, southeast side, by &Co Architects for Allied REIT

Allied REIT, best known for converting much of the city's stock of heritage commercial and industrial buildings into appealing office spaces, are developing a 300,000 square foot tower which will rest above the current 4-storey building. Work to allow the overhead additional floors while preserving the facade began in early January.

Check back with us for updated reports on Phase I as we watch the project unfold. Visit the Forum thread if you would like to contribute to the discussion, or for a closer look at the various features of the building you can check out our dataBase page; both are linked below. You can always leave a comment on this page too.