Since the September installation of a tower crane atop the 1968-built Global House office building at 480 University Avenue, facade removal and structural reinforcement work have been progressing smoothly at the site of Amexon Development Corporation's Residences of 488 University Avenue, an ambitious intensification project that will add 37 new floors of condominium suites above an existing 18-storey office building.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoView of the existing office tower captured in mid-December, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Towered

Situated at the northwest corner of University and Dundas, the Core Architects-designed project requires extensive structural reinforcement work by engineers Sigmund Soudack & Associates to carry the additional loads of the new levels down to the bedrock below. The structural reinforcements, now in the process of being installed, will permit a tabletop-like transfer slab above the existing structure, shifting the load of the new levels through perimeter steel beams and cross bracing, across the face of the existing building, independent of its structure. 

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoSteel structural reinforcements being added to lower levels of existing building, early January, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor Salsa

To prime the existing building for the structural reinforcement, the aging concrete grille facade of the office tower and its windows are currently being removed. This process is being undertaken using a custom-built hydraulic rig. New UrbanToronto Forum contributor bullitt_ride has posted that "the tool can be brought in level and attached to the fascia. Then for removal, the CG is adjusted for the weight of the load so that when the fascia is detached from the building, the load is balanced and remains level." Another part for the tool was built to handle corner sections of the grille.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoSection of grille being removed by specialized rig, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor ShonTron

This complex operation is being undertaken as business continues within the existing office building. Once complete, the structural steel reinforcements will become an important part of the development's exterior, tying together the project's architecture and engineering. The reinforced building's signature aesthetic element will be the cross-bracing, seen through new curtain wall windows with similar proportions to the windows of the old grille.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoSection of grille being removed by specialized rig, image by UrbanToronto Forum contributor ShonTron

Residents of the 453 new suites atop the existing building will have access to 30,000 square feet of amenity space, appointed by interior design firm II BY IV Design Associates, including a gym, party room, roof deck, and a sheltered outdoor swimming pool.

Residences of 488 University Avenue, Amexon, Core, TorontoRendering of Residences of 488 University Avenue, image courtesy of Amexon

Additional information and renderings can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment using the space provided at the bottom of this page.

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