The first panels of cladding have been installed on the exterior of a new 17-storey addition to St. Michael's Hospital, known as the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower. Rising at the corner of Queen and Victoria in Downtown Toronto, the NORR Architects and Diamond Schmitt Architects-designed 250,000 ft² addition will greatly expand and modernize the aging institution, with the new facility expected to open in 2017.

Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower rising at St. Mike's, image by Jack LandauPeter Gilgan Patient Care Tower rising at St. Mike's, image by Jack Landau

Now standing at a height of 11 storeys, the new addition already surpasses the existing hospital structure to its east in height, and will rise an additional six levels before meeting the height of the St. Mike's building to the north. The new Patient Care Tower is expected to top off later this year. 

Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower rising at St. Mike's, image by Jack LandauPeter Gilgan Patient Care Tower rising at St. Mike's, image by Jack Landau

The first elements of exterior cladding—composed of curtain wall panels in multiple shades—were spotted at the end of June, and in the following weeks, cladding has covered a large portion of the building's west facade fronting Victoria Street. Panels currently being installed on the west face consist of a combination of clear and opaque elements, while the levels above will feature clear and translucent sections, along with mechanical screening for the mid-section. 

Cladding on the west side of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower, image by Jack Cladding on the west side of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower, image by Jack Landau

A different style of curtain wall cladding is being installed on the building's south facade, featuring a much more prominent grid of mullions. Together, the various types of exterior cladding being used will help to visually articulate the building's otherwise simple, rectilinear massing. Clear sections seen on the first panels of curtain wall all exhibit a ceramic frit pattern of dots. While practically invisible to the human eye from distance, this pattern helps to deter bird strikes, a common problem with clear and reflective windows on high-rise buildings.

Cladding on the south side of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care TowerCladding on the south side of the Peter Gilgan Patient Care Tower, image by Jack Landau

Following the completion of the new structure, the hospital's century-old Shuter Street Wing is expected to be demolished, allowing for the construction of a a new three-storey Emergency wing at the corner of Queen and Bond Streets. 

View of the building from the west on Queen StreetView of the building from the west on Queen Street, image by Stefan Novakovic

For a better understanding of how the new addition's construction ties in with the greater St. Michael's revitalization project, a video—released last year—outlines the process and construction phasing.

Additional information and renderings for the project can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? You can join in on the conversation in the associated Forum thread, or by leaving a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.