In the three months since our last look at construction of Amexon Development Corporation's Residences of 488 University Avenue, the project on prominent Downtown Toronto site has made some significant progress—but it's just being able to be made out from the ground now. The Core Architects-designed development is notable for its unconventional and complicated plan that will add 37 floors above an existing 18-storey office building at the northwest corner of Dundas and University.

Residences of 488 University, Amexon, Core Architects, TorontoResidences of 488 University viewed from the southeast, image by Jack Landau

Since the fall 2015 start of construction, the bulk of activity has involved the removal of the 1968-built tower's original concrete grille facade and the installation of a structural steel bracing system by Sigmund Soudack & Associates, all while offices within the existing building remained open and in use. The bracing was designed to carry the load of the new levels around the exterior of the existing office tower, and transfer it to the bedrock below. The structural reinforcement system is now sealed off—though still largely visible—behind the building's new skin, a curtainwall which incorporates a series of vertical accent fins meant to recall the proportions of the original grille facade.

Residences of 488 University, Amexon, Core Architects, TorontoResidences of 488 University viewed from the north, image by Jack Landau

As recladding of the office tower moves toward completion, work has progressed on new structural elements above. A new concrete transfer slab has been formed to create a table-like structure from which the new levels will rise. Rather than resting on the existing office tower's uppermost level, the transfer slab is directly fixed to the bracing system, allowing the new levels to sit atop the current building while the lattice of steel acts as table legs.

Residences of 488 University, Amexon, Core Architects, TorontoTransfer slab nearing completion at 488 University, image by Jack Landau

Work on the slab is practically complete, and is already underway for the 20th level above, which will become the building's first floor with condo suites. These elements are targeted to be complete towards the end of October, and will be followed by the first levels bearing the typical floor layout in November. The typical residential levels on floors 21 through 55 will be constructed using poured concrete and fly forms, with the project's topping out planned for June 2018.

Residences of 488 University, Amexon, Core Architects, TorontoLooking northwest to 488 University, image by UT Forum contributor ramr

At street level, work continues on the new atrium that will extend the property's frontage closer to University Avenue. It will include a new weatherproof entrance to St. Patrick subway station—and is the reason the old entrance is currently closed. At the time of our last update at the end of May, the installation of glazing had just wrapped up for the three-storey atrium. Since then, mullion caps have been added to the mix, giving it a much cleaner appearance.

Residences of 488 University, Amexon, Core Architects, TorontoGlass-enclosed volume fronting University Avenue, image by Jack Landau

Additional information and many renderings of the development 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 in the space provided at the bottom of this page.

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