Several of Toronto's aging 20th-century office towers have been getting facelifts of late: the original exteriors are wearing out, and advances in building envelope systems are offering improved performance and energy efficiency. One such project currently underway is at Oxford Properties Group's Richmond Adelaide Centre, where a pair of office towers are being re-clad in new curtainwall glass exteriors in a project led by WZMH Architects.

130 Adelaide (L) and 120 Adelaide (R), image by Forum contributor Red Mars

The re-skinning is being applied to the 26-storey 120 Adelaide Street West, built in the mid-1960s; and the 35-storey terraced 130 Adelaide West, opened in 1979. The new curtainwall glazing skin features highly reflective silver-tinted glass and glass spandrel panels covering slab edges and structural elements, all framed by capless mullions.

130 Adelaide West, image by Forum contributor Red Mars

The first signs of work on the exterior were spotted in March 2017 in the form of test glazing panels on 130 Adelaide West. By Fall 2017, work was well underway on preparation work for the project, including hoarding of the sidewalks and pedestrian plaza, and the start of removal of the original cladding. Now into early 2019, mirror-finish glazing covers the lower two tiers of 130 Adelaide West, and the lower half of 120 Adelaide West.

130 Adelaide (L) and 120 Adelaide (R), image by Forum contributor Red Mars

Re-skinning projects have proven to be controversial. As many of our modern office towers are considered by many to be too young or nondescript to merit heritage preservation, others believe that property owners should have to submit their new designs for evaluation by the Designers Review Panel. While the re-cladding of First Canadian Place (which most agree was successful) was fully vetted by the City, other projects like the active 401 Bay re-skinning were not and have been accused of stripping the buildings of their established identities.

130 Adelaide (L), 120 Adelaide (C), and EY Tower (R), image courtesy of Oxford Properties

Additional information and images can be found in our database file for this project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment in the field provided at the bottom of this page.

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Related Companies:  Oxford Properties Group, WZMH Architects