Rising from the southwest corner of King Street and Blue Jays Way in Toronto's Entertainment District, a new condominium tower from developer Great Gulf is growing an atypical structural element in its podium. The 42-storey, Quadrangle-designed 357 King West condominium tower has been under construction since late 2018, and just over two years later, the building is preparing to break into the local skyline.
We last checked in on the project site in July when the building's third level was being worked on. At that time, the standout Y-form column had just begun to take shape. It's job is to transfer structural loads from above elegantly through the building's three-floor-high outdoor amenity area. In the months since, two more levels have been formed, extending the Y support up to the fifth floor. Starting with the sixth floor, the columns will go vertical. Rebar protruding from the tops of the Y's branches show where they will connect with the sixth-floor slab and the vertical columns above. Rebar protruding from the column below, when tied in with the rebar from the extension above, carries the strength of the columns from one floor to the next.
Only a few floors have been poured here in the last few months, the result of a few factors. One is that podium floors have unique layouts and have to have special forms build for each. Another is that Entertainment District building sites are amongst the most constrained in the city, and with social distancing guidelines in place, the workarounds have proven to create some slowdowns in tight spots. One workaround that can be seen in the photos above and below that's not related to Covid is the cantilevered staging platform that has been constructed at the second floor over the covered sidewalk along Blue Jays Way. It's there to support the storage of formwork and materials after delivery, and before they are in use on the floors above.
The upcoming sixth floor marks the first purely residential level, the first in a series of repeating or structurally similar layouts that can be built using the same forms, floor after floor. Along with increased crane clearance over surrounding rooftops and tower podiums, the tower's rise will be able to dramatically increase in speed over the coming months.
The Y column emerging over King Street will add signature visual interest to the building's base, while providing the support required to create the outdoor amenity space.
Additional information and images can be found in our Database file for the project, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or leave a comment below.
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