*Project led by Barry Charnish and David Thompson while employed at a previous firm.
Kohn Pedersen Fox, Design Architects; Page + Steele, Executive Architects
Cadillac Fairview, and Graywood Developments
19,000 m² (205,000 ft²) 209.8 m (688 ft tall), 53 storey hotel and residential building with 65,030 m² (700,000 ft²)
Structural Engineering Consultant and Structural Glass Design
2011—Award of Excellence, Canadian Institute of Steel Construction
2010—Green Good Design Award, The Chicago Athenaeum
Located in Toronto’s downtown core, the 53-storey Residences at the Ritz-Carlton and Ritz-Carlton Hotel contain a 20-storey 5-star hotel and 33 storeys of condominium space and related amenities directly above. The tower’s striking, chiseled profile stands out within the Toronto skyline with its south wall gradually sloping out and reaching upward.
Sloped and stepped columns support the widening structure to enable the building to achieve its cantilevered south elevation. The second-floor, column-free ballroom, with space for 650 people, required diagonal steel struts and a poured-in-place concrete floor to strengthen the structure and eliminate vibration.
The transition point between the structural grids of the hotel and condominium components is designed for optimal hotel and residential layout.
Challenge: Simplify construction and reduce the cost of the structural glass bridge that serves as the hotel lobby’s centrepiece.
Solution: Ordinarily, a glass bridge involves a series of connecting glass sections to form a load-bearing balustrade, but the need to save time and reduce construction costs prevented us from using this design option. We sourced a glazing manufacturer in Switzerland that produced a tempered-laminated glass balustrade in one piece, spanning the lobby’s nine-metre width. The resulting bridge is an all-glass structure in its purest form, with the unique look of a floating glass skywalk.