Commercial & Corporate Projects
Our expertise in the structural design of commercial & corporate has been rewarded by repeat business from our clients. Our portfolio includes Scotia Plaza, Toronto; Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto; Simcoe Place, Toronto and CBC Broadcasting Centre, Toronto.
Additional Commercial & Corporate Projects:
- Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto
The Royal Bank Plaza houses the International Headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada in two triangular office towers, 41 and 26 storeys high. It has the ability to bend, refract, reflect and play with light in a way that other buildings aren’t prepared to because its exterior is covered in gold leaf.
The Royal Bank Plaza houses the International Headquarters of the Royal Bank of Canada in two triangular office towers, 41 and 26 storeys high. It has the ability to bend, refract, reflect, and play with light in a way that other buildings aren’t prepared to because its exterior is covered in gold leaf.
The building has 14,000 windows and because of that, incredibly high heating and cooling bills. Having 2,500 ounces of 24-carat gold baked into the glass helps insulate the building and makes up for the installation cost though the bank got the original gold for less than CAN$100 an ounce. No-one has ever stolen one of the windows even though each contains about CAN$70 worth of gold. That is because the process that puts the gold into the glass makes it worthless at the same time. It is not possible to separate one material from the other.
The towers, clad in gold reflective glass, are linked up to the twelfth floor by a 40m floor high glass enclosed atrium above a trading floor for 400 traders. These three elements merge at the lower levels to provide spacious public banking facilities and pedestrian access to the 209,000m² development. At ground level, the main banking hall opens up to below grade retail, with direct access to the Toronto transit system. Below this are three levels of parking.
The Award-winning Royal Bank Plaza, featuring the introduction of 8000 psi fly (55 MPa) ash concrete in Canada, and plays a major role in the burgeoning world-class skyline of the City of Toronto. Likened to an urban sculpture, the two golden towers, 41 and 26 storeys high, are connected by a glass-enclosed atrium rising 12 storeys above the main banking hall. Natural light from the glass banking hall illuminates the interior waterfall and woodland garden court located two storeys below ground in the atrium. Below grade are two levels of shopping malls, with an additional three levels of parking beneath.Number of Storeys: 41 and 26
Size: 2,250,000 sq. feet
- Royal Bank Plaza – Dominion Securities Trading Floor
During the development of the philosophy of the design of the Royal Bank Plaza, there emerged the concept of a very special space, excitingly different from the open public plaza, but still a “people place”.
Nestled between the diagonal faces of the two triangular towers, the enclosure is completed by frameworks of structural steel tubing whose exposed expression delivers part of the visual stimulus to create the excitement mentioned above.
In order to create a trading floor within the atrium space of the Royal Bank Plaza, Toronto, the 27.5 m x 27.5 m opening on the 2nd floor above the main branch of the bank had to be filled in, as part of a much larger project.
The structure was the key element in creating a 2,000 square metre column-free space. It involved the removal of two internal 27 m long escalators each in one piece, and the infill of the opening and the erection of the enclosing structure. A temporary structure acting as both protection and a construction platform for the elaborate ceiling, was created in the opening above the bank branch. Loading constraints on the existing reinforced concrete structure created a challenge that was overcome. The structure consisted of composite steel work, with metal deck and concrete slab.
The $56M project was completed in 172 days during night and weekend working hours without the general public being aware of construction.
The project received an Ontario Steel Design Award for 1996. The Trading Floor is located in the atrium between the north and south towers of the Royal Bank Plaza.
Award: 1996 – Canadian Institute of Construction – Ontario Steel Design Award
- Simcoe Place, Toronto
This major downtown development, designed for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited, consists of a 30 storey office tower on a 3 storey (plus mezzanine) podium, for a total of 33 storeys. The structural system includes a one-way slab and beam with beams spanning between the central core and exterior.
- Canadian Broadcasting Centre, Toronto
The Canadian Broadcasting Centre building contains comprehensive radio and television facilities with leading edge technology which made it the most advance broadcast centre in the world. Isolation of service cores, foundations and studio space ensure vibration-free facilities.
The CBC Broadcasting Centre in Toronto is visually and technologically one of the most exciting developments in North America. It is a 10 storey, 160,000 m² building with a 12,000 sq. metre floor plate containing comprehensive radio and TV production and broadcast facilities outfitted with leading edge technology, and designed to be the most modern broadcast centre in the world. The foundation system is unique, designed to acoustically isolate the total building from ground borne vibrations. As well, individual studios within the building are isolated from building or services borne vibrations.
The structural frame has a reinforced concrete flat slab with a 9.5 m x 9.5 m grid throughout, except at one section of the building housing radio, TV, newsroom and production studios. In this area prestressed beams were used to achieve 19 m clear spans. The main building structure is separated from the ground by rubber pads.
Designed to provide the utmost in sound and vibration control between exterior sources and the Centre, and between competing demands within the building itself, the structural design through the strategic use of mass, air, expansion joints and isolation pads was able to provide significant spaces with noise criteria levels as low as NC15. External sources such as subway vibrations, helicopters and traffic had to be considered along with internal sources such as scenic construction, loading facilities, mechanical and electrical equipment and adjacent studio productions. Our design for the Glenn Gould Theatre, through the use of an isolated audience chamber, resulted in superb acoustic performance.
Large elevators to transport stage sets between studios were built and isolated from the rest of the building. As far as is known the largest item transported to date has been a full adult elephant for a televised circus act on the upper studio floor.Number of Storeys: 13
Size: 160,000 square metre
- Nortel Offices & Laboratories, St. Laurent, Quebec
Built on approximately 50 acres, the 37,000 square metre Phase I facility compromises two buildings with common atrium entrance way and accommodates almost 1,600 people. The facility houses offices and laboratories in an efficient, high-tech environment on four floors, and is the first of many buildings to be constructed in the campus-style setting. There is parking at grade for approximately 1300 cars.
Given an extremely tight schedule for occupancy in September 1998, Quinn Dressel Associates were appointed in October 1997 and were required to work with the other disciplines and the contractor to fast-track the project. Foundation work commenced in December 1997 and in spite of an ice storm which immobilised Montreal for three weeks in January 1998, the structure was completed in May 1998.
The structure consists of a reinforced concrete flat slabs with columns at 9 m centres. The structure is designed to accommodate the building automation system, and the advanced mechanical, electrical and communication systems.
- Canada Place, Edmonton
A 20 storey, two phase complex developed for Public Works Canada to house federal government offices in Alberta. This award winning design included for a full building height atria to create an interior streets scape within the project. The structure was designed based upon the government’s clear floor space requirements and also had to provide for its particular parking garage criteria.
- Ernst & Young Tower, Calgary
A 23-storey office building, boasting state-of-the-art building systems. The 47,500 m2, building is located in the heart of downtown area. Each 2,000 m2 typical floor plate features 14 corner offices with column free perimeter walls and uninterrupted views of the Bow River. Cladding is an elegant combination of reflective pewter coloured glass and granite. Three levels of below grade structure provide parking for 270 cars.
Challenges included 3½ levels of basement below a five year flood level. The building features a core wall which takes the lateral load and 4.5 m cantilevers at typical floor edge for column-free exterior offices. Quinn Dressel Associates pioneered the use of 85MPa concrete in Calgary by its use in columns to reduce cross sectional area.
Award: 2001 - Award of Excellence for Design & Construction in Concrete Alberta Chapter, American Concrete Institute
- Elf Aquitaine Tower, now known as Tour Total, Paris
Elf Aquitaine Tower, now known as Tour Total was built in the La Defense area in Paris. A combination of silver reflective, double-glazed curtain wall, task oriented lighting and advance thermal storage mechanical systems permit the building to operate with a low level of energy consumption. Included in the Elf Aquitaine complex in the La Défense area of Paris is 125,400m² of office space as well as restaurants, theatres, archives, parking and building service. Multiple cores are located in the cluster of office towers to provide both private and shared offices within 5 m of the outside wall. Two glazed atria were created at the lower four floors to provide additional office space with natural light and views of the courtyard. In keeping with Elf's reputation in the energy field, the building is extremely energy efficient. A combination of silver reflective, double-glazed curtain wall, task oriented lighting, and advanced thermal storage mechanical systems permit the building to operate with a low level of energy consumption. Below grade, a pedestrian concourse connects this $100M development with a sports complex, a major bus terminal and a regional rail transit stop.
Number of Storeys: 48
Size: 125,400 sq. m.
- QIPCO Office Tower, Doha, Qatar
“The Tornado” QIPCO Office Tower’s outer steel structure is decorated by a unique lighting system with LED technology. We provided engineering consultation and design services for the building’s structural frame only. Situated in the heart of Doha's West Bay Central Business District, the 52-storey hyperboloid Tornado Tower offers 58,000 sq m of inspiring executive ambience and a full range of high-end business facilities including a Conference Centre, 27th floor fitness centre, 28th floor sky view restaurant and coffee shop, as well as a retail banking branches and a hi-tech media belt situated on the ground floor. Tornado Tower's outer steel structure is decorated by a unique lighting system with LED Technology. We provided engineering consultation and design services for the building’s structural frame.
Number of Storeys: 52
Size: 58,000 sq. m.
- Pudong Development Bank, Shanghai
An addition to the Financial District of Lujiazui Finance and Trade Zone in the Pudong area, the magnificent 36 storey Shanghai Pudong Development Bank (SPDB) is an illustrious example of the Pudong area’s ‘bridge linking China to the world economy’. The 71,000m² structure, 36 storey building, prioritised use of local material and content in the design decision process relating to structural media and form. The core was constructed of reinforced concrete utilising local labour and the most cost-effective indigenous material. Tight vertical height requirements and the need to maintain as shallow a basement as possible required the use of a flat slab construction method.
This elegant structure features a major banking hall, restaurant facilities, and office lobbies located in the 8-storey podium and includes offices for the Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, office apartments, restaurants at two levels and a conference floor. Three below grade levels accommodate parking for 180 cars.
Number of Storeys: 36
Size: 905,252 sq. ft.
- Petro Canada Headquarters, Calgary
Two linked towers, one thirty storey with a reinforced concrete structure, the other 56 storeys was the tallest structure utilizing a single outrigger stabilizer system. The towers are equipped with a glass-enclosed walkway that allows for shelter, access to buildings and the +15 System in Calgary (similar to The Path in Toronto but above ground).
- China Insurance Building, Shanghai
The 38 storey China Insurance Building presents a dramatic and unique silhouette after exiting the tunnel from Old Shanghai and arriving in Pudong. With a total built area of 62,000m², the 34 office floors sit atop a 4 storey podium which is expressed as a series of cascading forms complete with terraces and skylights. Multi-functional spaces within the lower levels include a conference centre, recreational facilities, retail areas, restaurants and a two storey banking hall. Three levels of below grade area include parking for 260 cars.
The most unique feature are the transfer trusses on the east and west elevations every third floor spanning 21m. The poor foundation material required the use of a 2.4m/1.8m reinforced concrete mat on piles. The foundation walls for the three-level basement are constructed using a slurry wall technique.
Occupying 62,000m² of gross floor area, the 150 metre high building features a unique multi-storey column-free atrium lobby and an interesting blend of cylindrical and orthogonal geometric forms.
The two cylindrical ends of the tower are tied together with storey deep steel trusses expressed externally every 5th floor. To minimise the load imposed on the transfer trusses, a combination of composite steel and reinforced concrete construction is utilised in the tower above grade. To maximise the lateral rigidity of the building, the core is constructed of reinforced concrete.
Number of Storeys: 38
Size: 668,000 sq. ft.
- Shanghai Securities Exchange Building, Shanghai
The Exchange Building occupies 100,000 square meters of floor space in two 26-storey towers. Costing approximately $130 M US it features a 2,800 square meter column-free trading floor at the 5th floor. The externally expressed steel work incorporates a six storey deep truss spanning 63 m clear between the towers.
Built in extremely poor soil conditions with a water table 1 metre below grade, and three levels of underground parking, the substructure consists of an 800 mm thick slurry wall and a 3 metre thick mat foundation on driven concrete piles.
The construction to grade is of reinforced concrete, while composite steel construction was used above grade because of its lightness and structural efficiency, except for the cores of each tower which are built of reinforced concrete.
The many challenges of the bridge floors, the long-span roof trusses over the trading floor as well as the foundation condition constraints made this project very rewarding from a technical viewpoint.
This award-winning structure has formed a bridge of sorts between China and the West. The twin 26-storey towers are joined with a 6-storey, 63m long bridge structure and a 2,800 m2 column-free trading floor at the 5th floor and three parking levels below-grade.
Designed entirely to CAN/CSA –S16.1 Limit States Design, the project specified 11,590 tonnes of structural steel, and was the first building designed and built in Shanghai using both Limit State and Composite Beam and Slab methods.Number of Storeys: 26
Size: 100,000 sq. m.