The Queen Richmond Centre West (QRC-West), developed by Allied Properties REIT, offers a brilliant example of High-performance Workplace and adaptive re-use through its integration of two existing heritage buildings into the construction of a new 17-storey office building. Organized around a large L-shaped atrium, the complex faces both Richmond and Peter Streets in Toronto’s Entertainment District. This 302,000 s.f. project is well-integrated with the surrounding brick industrial fabric while adding a highly sustainable, new state-of-the-art office component which commences at the ninth floor. This innovative, high-performance complex also features a retail complex at grade and access to a new roof terrace. The industrial historic buildings, on the site, were preserved and reused through productive collaboration that resulted in a unique and custom-designed structural solution: the Mega Delta Frame structure. This visually-striking mixed-use development is set to bring new businesses and life to the area.
Client: Allied Properties REIT
Size: 320,000 s.f.
Our Role: Architecture and Interior Design
The Queen Richmond Centre West project grew out of Allied Properties REITs’ goal, to create a truly unique professional office complex at Peter and Richmond Streets in Toronto’s downtown core. The client and the team of consultants considered many scenarios to expand the use of the site, however one bold idea—to construct a new office development hovering above the existing building—seemed to present a win-win situation. This new structure would fund the adaptive reuse of the existing heritage structure and create a soaring, animated public atrium.
Located in the entertainment district, this project integrates two existing heritage buildings with a new High-perfromance Workplace constructed above. The property originally consisted of a 4-storey century-old industrial building wrapped with an L-shaped parking lot.
After a year of research and development, the team found a solution to structurally support the new tower over the top of the existing historic structures. They designed Mega Delta Frames—using three, each is capable of supporting forces of 80,000kN. The legs of the Mega Delta Frames are pressure-filled with concrete which, in composite action with tubular steel sections, contributes to the structural capacity of the frame and further contributes to the relative slenderness of the legs. Each leg is 40-inches in diameter with a steel thickness of 2-inches. The inherent lateral stability of the Mega Delta-Frames provide the majority of the building’s structure, allowing for only a single reinforced concrete stair and elevator core to descend down through the atrium, thus providing full visual exposure.
Building Information Modeling
The Mega Delta Frame and the other steel elements were designed using, the Building Information Modeling tool, Revit. The design model was directly imported into structural design software supported by Finite Elements Method (FEM), where each structural element was checked on strength and deflections.
The BIM platform was also used by steel and cast node fabricators to resolve connection details, address the geometrical challenges for supporting the building envelope, and to allow for the optimization of a node for use at the central junction of the Delta Frames, which:
- didn’t compromise the original architectural design intent;
- could carry the significant load applied by the office building above; and,
- addressed constructability both in the steel contractor’s shop as well as in the field, which came at a cost within the range of that of the solution proposed by the steel contractor, such that the value offered with the improved node could be justified to the building owner.
Targeting LEED® Gold certification, sustainable features of the building may include a cistern for collection and reuse of rainwater, daylight harvesting with solar shading and light shelves, a building technology platform and all glare-free indirect lighting.