The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recognized Sweeny &Co Architects and CAST CONNEX with a 2015 R+D Award Citation for their collaborative industrial design of the 17.5-ton cast steel nodes which support Allied Properties REIT's new 11 story Queen Richmond Centre West above two century-old heritage buildings in Toronto, Canada.
The prestigious R+D Awards celebrate the most innovative building research, materials, and technologies. Entries in the annual competition are judged on their potential or documented innovation in fabrication, assembly, installation, and performance as well as their potential to advance the aesthetic, environmental, social, and technological value of architecture.
The Queen Richmond Centre West offers a brilliant example of adaptive re-use through its integration of two existing heritage buildings into the construction of a new 11-story office building. The new office tower springs from a tabletop that spans above both buildings – 70-feet above street level – and is perched atop three architecturally exposed structural steel delta frames comprised of 40-inch diameter concrete-filled steel pipes and 35,000-pound cast steel nodes. The innovative delta frames create a soaring open air atrium that sets this development apart from any other, with the cast steel nodes causing each of the delta frame’s legs to appear to effortlessly curve while subtly merging with its neighbouring legs at a point 35-feet in the air.
The latest technologies in BIM, 3-dimensional solid modelling, numerical stress analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and casting solidification modelling, in addition to state-of-the-art rapid prototyping, CNC-tooling production, 5-axis machining, and laser scanning technologies were used in the industrial design, engineering, and production of the complex cast nodes.
The R+D Awards jury was made up of architects Marc Fornes of Theverymany, Joyce Hwang, AIA of Ants of the Prairie, and Steven Rainville, AIA of Olson Kundig Architects.