The idea of using a shop window to entice potential buyers has been around for hundreds of years, but not often has it been used on the scale of the newly refurbished Yonge Eglinton Centre located near Midtown in Toronto, Canada.
Dominating a landmark intersection is a four-storey structurally glazed cube, creating a stunning atrium space to welcome visitors to the retail complex.
The cube, which sits at the foot of a 40-storey skyscraper, projects above the roof of the centre, providing access to a rooftop patio which will offer an outdoor living and dining space for warmer months of the year. This patio is surrounded by glass walls to provide a safety barrier for visitors without interrupting the impressive views of the city.
At ground level, a glass canopy projects over the entrance doors, supported by a custom designed stainless steel rod structure. To visitors walking in and out of the development, this gives the impression of an almost free-floating glass ceiling.
A second canopy has been installed above the exit to the roof patio, this time featuring vertical glazed fins to achieve almost complete transparency.
The towering atrium walls are constructed from individual sections made up of six four metre double-glazed units. Pilkington Optiwhite™ true low-iron glass was used, and the inside of the outer pane in each features a high performance low-e coating to deliver better thermal insulation by reducing outward radiation of heat.
An argon-filled cavity in the units further increases the thermal insulating properties of the glass, which will help reduce the amount of heating required during Toronto’s cold winters.
The units used for the roof of the cube are also extra-clear low-iron glass with a low-e coating and argon cavity, but feature a laminated inner pane to provide greater structural integrity and security to remain in place in the event of any breakage.
The units that make up the cube are supported by a steel beam structure to which they are point-fixed with Pilkington Planar™ 905 low-profile stainless steel fittings. Additional strength is provided by full-height vertical laminated glass fins.
Phil Savage, commercial contracts sales manager at Pilkington, said: “I think it’s fair to say that Pilkington Planar™ has allowed the architect and wider team to create the defining feature of this project, the large cube made of high-span extra-clear glass units.
“The clean lines and uninterrupted glass surface that the product makes possible gives the building an ultra-modern aesthetic that sends a clear message to visitors that this is a cutting-edge shopping destination. We’re very proud of the system and it’s a real pleasure to see it being used to its full potential in this project.”
Howard Haber, managing partner at glazing system supplier W&W Glass LLC, added: “This is a shining example of the potential Pilkington Planar™ has for transforming otherwise pedestrian locations into part of a neighbourhood revival. The daylight allowed into the building through the energy efficient Pilkington Planar™ facade is a natural conduit to the new retail, restaurant and public spaces and invites one to enter and explore.
“The goal with this project was to create a sense of destination and open space for visitors to the centre, and the towering, virtually uninterrupted wall of glass that we, along with our partners at Tagg Industries, built achieves this in a spectacular way.”
The $100m refurbishment of the Yonge Eglinton Centre has created an almost 95,000 sq m mixed-use development, including a high-profile retail and dining destination, that will be home to up to 70 retail and hospitality brands.
Project: RioCan Yonge Eglinton Centre Complex
Client: RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust
Architect: Page+Steele/IBI Group Architects
Main contractor: PCL Construction
Building envelope subcontractor: TAGG Industries
Glazing system supplier: W&W Glass, LLC