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One King West

When One King West opens this summer, the dramatic 51-storey structure rising to 176 m (578 ft) above street level will represent the first significant new hotel in downtown Toronto in over a decade, as well as being the city's first real condo hotel.

The key people behind $80 million One King West project are condo developer Harry Stinson, theatre impresario David Mirvish, and Peter Kofman, founder of the real estate development company Projectcore Inc. The project was designed by Darling and Downey Architects.

There have been few examples of buildings that contain both a residential and a hotel component. One King West contains 362 apartment units, mostly bachelor suites, with 2.9 to 3.7 m (9.5 to l2 ft) ceilings. The project is the first truly mixed use development that functions in the style of a five-star hotel, yet all the suites are individually owned and under the direct control of individual owners. Some suites are owner-occupied residences, others are second or third homes, and many are strictly investment properties.

The 51-storey tower rises up through and above the Dominion Bank building, and is the most slender building in the world and the tallest residential building in Canada. The historic 1912 Dominion Bank head office portion of the development site is a designated heritage building and had to stay intact. The block-long banking hall with its 9 m (30 ft) ceiling, marble arches and cathedral windows will operate as a theatre and be leased for special events. Precautions were taken during the early demolition to ensure that historic finishes in the great hall were not punctured or damaged. Before any demolition could start, approximately 50 percent of the steel bracing required to support the bank's new loading requirements and modern-day seismic standards were put into place.

A unique structural feature is the concrete base for a 465 sq. meter (5,000 sq. ft) roof-top mass damper that reacts to sudden bursts of wind and minimizes perceived building sway. The swimming-pool style damper is comprised of 10 compartments of water that are designed to move in the opposite direction the building is moving.

Architectural Precast Concrete Wall Panels
Stanford Downey, Principal, Stanford Downey Architects, Inc. commented, "We felt that the marriage between an old building and a modern structure would be best achieved by using a material that was sympathetic to the historical structure, but interpretive on the new building. RES Precast was able to develop a mix for the precast curtain wall that is almost indistinguishable from the existing terra-cotta cladding on the old structure. By carefully modulating the surface of the precast, we have been successful in creating a rich surface that respects the spirit of the cladding of the old building without being a copy."

A specially manufactured Comedil CTL250A freestanding tower crane was imported from Italy and installed by Resform Construction for constructing the 51 storey tower. This crane allowed larger precast panels of up to 5.9 tonnes (13,000 lbs) to be installed all the way up the tower. Panels were designed to span between vertical columns and walls rather than loading the floor slab. The larger panels minimized the number of panel joints and speeded up the panel erection so following trades could work out of the weather.

There are 1071 precast panels covering 8,640 sq. m (93,000 sq. ft) installed on the One King West tower. The exterior face of the panels was cast using a custom designed facing mix to suit the architect's specifications. Panels were sandblasted at the precast plant to expose the sand, cement and fine aggregates.

Panels were sealed at the jobsite using two-stage rain screen joints: panel joints were tightly caulked on the inside to form the air barrier and caulked and vented on the outside. Mineral fibre insulation was installed against the interior of the precast panels and around the windows. A vapour barrier was placed under the interior finishes on the warm side of the wall.

Construction Manager: EIIisDon Corp.
Architect: Stanford Downey Architects, Inc
Structural Engineer: Yolles Partnership Inc.
Project Manager: Projectcore Inc.
Precast Concrete: RES Precast

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