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Friday, June 12, 2009

130 Bloor Street, Toronto, Canada

Engineering equivalent to 'open heart surgery' awarded at RAIC awards
Quadrangle Architects Limited has been awarded the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s (RAIC) Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture for work on the nearly completed 130 Bloor St. West project in the heart of downtown Toronto.

Quadrangle was singled out for accomplishing the architectural feat of adding what amounts to an entirely new building onto the top of an existing 1960s office building. The elite 130 Bloor Street West building, owned by KingSett Capital Inc., features a heritage-listed two storey penthouse, 14 new luxury residential suites, nine floors of office space and one floor of prime retail space on an exclusive expanse of Bloor Street West.

“It was like performing open heart surgery while the patient is awake,” said Brian Curtner, founding principal of Quadrangle Architects Limited. “We are honoured that our work on 130 Bloor St. West has been recognized with this prestigious award."

The existing building required significant structural work to update, reinforce and strengthen it so that it could bear the weight of the 1,400 tonnes of steel used in this project. Part of this work involved surgically carving up floors 11 and 12 and then, without substantially disturbing the existing penthouse above, adding seven floors of high-end residences, ensuring minimal noise and vibration would be transmitted to the new suites. The renovations and additions required extensive structural engineering to accommodate the new floors above the existing penthouse, as well as new and upgraded mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. All of this was done while the office and retail tenants below maintained their ongoing operations.

Other projects awarded in the Innovation in Architecture category are: Prince George Airport by McFarlane | Green | Biggar Architecture + Design Inc; Richmond Olympic Oval by Cannon Design; Bluepoint Louver Facade System by Paul Raff Studio; and Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated.

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