Posts tagged with "ZAS Architects + Interiors":

New sweeping “maker-space” library connects historic city to its new civic center

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Once marketed as "The City Above Toronto," the City of Vaughan is considered to be one of the fastest growing suburban cities in the Greater Toronto Area. Their new five-year-old Civic Center campus is situated just outside the historic community of Maple, an agricultural center dating back to the mid-1800's, and it's commuter rail station linking the city to downtown Toronto. The upcoming Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension—projected to open in 2018—along with a planned transit-oriented development that anticipates housing for 25,000 residents and employment for over 11,000 workers promises to establish a new identity for Vaughan. Nestled in between all of this is the City's latest project: the Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library. Designed by Toronto-based ZAS Architects, the building responds to a "library of the future" brief with a sweeping glass and steel "maker-space" dedicated to community learning, gathering, creating, and celebration. Peter Duckworth-Pilkington, Principal at ZAS, says the library functions as a connective building between Vaughan's City Hall, completed in 2011, and the historic town center of Maple. A sweeping roofline, which tapers from a monumental civic scale down to a smaller two-story height, establishes the massing of the library. "We used the metaphor of a tent: the idea that this was a large tent the community could come into and participate in community activities like author readings, maker-spaces for art and music, and other gathering spaces." The facility is also located 2-miles away from Canada's Wonderland, the county's first (and largest) amusement park. Duckworth-Pilkington says this adjacency had an influence on the design. "The curve to the roof forms were inspired metaphorically by the flamboyant curves and edges of Canada's Wonderland's roller coasters." The structural and facade system was specifically designed to provide an engaging and transparent relationship to the city. A "V" configuration of primary steel columns produces a large-scale truss-like system that maintains open ground level with larger spanning members set up higher in the roof plenum. Set outboard of the steel frame is a curtain wall facade that dynamically curves, cants, and tapers. A compositional grid, set at an angle, provides the basis for mullion and panel spacing. The panel sizes of 1500mm (roughly five feet) subdivide by halves and thirds tracking up the facade, helping to organize and visually break up the lengthy elevation.
  • Facade Manufacturer Noram Glass; Alumicor Limited; Ontario Panelization
  • Architects ZAS Architects
  • Facade Installer Noram (ACP & curtain wall glazing); Ontario Panelization (porcelain panels at main entrance)
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Vaughan, Ontario (Canada)
  • Date of Completion 2016
  • System curtain wall
  • Products Alcotop (aluminum composite panel system); Alumicor (glazed aluminum curtain wall); Ontario Panelization (porcelain enamel faced panels)
The shapely box was designed utilizing three sets of software: Grasshopper provided the initial project geometry, a design model was developed in Rhino, and the working drawings were produced in Revit. From here, the model was further developed by the steel company to develop shop drawings. Once the primary steel frame was erected, curtain wall installers used a full 3_D scan of the frame to benchmark their shop drawings off of, to account for any construction tolerances deviating from the initial digital model. About 60% of the facade is composed of glass, which features a custom-designed frit pattern developed in-house by the architects. The pattern transitions from large densely packed squares to a lighter array of dots, achieving a gradient effect that is responsive to viewing angles and solar orientation. "The frit was meant to dissolve the solidity of the metal panel into the transparency of the glass," said Duckworth-Pilkington. The fritting also helps to deter bird strikes, a concern given the building's park-like setting. The canted facade incorporates an extended cap mullion detail that provides additional solar shading and places additional emphasis along one of the primary walkways leading to the main entrance. The facade material changes at the library entrance, which has been formally carved out of the box-like massing of the building. The ceramic panels set in a triangulated patterning create what Duckworth-Pilkington calls an "ice cream bar" effect of a hard chocolate shell on the outside, with an ice cream center. The facility is designed to accommodate Maple's library branch, a mere 8-minute walk away, and is set to officially open on September 10th, in coordination with a new council and new school year. The city has commissioned ZAS to design a new branch library about 10 minutes away from this location with a similar design brief. Designs have been completed on that project, which is currently out for bid.

Tessellated BIM cloud wraps new engineering school

An undulating aluminum panels rainscreen features around 9000 individual triangular panels, with 1000 high performance glass units.

York University is a research-oriented public university in Toronto known for its arts, humanities & business programs. Nestled into the landscape on the edge of campus and overlooking a pond and arboretum, the Bergeron Center for Engineering Excellence is a 169,000 sq. ft., five-story LEED Gold facility housing classrooms, laboratory spaces, offices, and flexible informal learning and social spaces. Designed with the idea of a scaleless, dynamically changing cloud in mind, ZAS Architects + Interiors designed an ovoid-shaped building wrapped in a custom triangulated aluminum composite panel (ACP) cladding with structural silicone glazed (SSG) type windows. Costas Catsaros, Associate at ZAS, says the building will help to establish the emerging school by establishing a dynamic, ever-changing identity. There are two main generators of the Bergeron Centre’s cloud geometry: the building floor plate shape, and various forces manipulating the topology of the cladding surface. The floor plan is designed around 8 curves: a primary curve establishing north, south, east, and west orientations, along with a radius at each corner. Center points of the radii provide reference points for additional sets of geometry and field surveying benchmarks during the construction phase. The resulting ovoid-shaped floor plate, challenged the architects with developing an effective way to wrap the building. They focused on the work of Sir Roger Penrose, a mathematical physicist, mathematician and philosopher of science, whose tessellation patterns inspired an efficient way to generate repetitive patterns using a limited number of shapes. Through an intensive design process, the architects were able to clad 85% of the building using only three triangular shapes, scaled based on industry standard limitations for ACP panel sizes. The other panels were cropped by undulating edge geometry along the soffit and parapet edge curves of the surface. To achieve a dynamic effect, the panels inflect at up to 2” in depth, creating an individualized normal vector per panel. By canting the triangulated panels, subtle variation in color and reflectivity is achieved. Additionally, the architects scattered color-changing dichroic paneling throughout a field of reflective anodized panels, while dark colored panels casually cluster around window openings to blur the perceptual edge between solid and void.  
  • Facade Manufacturer Flynn (building envelope system), Norwex Steel (steel fabricator)
  • Architects ZAS Architects + Interiors
  • Facade Installer Laing O’Rourke (contractor)
  • Facade Consultants Flynn (building envelope), Blackwell (structural engineering)
  • Location Toronto, Canada
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System Curtain wall and custom rainscreen assembly clipped to cast-in-place concrete structure
  • Products Aluminum composite panels with dark gray, light gray, and dichroic finishes; Structural silicone glazed (SSG) windows by APA Systems (Ireland)
The building substrate framing is designed with the complex geometry of the rainscreen system in mind. A modular pre-framed structural unit was developed through a highly coordinated BIM information exchange process which resulted in custom support collar detailing at window openings, a unique two-piece girt system to provide concealed attachment for the ACP panels, and a method to allow for up to 1” of tolerance within the wall assembly through reveal gaps in the cladding. During this process, a design model was passed along from the architects to the structural engineer, who developed a construction model in a 3D CAD Design Software. This model was utilized to generate shop drawings, and shared with the steel fabricator, who shared the model with Flynn, a building envelope consultant, to coordinate the rainscreen panelization with respect to window openings in the building envelope. Catsaros says this was a very successful leverage of BIM technology: "It was a very intense process, but worth it in the end. Laing O’Rourke [general contractor] was able to close in the building a lot faster than if this had been done in a conventional process." Closing in the building early in the construction process was critical on this job, which required an opening date in time for the beginning of the school year in September. This required a peak in construction activity during the middle of winter, which would have presented difficulty on an open job site. The off site production and rapid assembly of the building envelope established a warm dry environment for the installation of sophisticated (and costly) laboratory equipment and building systems, none of which would have been possible with the threat of cold weather and moisture an open building invites.