Ryerson University's Image Centre
Toronto, Canada

When designing the renovation and expansion of Toronto’s Ryerson University’s Image Centre, Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects, Inc. wanted to reflect the “vitality and artistry” of the building’s users. Located in the heart of the university’s city campus, the updated building includes a fully staffed professional research center and three public gallery spaces as well as exhibit space in the Great Hall, Entrance Colonnade and Student Gallery. The predominantly glass-clad building offers occupants increased daylight and creates a transparency that engages the surrounding campus with the art and the Centre’s programs. Kawneer’s 1600 SS™ (Screw Spline) Curtain Wall and 360 Insulclad® Thermal Entrances were used throughout the three-story building to not only provide superior aesthetics, but also offer accessibility and enhanced performance. 

Offering the most comprehensive solutions that would meet the design needs of the architect, Ontario-based Stouffville Glass Inc. joined the project as the glazing contractor. “We were able to prefabricate as much as possible in the shop, which was helpful when it came to installing and reinforcing the product on site. The project had a great deal of glass and several custom features that required extra reinforcement and engineering, but ultimately we were able to provide solutions that met the architects’ needs,” said Angelo Cairo, President at Stouffville Glass.

Framing the corner of the building at the north and west elevations are custom extruded features with immense 21" (535 mm) perimeter caps – a unique and challenging feature – along with vertical glass fins that were anchored through the vertical aluminum mullion, which concealed a continuous hollow structural steel (HSS) member, also located at the north and west elevations. The curtain wall covers approximately 90 percent of the north and east portions of the building and 50 percent of the west elevation. Kawneer’s 1600 SS™ Curtain Wall offers a high-performance screw spline solution that could be assembled in a controlled environment, which helped reduce installation time and effort in the field. Narrow sightlines and the curtain wall’s concealed fastener joinery created the desired smooth, monolithic appearance. Kawneer's 360 Insulclad® Entrances were selected since they are designed to deliver thermal efficiency and are ideal for heavy-traffic applications.

The curtain wall assemblies used thermo glass, supplied by Viracon, with a gradient ceramic frit dot pattern and a post-applied low E coating. The remainder of the building was clad in glass imported from Israel that features a tempered laminated ultra clear glass with ceramic frit dots and translucent interlayer. A heavy mullion and point supported glass system, supplied by SADEV® Architectural Glass Systems and imported from France, encapsulates the brick façade. PCL served as the project’s general contractor.

The Image Centre, which took nearly two years to complete, held its grand opening in the fall of 2012. It houses the prestigious Black Star Collection: approximately 292.000 photographs from the New York–based Black Star photo agency dating from 1910–1992. 

Diamond Schmitt Architects, Inc.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Glazing Contractor:
Stouffville Glass Inc.
Stouffville, Ontario, Canada

Kawneer Products:
1600 SS™ (Screw Spline) Curtain Wall
360 Insulclad® Thermal Entrances


Square 54
Washington, D.C.article1b-march2013

Located off Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., the Square 54 (also known as 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue and The Residences on the Avenue) mixed-use development was planned to “create a dynamic urban ‘town center’ with retail, residential and office uses” that serve the George Washington University (GW) campus as well as the community and district. Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects and Hickok Cole Architects, Inc., the 850,000-square-foot development is comprised of two buildings clad in glass with a curved grand lobby and three-story atrium. The idea was to bring the curves of Washington Circle into the lobby and the property’s courtyard. 

Traco’s TR-7900 – 3-1/4" Fixed Window, TR-6800 – 3-1/4" Horizontal Sliding Window and NX-8900 Terrace Doors were all specified in the early stages of the project. “During the preliminary design development, we worked with both Hickok Cole, a long-time Traco specifier, and Pelli to determine what products may fit their needs. We have also worked with GW many times, so ultimately we were able to provide an approved product that the university was comfortable with,” said Steven Ferrero, National Sales Manager, Windows, for Kawneer and Traco.

Frederick, Maryland-based Engineered Construction Products, Ltd. was selected as the project’s glazing contractor and window installer and immediately went to work designing a custom receptor for the project. This system was specially designed to accommodate the inner story slab movement / deflection. 

“The windows were slab to slab with slab covers being installed from the exterior in order to cover the floor slab,” said Mike Hoffman, Vice President, Engineered Construction Products. “The receptor was a major part of the project and posed a challenge as we were also up against a very tight timeframe. Traco helped with the engineering of the system and also created custom jigs for the receptor so the three-piece mullions would fit properly.”

Engineered Construction Products also did a large part of the receptor fabrication on site to help meet the stringent timeframe.

With a strong reputation for performance and reliability, the Traco products met the owners’ and architects’ project needs.

Both windows offer standard 1" insulating glass and thermal performance to help increase the building’s energy efficiency. The NX-8900 Terrace Doors also offer thermal performance and are available with an impact resistant version for increased protection.

“The completed building looks wonderful and is a nice addition to the city. It’s always nice to see the finished product,” said Hoffman. “And knowing we were able to complete it within a reasonable timeframe is also very rewarding.”

Since its completion, Square 54 has received the ABC of Metro Washington Excellence in Construction Award – Mixed-Project, and also has been recognized by Engineering News-Record as the Best Retail/Mixed Use Project in its 2011 “Best Of” regional awards program.

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
New York, New York, USA

Hickok Cole Architects, Inc.
Washington, D.C., USA 

Glazing Contractor/Window Installer:
Engineered Construction Products, Ltd.
Frederick, Maryland, USA 

Traco Products:
TR-7900 – 3-1/4" Fixed Window
TR-6800 – 3-1/4" Horizontal Sliding Window
NX-8900 Terrace Doors