77 Wade will be Canada’s tallest timber office building when it’s completed in 2022. The eight-storey, 14,000 sq m, “code-breaking” structure not only surpasses current height restrictions, it also achieves 78% exposed wood, allowing the future tenants to benefit from the building’s materials.
Located in Junction Triangle, the LEED Gold targeted project is a modern interpretation of turn-of-the-century post and beam lofts beloved by the City’s burgeoning tech sector. The project celebrates wood and natural light, but unlike traditional lofts eliminates beam shadows and cramped floorplates through an innovative flat ceiling system.
Developed in collaboration with the project team’s structural engineer, Blackwell Engineering, and mass timber fabricator, Structure Fusion, the delta-beam hybrid solution combines nail laminated timber (NLT), steel beams, and poured in place concrete to create floors that are up to 50% thinner than other mass timber projects in development. The resulting flat ceilings easily accommodate building systems, and the strength of the hybrid system allows for a desirable 9-metre grid, making the building highly flexible for developer and owner Next Property Group and their future tenants.
Current code has recently upped the number of floors allowed in wood structures to 12 from six storeys, but still requires that wood be covered with drywall for fire protection. BNKC’s solution for 77 Wade surpassed the code requirements and we were able to achieve an unprecedented height and percentage of exposed wood by negotiating with the City’s building department through the Alternative Solutions Process.
The building will be clad in a folded curtain wall to provide a dynamic form at street level and expose the innovative structure within. The form of the main entrance invites users into retail and collaboration spaces with geometric unfolding of the space akin to origami. Above, a wood canopy creates shade for a landscaped outdoor POP that leads to parking, bike storage, and a path connecting Metrolinx’s planned linear park and multi-use trail.
77 Wade demonstrates what’s possible when a team of creative thinkers challenge themselves to think outside the box – or code. This prototypical building provides a replicable and scalable model for future commercial developments that can share in the biophilic and carbon sequestration benefits of wood construction.
Renderings by KLOKWERKS DIGITAL INC., Cicada and Canam