On Friday (7-22-22), Canadian studio Icon Architects released its design for a 31-story tower in Toronto, that if completed would be the tallest mass-timber structure in North America. According to Icon Architects, the building is planned as a residential tower and will use cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the material for the tower’s floors and for some of its walls. Currently, the tallest mass-timber structure in North America is a seven-story structure by Michael Green in Minnesota.
The proposed site for the new structures is downtown Toronto, and it will be located near the University of Toronto. If approved by the city, the structure will be 90 meters tall. However, the structure currently is not in alignment with the building code in Ontario. In early July, a decision to allow 12-story mass-timber buildings to be built in Toronto was passed by the city council.
Icon Architects Principal Reza Eslami said, “We are currently in talks with a number of manufacturers but in any case, they would be Canadian. Nothing in concrete yet, no pun intended!”
Eslami said that the decision to create a mass-timber project came from the clients’ desire to make the structure sustainable, despite the construction method being more expensive than concrete. “Running the cost estimates, the structure that we are after has proved to be more expensive than the conventional concrete structure, but then being the tallest timber tower in Canada and (so far) in the world had its winning charm,” he added.
If completed, the structure will have 230,000 square feet (21,368 square meters) of residential space spread across the public spaces and 494 residential units.
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Icon Architects unveils design for tallest mass-timber building in North America