Residences of 488 University Development Intensification Project

The Residences of 488 University development intensification project will transform Global House, the 1968-built tower at 480 University Avenue. Renovations began with the removal of the existing cladding, and a new glass exterior now enhances the grille facade. In addition to renovating the 18-storey office tower, 37 residential floors will be added above the existing tower.

The building has undergone extensive renovations since the beginning of its reconstruction in 2015. The 18-storey structure’s cladding has been stripped and replaced with all glass panels. The narrow mullions resemble the building’s previous concrete facade while also increasing the amount of sunlight that reaches the building’s interior. New steel structures have also been inserted around the building and parking garage below the office tower has been excavated. Throughout the construction process, the interior office spaces remained functional.

The Residences of 488 University pushes Toronto’s structural engineering limits with its exoskeleton structural support system installed by Sigmund Soudack & Associates. The 1968-built tower has been enclosed by the building’s new glazing. A custom jig apparatus was designed by Walters Group to safely remove the precast from the building. The device engages with the curtain wall and then it releases sections of it, which are then slowly lowered down. There are also new horizontal perimeter steel beams along the face of the existing building exterior and cross bracing to attract the lateral load from the additional residential floors. Long span transfer beams will be utilized on the 20th floor, forming a table-like structure. These transfer beams will distribute the load of the new tower directly to the new vertical steel structure that surrounds the building without stressing any of the existing structure.

The final renovations to the office building include a new facade and the addition of a three-storey podium. The total area of office space within the existing building is proposed to be retained as part of the development intensification project. The ground floor of the three storey podium will continue to  accommodate retail and service commercial uses accessible from University Avenue. Upon competition, the building will be 55 storeys high and contain 453 residential units.