The TELUS Garden project involved a complete restoration of an entire city block to be transformed into TELUS national headquarters, incorporating a LEED Platinum 22-storey signature office tower and a 46-storey, 450 unit residential tower built to LEED Gold standards, adding significant residential, retail, and commercial space on the lower end of the Robson Street, while leaving the historic Kingston Hotel untouched, tucked between the office and residential towers. The new headquarters features 10,000 square feet of green roof space providing organic produce for local restaurants, two elevated rooftop forests, British Columbia artwork, and media walls where cultural events are broadcast to the public.
A prominent feature of TELUS Garden is the large four storey square extrusion that pierces through the building from the fourth level to the eighth and extends out over part of Richards Street on one side, and Seymour Street on the other. The “office bar” is comprised of composite steel beams supporting a long span steel deck with exposed soffits. The beams are supported on an exposed exterior structural steel frame with diagonal braces, forming a mega truss to allow for the cantilever boxes to protrude at the east and west elevations. The mega truss is supported on a discrete cantilever beams at level four which are hidden within the floor assembly to give the impression that the bar is floating.
A complexity that Glotman•Simpson faced on this project involved designing TELUS Garden’s aesthetic centre piece, the 220’ arched canopy along the entire length of one side of the building. The complex geometry of the cantilevered, asymmetrical glulam ribs which project from the canopy’s steel spine and anchor only at either end required various design iterations and analysis checks. Multiple software platforms were used to better predict the static and dynamic behaviours of the canopy structure under various loading conditions. The engineering behind this achievement was extremely complex and installation required close collaboration. The canopy has become the centre piece of this city block sized development.
As a key consideration of the building was the integration of indoor and outdoor space with over 10,000 square feet of outdoor space on six different levels, including two elevated roof top forests and courtyard on the 24th floor. In order to maximize the useable space on the roof top terrace, our team designed the support framing for the window washing equipment and extended curtain wall façade without knee braces which reduced the amount of material used and made the area more aesthetically pleasing.
Glotman•Simpson applied extensive experience and knowledge to this project to provide Westbank Projects Corp. with innovative solutions to enable their vision for TELUS Garden. We applied structural intricacies that provisioned for future development within the building and collaborated closely with other consulting firms to ensure the successful installation of energy efficient technologies. We worked with the entire design team to ensure that the development was visibly sustainable through the display of its solar panel arrangement and terrace gardens, making the building itself a message of TELUS’ commitment to a better work environment and to a better world.