Curved and Tapered Zinc Panels Highlight Canadian Subway Entrance Pavilion

The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Subway Station is one of six new subway facilities near Toronto. Photos: Rheinzink

The new Vaughan Metropolitan Centre Subway Stationis truly an artistic jewel on Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Spadina Subway Extension. One of six new facilities on the route, the station offers intermodal transit services and rapid subway connection to downtown Toronto.

The curvilinear design of the main entrance pavilion creates a futuristic appearance for the structure. The design offers a column-free interior environment with high ceilings and bright open spaces that allow daylight to penetrate deeply into the station.

Highlighting the exterior design is a standing seam roof that brings the structure to life. Approximately 12,000 square feet of Rheinzink Classic bright rolledpanels clad the curved roof of the impressive building. The roof offers high solar reflectance and combines with significant sustainable initiatives throughout the project. The station exceeds Canada’s National Energy Code requirements for energy performance by 40 percent and meets sustainability standards comparable to those required for LEED Silver certification.

Approximately 12,000 square feet of zinc panels clad the curved roof of the station, which exceeds Canada’s National Energy Code requirements for energy performance by 40 percent. Photos: Rheinzink

More than 1,000 uniquely tapered panels were fabricated by Rheinzink distributor Agway Metals Inc. at its facility in Exeter, Ontario. “No two panels are alike,” says Paul MacGregor, estimator. “Each panel had an individual taper and length. We fabricated the panels using our CNC turret, which was key to achieving the exact taper for each panel right down to the millimeter.”

Providing precise panel specifications to Agway Metals was the installer, Bothwell-Accurate, of Mississauga, Ontario. It was a demanding process, according to Trevor McGrath, Bothwell’s estimating manager for cladding. “We used a 3-D scanner on the roof structure and then utilized Radius TrackCorporation to design the curved framing system that went on top of the roof structure,” McGrath notes. “The Rheinzink panels were thenapplied on that. Radius Track confirmed the skin model of the 3-D structure for us and then computer-flattened it so that we could begin doing sheet design and layout. The flattened model gave us critical dimensions regarding panel lengths and widths.”

The panels were curved on site by Bothwell-Accurate using Agway’s Schlebach machine. “We did a sheet stagger at the beginning of the installation with the two panel lengths, which then allowed us to stagger all of the joints which is recommended,” McGrath says.

Bothwell-Accurate has considerable experience in installing zinc.“We’re very familiar with how to form and work with the natural metal,” McGrath states. “The architects wanted an ‘old school’ appearance with hammered seams and the manner in which the flashings and counter-flashings were done. There was a painstaking amount of detailing done around the 46 skylights in the roof. Each one required custom attention. We had productions crews on the job getting the panels down and then finishing crews crafting the detail work.”

The curvilinear design of the main entrance is capped with a standing seam roof comprised of zinc panels from Rheinzink. Photos: Rheinzink

Design for the station was a collaboration of Grimshaw Architectsand Adamson Associates Architectsin conjunction with ARUP Canada.

Goals of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre included encouraging greater use of public transportation, facilitating efficient transfers between modes of transportation, as well as creating an interesting aesthetic experience. The domed entrance pavilion integrates a mirrored ceiling art installation by Paul Raff Studio designed tocapture the drama of moving passengers and changing light conditions.

Juan Porral, partner at Grimshaw Architects, summed it up this way: “We are always looking for opportunity to create high-quality places with real character. By elevating a functional building to something artful and full of life that people will remember and enjoy, we can have a greater impact on urban space and user experience.”

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