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Bergeron Centre at York University

Modern building envelope design invariably gives a flavour of the activities taking place within. At the Bergeron Centre on the York University campus, the School of Engineering is rolling out an innovative new curriculum; one which encourages multi-disciplinary learning, experimentation, and entrepreneurship. The multi-faceted curriculum inspired the unique architectural design of both interior and exterior elements.

The upper portion of the façade is meant to evoke the appearance and properties of a cloud, to convey a feeling of limitless creativity. Indeed, referred to as “the cloud” during design and installation, the moniker has stuck with faculty and students. The building is now an awe-inspiring sight on the York University campus.

The engineering faculty and students would have been suitably awestruck by the design and installation of the exterior envelope.

With 10,000 triangular metal panels and windows arranged in a mathematically-derived pattern that never repeats, precise measurements were paramount.

Flynn used 3D modeling and 3D digital printing to prove fit and function of a custom adaptation of our Flynn Accumet aluminum composite panel and Flynn TB-50 glazing system.

Bergeron Centre rendering

Flynn’s 3D digital model, developed with extensive laser scanning of the structure and its structural steel studwork, was overlaid onto the BIM model of the overall structure. Glass and framing dimensions were taken from the model, enabling early procurement of both. Laser scanning was also utilized to set out the adjustable sub-girt carrier for the panels and glazing pods to very tight tolerances.

For the shaped and tessellated glazing, Flynn worked with its sister company Heavy Industries to develop welded aluminum window pods which were custom fabricated for each individual opening. Each pod consisted of laser-cut, tapered aluminum plate mullions. These were welded to perimeter plate framing to accommodate the angles and facets of the glass, and to carry the custom aluminum system. Double-glazed vision units with a triangular frit pattern were attached using our TB-50 toggle clamping system.

A key goal for the project was, naturally, having the building open in time for the academic year. To this end, Flynn proposed assembling the panels in clusters off-site, and then lifting them into place. Anywhere from two to 16 triangles comprised each cluster which, once installed, sealed the building and allowed the general contractor and trades to complete work on the interior.

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