The Bow Hi-Rise
The Bow is a truly iconic building and is inarguably one of the most complex high rises in North America, if not globally, from a structural framing point of view.View Project »
Created 112 modular washrooms with 36 variations in a high-rise commercial tower in Calgary, Alberta. These washrooms were a feat of engineering and design, both accommodating demanding logistics and timelines and accentuating the aesthetics of the building in which they were housed.
Feature Walters was responsible for the design, prefabrication and installation of washrooms; integrating the units with the precise and detailed architectural vision that ran through the entire building.
These washrooms were the hubs of what we called an “intercontinuous material theme.” That means that every line continues forever. Seams in the window glass panes flow into the base-tile grout lines, on to the floor tiles, out from the washrooms down hallways, into elevators and into the lobby.
Because these washrooms were prefabricated in Toronto and shipped to Calgary, this project required much planning before fabrication began. Maintenance access panels had to disappear into the lines of the washrooms. We engineered a patent-pending integration of ceiling lighting, sprinklers and air ducts which allowed us to keep the ceilings at nine feet (rather than the seven and a half feet a conventional design would have necessitated.) We developed innovative joins that allowed seams in glass, tile and steel – all of which give and distort differently – to remain perfectly aligned with one another. While the industry standard is to get such lines accurate within an eighth of an inch, we were working to hairline precision.
We did all of this with prefabricated units. This made the challenge more difficult but it meant we could eliminate on-site time and expense to bring in plumbers, electricians, drywallers and other trades. We estimate we saved 500 person-hours by planning and fabricating in advance.
Walters rarely does the same job twice so the fact that we were building 112 units gave us an opportunity to progressively optimize our processes, getting faster and more efficient as we continued production.