Glass Graphics Designer
CN Tower – Toronto
When stepping out on to the CN Tower’s remodelled Lookout Level, it almost feels as though you are on a ship. Down the long, bright white hallways, doors have circular windows resembling portholes, the staircase is spiraled, and of course, the most stunning, vast, all-accessible view, of Lake Ontario. Quickly, that perception shifts from sea to sky as you hover 1,465 feet high above the city on the new two-tiered, glass floor.
”A high profile project with tight timelines meant we needed to go to a glass fabricator that would do a great job the first time around.Steve MastrofiniRedspire Architectural Glass
A 1,000-lb View
Measuring in at 2’ 3/8” thick and weighing 990lbs, this walkable glass floor has been laminated with 5 layers of glass using Sentry-Glass interlayers. All of the glass was tempered and heat-soak tested; providing greater resistance to thermal, mechanical stresses and achieving specific break patterns for safety glazing applications such as this one. The bottom of the floor (or glass ceiling if standing one deck below) consists of 6ml, tempered, mirropane; providing a convenient 1-way mirror to those looking up at the glass floor.
Subtle Design, BIG Execution
Throughout the lookout, the interior walls consist of over 150 unique, digitally printed, 6 ml, monolithic panels. The panels are digitally printed, then a white backdrop is applied behind a subtle graphic that when viewed closely, transforms into the graceful silhouette of the iconic tower. The graphic is a custom spot colour, mixed at our new, in-house, ink-mixing lab. It was a balance of contrast between the white backdrop and the soft grey lines. The graphic, designed by mackaywong, repeats multiple times around the lookout. Muted in tone, yet bright, clean and crisp in feeling, the paneling offers a classic, timeless decor that marks the path to the main event, the view.
The design’s longevity extends to the endurance of its materials as digital ceramic print provides sustainability with decades of resistance to scratching, UV and weather. The panels are all unique, based on various sizes, with careful CNC work such as holes, cutouts and notches. Since the panels depicted an image, accuracy was the goal with a tolerance of -1/+0 mm.
Timing is Everything
With incredibly tight timelines and over 150 panels to print, we had to take extraordinary measures to complete the job on time. After lively strategy sessions and careful deliberations, proprietary modifications were made to the printer which allowed us to expedite the printing process without sacrificing quality and precision. Each piece was also printed with a unique code to track and manage the fabrication process. Installation was no small feat and coordinated crate arrangements was a must. All glass was packed in sequential order for installation to ease the offloading.