When Baldassarra Architects was tasked with designing a 716,646 square-foot warehouse located at the GTA East Industrial Park in Ajax, Ontario, the firm responded with a conceptual design for an attractive building that could appeal to a wide range of corporate
interests, and satisfying high standards for aesthetics. But insulated metal wall panels from Kingspan Insulated Panels proved the perfect cladding
solution for reasons beyond looks alone.
“The motivation was to produce a large-scale, clean, simple look, minimalistic in design, with ‘elastic’ flexibility to be able to accommodate a wide array of potential future tenants,” said Tony Baldassarra of Baldassarra Architects.
The building caught the interest of current tenant, H&M. The Swedish retailer is now using the warehouse to service stores throughout Canada while also facilitating its e-commerce demand. So far, H&M’s Ajax facility has created over 300 new
To elevate the building’s aesthetic, the goal was to de-emphasize the length of the building. This was achieved through the use of insulated metal panels (IMPs).
“IMPs are a versatile and flexible material in the sense that making changes to opening sizes/locations can be done with relative ease – this can make design changes easier in the event that a tenant comes on board and requires modifications
to the existing design,” continued Baldassarra. “This is an important consideration in many of the projects we design.”
Material availability was crucial when it came to achieving aesthetic goals. There was an emphasis on using materials that were readily available and could be quickly secured without long lead fabrication times. This made IMPs a clear choice for the building
“Given the size of the facility, the use of IMPs allowed for an overall quicker erection process during construction and provided superior energy efficiency performance for the building,” added Baldassarra.
Baldassarra Architects used more than 115,000 square feet of Kingspan’s KS Series Shadowline panels and KarrierPanel.
The KS Series Shadowline panels provide a unique aesthetic through a wide range of profiles and can be customized with trimless ends and pre-formed corners to provide a clean, finished appearance. KarrierPanel utilizes Kingspan’ fully engineered
KarrierRail that facilitates the use of a wide range of facade options.
The use of 6-inch Accent Fins helped to break up the elevation, adding overall interest to the building. Kingspan’s Accent Fins are designed to be compatible with the KS Series, fitting perfectly in the joinery between panels to add architectural
Additionally, a series of vision and spandrel glazing panels within an IMP system were used to further enhance the building. The opaque glass panels provide natural light to the interior of the warehouse.