Chicago and Toronto have much in common in terms of building construction history, topography, and environmental conditions. The buildings and their architecture creates the image of these major metropolitan cities. Furthermore, the façade of the buildings, is what complements the shape/form and reflects an image, bringing identity individuality to the building. Such characteristic if not kept in shape, can result not only in public safety risk, but taint the importance and reduce the value of an asset. When designed in the mid 20th century, design, durability, construction, and performance based on economic drivers had a given meaning. Now over a half a century later, expectations and drivers have changed, for better or worse, and we must continue to maintain and preserve the existing assets, while building new ones for the future generations.
The proposed presentation will focus on case study façade retrofit of iconic buildings by Edward Durrell Stone, Mies van der Rohe, and other famous architects in the subject cities to extend their service lives for another 50 years, while reviewing façade design and construction of new tall buildings (commercial and residential), projecting on their potential performance into the future.
Design and construction with the best available information should consider the future in mind. Iconic buildings now turning 50 years old or more appear to have done so. Some of the new tall residential towers however appear to be more driven by aesthetics and financial metrics rather than durability and performance.