Merging sleek architecture and vibrant art is the newly completed 81 Bay Street building. Consisting of not one, but twelve massive custom illuminated art walls (six main lobbies at 37’ in height, and 6 sky lobbies at half size), GPI’s expertise in fine engineering and precise coordination of surface and lighting was necessary to bring Artist Steve Driscoll’s expressive and colorful works to life in backlit glass art panels.

Global Design & Architecture Design Awards 2022
First Award | Interior Design Elements (Built)

Project Name: 81 Bay Street
Project Category:
Studio Name: GPI Design
Design Team: Architects: WilkinsonEyre and Adamson Associates, Contractor: Ellis Don, Artist: Steve Driscoll, Developers: Hines and Ivanhoé Cambridge Sub-contractor + Turnkey Development: GPI Design
Area: Main lobby and sky lobby
Year: 2021
Location: Toronto, ON
Consultants:
Photography Credits: Steve Driscoll Studios

81 Bay Street By GPI Design - Sheet1
©Steve Driscoll Studios

The mock up at GPI proved essential in determining several key things, including the optimal glass “recipe “to compliment the artwork, and the proper lighting color temperature to accurately enhance – without shifting – the hue of the original works. With intense color variations and amorphous forms spanning multiple stories, these art walls make for an intense experience in color, light, and scale.

GPI custom engineered a structural system to house the lighting and 84 different glass panels for this project and delivered a full turnkey development to make the project what is today. GPI is honored to work among the many people involved in this project and would like to thank each and everyone of them for putting their trust in us to deliver a full turnkey solution.

81 Bay Street By GPI Design - Sheet2
©Steve Driscoll Studios

The installation method of this project was modified and altered on site and determined last minute due to the many challenges that presented themselves along the way. To install 250lb (113kg) panels one by one they had to be hoisted and carefully and safely placed onto the structure, with cm of space left for error.

The access and method intended for the glass install was changed on site last minute. Two Genie GS-4047 scissor lifts were put side by side in the bay. GPI modified them to accept the glass panels in the front and lifted each piece (along with their crew) in tandem. It ended up being the most reliable, safe, and predictable way to do it, but also came with little room for error and extreeme attention to detail.

81 Bay Street By GPI Design - Sheet3
©Steve Driscoll Studios

The mock up at GPI proved essential in determining several key things, including the optimal glass “recipe “to compliment the artwork, and the proper lighting color temperature to accurately enhance – without shifting – the hue of the original works. With intense color variations and amorphous forms spanning multiple stories, these art walls make for an intense experience in color, light, and scale. Color temperature was heavily discussed in the mock up phase, choosing the correct color temperature to appropriately enhance the artwork without shifting the intended hues was key on this job.

Overall, these colossal art pieces truly make a statement as you walk into the building at CIBC SQUARE. GPI was honored to be selected to be part of this journey and proud of the finished product as a piece of art!

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