Baldassarra Architects was faced with designing a 716,646 square-foot warehouse located at the GTA East Industrial Park in Ajax, Ontario, just east of Toronto. An ideal location for industrial real estate, Ajax lies within close proximity to Toronto with direct access to a series of highways, including Highway 401, the busiest and widest highway in North America. 

The goal was to design an attractive building that could appeal to a wide range of corporate interests.

“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.

To achieve the aesthetic goals of the building, material availability was crucial. There was an emphasis on using materials that were readily available and could be quickly secured without long lead fabrication times. This made insulated metal panels (IMPs) a clear choice for the building envelope.

Baldassarra Architects used more than 115,000 square feet of Kingspan’s KS Series Shadowline panels and KarrierPanel.

“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,” said Baldassarra.

Additionally, a series of vision and spandrel glazing panels within the IMP system were used to further enhance the building. The opaque glass panels provide natural light to the interior of the warehouse.

The conceptual design caught the interest of the Swedish retailer, H&M. Now the tenant of the building, H&M uses the warehouse to service stores throughout Canada while also facilitating its e-commerce demand. H&M’s Ajax facility has created over 300 new jobs and counting within the area. 

In addition to speed of build benefits, Kingspan’s panels satisfied the building’s high standards for aesthetics.

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 flair.