Touted as one of the largest indoor parks in North America, the Devonian Gardens’ renovation has made this urban oasis a more contemporary space.
As with any project, proper assessment, planning and coordination are the keys to success. We put these skills to work to overcome two unique challenges faced on this project.
Since the majority of the handrails and toe rails throughout the space did not have a constant radius, the fabrication process had to be adapted to meet the realities of the space. With a great deal of coordination between the site and our drafting department, each rail was made in full-scale templates, which were taken to site to confirm fit and post-mount locations. This challenge was compounded with multiple radiuses and multiple floor slopes all happening on a single rail. All this information collected was then plotted to determine the best location(s) to break the rail so each section could be bent to a single radius then finished on site to match the as-built dimensions.
Crucial in a garden setting, the waterproof environment necessitated additional steps in our fabrication/installation process and extra co-ordination on site with other trades. Our usual process of fabricating rails in our shop followed by installation on site had to be modified. For this project, pins and posts for hand and toe rails were first installed on the site using our full-scale templates. The compounded challenge at this stage was that finished posts were being mounted to rough slab, with a continuous sloping finish grade yet to be determined. This required every post to be surveyed on location and given a custom height. These areas would then be waterproofed and tiled to the predetermined grade by other trade partners. We would then return to build the top rail or toe rail on site based on the location of the pins and posts. Of course, this entire process was made all the more difficult in that very few of the rails were straight or with a single radius.
The effort of all involved is truly worthwhile when observing the delight of the visitors experiencing the gardens.