MAA Condominiums & Penthouses

Clients: Devimco Immobilier and Fonds immobilier de solidarité FTQ
Architecture: LEMAYMICHAUD
Construction site photos and video credit: Damien Ligiardi

The new MAA Condominiums and Penthouses tower offers 35 floors of high-end residences above the eponymous sports club founded in 1881. With a height of 120 m (400 ft) above ground, the tower has three levels of parking lots built under the centenary facades of the north and south wings to remain in place along Peel Street. The north facade overlooking the alley should also be preserved for its heterogeneous character testifying to its history. The three floors of underground parking spaces extend beneath the existing facade setback from Peel Street so as to make use of 100% of the site, up to the lot line. The building to the South is also underpinned to allow the construction of the three new underground floors.

The temporary support of the preserved facades is carried out using a hybrid solution of exterior rigid and braced frames made of steel. This structural approach allows adaptable configurations while minimizing costs. Encroaching on the public domain, the design of the temporary support takes into account particular constraints such as the presence of a multitude of electrical conduits, sewers and aqueducts, the maintenance of pedestrian access to Peel street and the maintenance of vehicular access to the alley, as well as to the construction site.

Since the new Sports Club floors do not exactly match the original building levels, discrete lateral supports have been integrated into the existing façade so as not to alter its restraint conditions. Despite the mixed program of the building requiring the use of different column spans between the residential and sports portion, the structure has only six transfer beams: the remainder of the span transitions was obtained via a column translation approach, which is much more economical than transfer beams and does not affect the clear height of each level.


  • The building includes several programs stacked atop of each other (including parking lots, a sports club and condos), each of them requiring a different column grid.
    In the sports club section, the structure must accommodate an indoor swimming pool of approximately 25 m (82 ft) in length.
  • The structure must also be able to support prefabricated concrete and granite panels. Note that the majority of these panels are located at the extremity of cantilevered slabs.
  • In addition, the project includes a floor of townhouses located at mid-height of the entire building and a floor of penthouses at the very top. Each of these floors has a double height with slender columns.
  • The greatest challenge has been the preservation of the existing masonry facades, including a portion of masonry walls within the existing building to be conserved, at the request of the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications.


  • In order to manage the different structural grids between uses, translations of columns have been made. For example, for a full row of columns, a translation of about 3.8 m (12 ft. 6 in.) over four levels in two steps was performed, avoiding the need for transfer beams.
  • In order to reduce the thickness of the bracing walls to minimize their impact on the floor layouts, the two central cores are linked by coupling beams.
  • Then, hangers and slab transfers were used in the townhouse and penthouse floors to accommodate the architectural concept.
  • Finally, the conservation of the masonry walls of the existing MAA club building required the special intervention of all stakeholders. A temporary facade support system outside the building was developed and a system of steel beams on piles was designed to temporarily support the existing interior masonry wall. In order to minimize disturbance to the masonry wall, the temporary interior supports are joined to the exterior support structure through existing windows. The connections of the support frames are detailed to allow complete adjustability on site to overcome the installation tolerance, as well as the variable conditions of the facade. Finally, a 900 mm (36 in) thick slab was required to support this wall.


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