My favourite building: CN Tower, Toronto

Landmark in Canadian city of Toronto chosen as favoured structure

CN Tower, Toronto
CN Tower, Toronto

Engineer Bethel Teferra chooses a widely-known landmark in the Canadian city of Toronto as her favoured structure.

"One of my inspirational structures has long been the CN Tower, partly because it is a notable structural design achievement of my mentors at NCK-Engineering, where I completed my internship,” explains Teferra, an engineer at WSP.

The CN-Tower is a 553m high concrete media communication and observation tower in Downtown Toronto, Canada.

Completed in 1976, it was named the world's tallest free-standing structure and world's tallest tower of its time; it held both records for 34 years until the completion of Burj Khalifa and Canton Tower in 2010.

Formally, the project's key team members were: NCK-Engineering Structural designers; Foundation Building Construction; and Canron (Eastern Structural Division), John Andrews Architects; Webb, Zerafa, Menkes, Housden Architects.

“The construction challenges overcame of its foundation and free-standing structure made it ground-breaking engineering of the time.

“The excavation process achieved to remove 62,000 tons of earth and shale, whereby the foundation was completed with 7,046m3 of thick concrete, 453.5 metric tonnes steel, and 36.28 metric tones of tensioning cables, resulting in a foundation that reached 6.71m deep in just four months.

“The construction process of the main support pillar is also noteworthy, whereby concrete was poured continuously at about 6m per day by a team of 1,532 people until February 22, 1974, during which time it had already become the tallest structure in Canada.

“After this came construction of CN-Tower's SkyPod, a seven-storey building that houses two observation decks, a 360° revolving restaurant (Horizons), a glass floor and various technical areas. Below is the donut-shaped collar containing broadcast and sensitive microwave equipment.”

Bethel Teferra, Engineer, WSP

Bethel Teferra has been in the UAE for just five months – but already she is working as an engineer on two of the biggest projects in the region. The 24-year-old, who was brought up in Montreal, Canada, is one of the latest intake of talent working at WSP Group.

Among her current projects are the extension to Dubai Mall and the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi. Teferra studied building engineering at Concordia University in her home city.

The course took in planning, design and construction, with a very strong emphasis on sustainability. While studying, Teferra worked on designing projects involving historic buildings from the time of the industrial revolution that are important to Montreal’s heritage. Her task was to keep the historical architectural aspects – yet modify and retro-fi t them for the 21st century.

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