Agway is Committed to Giving Architects More Creative Freedom

Great architecture is a confluence of form and function in perfect balance. But, without the right creative tools, architects can be severely hamstrung by obstacles that make it exceedingly difficult, expensive – or even impossible – to actually build their vision in the real world. Imagine Rembrandt or Picasso trying to create masterpieces without the proper brushes, paints, or canvas?

For essential architectural cladding products and profiles – steel roofs, gutters, fascia and flashings, etc. – Agway has you covered. But it certainly doesn’t stop there.

At Agway, we also strive to deliver new, specialty steel products and components with unique architectural characteristics – materials that empower architects to expand their creative horizons and bring stunning, avant-garde visions to fruition more easily and affordably, while realizing the desired objectives of form and function. 

Agway products also mean architects can integrate more exotic visual statements into their designs, including: the sensual organics of curved steel panels; the distinctive and very dynamic aesthetics of weathering COR-Ten™ steel cladding panels; the gorgeous, low-maintenance and durability of RHEINZINK; all of which offer the striking visual aesthetics, along with the formidable strength, formability and longevity of steel. 

The 66 Heathdale Road Project

Vince and April Casalis, part owners of a Toronto advertising firm, recently selected Michael Krus and Prishram Jain, of TACT Architecture, to design their new home, overlooking the Cedarvale Park, in Toronto’s west end. 

The Casalis’ new home project originally began when a century house along the ravine was listed for sale. Vince and April entered and won a bidding war and bought the property. “But, once we started renovating the house, we realized it would cost less to start from scratch,” says April. That’s when they brought Krus and Jain on board to design a new house for the new property.

Being in the advertising industry, the Casalis were both very comfortable in encouraging the architects to unleash and totally unbridle their creativity in the process of designing their new home. Having worked with Krus and Jain for years, the Casalis had always loved the unapologetically modern buildings the pair had created, so their choice was easy. 

“We wanted a house that would make a statement,” says Vince, “something people would have to acknowledge.” The couple had originally considered building a new home elsewhere, but April became very attached to the Cedarvale neighbourhood. “I’d take walks on my lunch break through a park close to our business,” she says, and “I felt like I was in a Jane Austen novel.” That idyllic park and ravine now border on the edge of the Casalis’ backyard. 

After hiring Michael and Prishram to design their new home, the Casalis gave them free rein to work with unconventional ideas and materials. Accordingly, the architects created designs for a 4,300 square-foot, geometric, ultra-modern smart-home, featuring AGWAY Metals’ Cor-Ten Steel product as the home’s exterior wall cladding. The rustic appearance of Cor-Ten, along with its unique physical properties, combine to deliver stunning visual effects, with aesthetics that are both organic and dynamic. The architects also selected AGWAY’s HF12F wall cladding profile, in a dark brown finish, to perfectly complement the unique properties of the Cor-Ten panels, as well as the striking design of their exterior wall system. 

The AGWAY Cor-Ten steel facade also, “offer a warmth of their own,” says Krus. “Cor-Ten is very rich and textural; it captures light and changes colour. So it’s not stagnant.” Like many naturally occurring metals, Cor-Ten weathers and develops a patina which changes colour as it ages. The dynamic aesthetics and appearance of Cor-Ten, along with its easy maintenance, help explain why it is gaining in popularity among adventurous home builders.

“These clients asked for a strong aesthetic — something that engaged people,” says Jain. And the Casali home certainly has attracted a lot of attention, since day one. 

“The first time we ordered pizza,” April says, “I opened the door, and the delivery guy looked up [at the patina on the facade] and asked, ‘How are you going to fix that?’ You can’t build a house like this and not expect a reaction,” she concludes.

For more details on 66 Heathdale