This adaptive reuse project transformed a heritage industrial building along the railway into stunning modern offices in downtown Kitchener. The first challenge for Martin Simmons Sweers on this project was to peel back the layers of poorly conceived 20th century additions to get to the core essence of the beautiful brick and beam building. The result was an unusual E-shaped structure with narrow floor plates that allowed amazing day lighting, including from massive clerestory windows. In between each section, courtyards were created to allow for places to eat, play, and meet.
Another challenge was to thoughtfully add contemporary requirements, such as structural supports, elevators, and a clear central entrance way to attract visitors. These modern, ‘light touches’ complement the original design, rather than competing.