Sustainable design excellence through heritage renovation
The desire to demonstrate an integrated practice model led Stantec, a multi-disciplinary practice of architects, interior designers and engineers to search for a new flagship office in downtown Toronto. The key objectives for the new space included the creation of a flexible, high quality workspace that fosters collaboration and innovation in and demonstration of sustainable design excellence.
Recognising the need to support the revitalization of the downtown core, the selected site is located at the corner of Spadina and Wellington Street West, the former manufacturing facility of McGregor Socks. Originally constructed in 1905, the timber post and beam building offered the perfect opportunity to reclaim, transform and recycle a piece of the city’s industrial history.
An incision made through the space, created a two storey volume which connects the two levels via a public zone featuring shared reception, meeting rooms, a library and café spaces. An internal stair connects the space and encourages casual interaction and collaboration among multi-disciplinary professionals.
Careful restoration and renovation of the space using of unconventional green building techniques gives this heritage building an unmistakable new prominence. Low energy under-floor air distribution systems and the reuse of landfill-destined timbers from the buried excavation site are some of the sustainable design features incorporated.
The open studio environment features a low-profile, open and flexible layout that maximizes daylight and views for all occupants. A raised floor system offers underfloor air, power and data distribution, exposing the beautiful wood structure, emphasizing the industrial heritage of the building. Daylight sensors automatically control perimeter lighting and motorized shades to maximise occupant comfort and minimize energy consumption.
The retrofit gives back to the city; economically, environmentally and culturally. Informed by this objective, the original retail entrance to McGregor Socks is reconceived as a contemporary art gallery for the city at large to enjoy.