Dub Architects retain the existing 1960’s construction and turn into a modern, affordable residential lofts
2nd Avenue Lofts transforms an abandoned 1960’s department store in the Canadian prairie city of Saskatoon into 130 2-storey lofts and street front retail uses.
The project addresses three important local architectural issues of the coming decades: the sustainable adaptation of buildings built in Canada during the booming sixties and seventies; the residential revitalisation of the central cores of our cities; and the need for an alternative housing form for young adults on modest incomes.
The double-height units feature an exposed concrete structure and polished concrete floors. Wide corridors are pierced by a central sun-filled atrium connecting all levels. Large double-height windows respect the building’s original limestone, brick and mosaic exterior, while drawing natural light deep into the residences. 2-storey penthouse units above the original 4-storey concrete building are constructed with steel framing. 17’ high ceilings allow for mezzanines in all units, constructed with steel deck and concrete topping.
From a sustainability perspective, almost the entire 1960 building is retained. Limestone and brick removed for the windows was reused, and concrete removed for the atrium and basement ramp was recycled. The reception of this modestly priced housing form by young people working in the downtown has been very positive. Stores have opened in the immediate area in response to the new, young clientele and the streets have become friendlier.