Ripple is a mixed use residential tower proposed to redefine the existing contextual fabric of the site and work integrally with the future park planned for the block immediately to the south of the property.
The building defines a complete edge of the future planned John/Rebecca park, and is designed to create a visually compelling organic backdrop to its activities. The mass of the building is divided into a mid-rise portion on the west and a tower portion on the east which are formally tied with continuous cantilevered balconies around each floor. The curvilinear balcony guards establish a formal horizontality composing the façade as a natural landscape.
The ground floor is transparent allowing direct connection and flow of the commercial uses into the future park. The space immediately outside of the commercial spaces is generous to provide significant opportunity for outdoor patio and retail spaces during favourable weather conditions. These activities will help to activate the north edge of the park with continuous activity. Further emphasizing the connection is proposing transforming Rebecca street into a “Woonerf” condition, where curbs would be eliminated, allowing the building edge to meet a continuous plane of the public space into the park.
The development includes 313 dwelling units, 205 parking spaces on two underground and one above ground levels, 13,000 SF of leasable commercial space, and rooftop amenity spaces. Vehicular circulation for the site has been designed away from the woonerf by designing access via Catharine Street for all vehicles entering the site for parking, loading, deliveries, or garbage removal.
The building dates from 1890 and was originally home to the Hamilton Buggy Whip Manufacturing company. When acquired in 2012, siding blocked its expansive windows and the interior was timeworn from its previous uses. The post and beam structure and interior brick surfaces were cleaned of many years of paint and left exposed to reveal the building’s history to its new inhabitants. The project has received a great deal of positive community attention and local support and was awarded a Heritage Property Conservation Award from the Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee. The second floor is home to downtown Hamilton’s first co-working space. Two glazed meeting rooms/breakaway spaces were provided along the eastern wall. Central to the space is a lounge with tiered upholstered seating that face the staircase projection wall. Along the western and southern walls is the kitchen/café space, which boasts clean minimal white counters and a touchdown station running along the length of windows. The lounge and the touchdown station are fully wired, offering secondary working spaces. They also offer great flexibility for holding community events, lunch and learns, movie nights and presentations.
2013 Heritage Property Conservation Award, Hamilton Municipal Heritage CommitteePublicity
BUILDING MAGAZINE – Canada, May 2017, Share and Share Alike, The Seedworks Urban Offices.
The Stone Lofts is a small multi unit residential building with 19 luxury units located along Ancaster’s Historic Wilson Street just outside edge of the “Village Core”. The site is constrained both by its wedge shape and grade condition of the Eastern portion which falls off dramatically to the rear of the property. Designed to work with the shape of the site, the building maximizes the available workable area of the site through its jogged design along the rear. Basement parking is designed to maximize the available footprint by configuring it along the cross slope of the access ramp.
The design of the building sensitively responds to the residential neighbourhood context massing and materiality. The building is configured to break up the mass into a series of smaller volumes, giving the appearance of three smaller buildings on Wilson Street. Each of the volumes has a pitched roof inspired by the contextual historic typology of buildings in Ancaster’s village core.
The facades are animated with windows and balconies in all directions. The longer western stretch of the building is broken up to relate to the scale of the adjacent single family home. The highly visible eastern façade is animated to address approaching pedestrian and vehicular traffic. The pitched roof design and stone materiality are reminiscent of the stone mill and the typology of historical structures within Ancaster village. Historic elements such as stone sills and lintels along with dormer windows are also incorporated into the facades to create a more sensitive connection to the old structures of Ancaster Village.
The Stone Lofts are designed to enhance the pedestrian realm by reinforcing the street edge and supporting multimodal forms of transportation. The proposed building is setback 3 metres from the property line and 7.3 metres from the street. The building’s entrance is on Wilson Street reinforcing a pedestrian, cycling and public transit connection to the street. The project also preserves the wooded open space along the northern portion of the site. The careful design of the building will ensure that it enhances the heritage character of the Village while allowing the introduction of a contemporary language to enrich the built environment.
This office interior renovation provides a new home for Real Properties, the property managers of Jackson Square Mall in Hamilton. Real Properties wanted an office that matched their recent rebranding efforts across the 40-year-old mall. They decided to move locations for their new office from an office unit in a tower attached to the mall, to a more unique and prominent unit on the plaza level of the mall. The existing space was a raw concrete space, initially designed to be a restaurant, but was never developed.
The space was designed as a procession from public functions in the front to private functions in the back. The continuous space is comprised of two distinct portions, a lower one overlooking the plaza, and double height space towards the back. The double height space received very little natural light. However, by carefully reviewing existing drawings dating back to the 1970s, a blocked-in clerestory window was discovered. Opening and reactivating this feature transformed the quality of the space. For the new office, Yale properties were shifting from a private office model to an open plan design. This required in-depth client feedback during the schematic design phase.
Along with the open plan office space, the client wanted a private meeting space, a board room, a visible reception point with access control, and a gathering area. Throughout the project, Baltic birch millwork is utilized as a space defining tool, dividing and connecting spaces. The design combines existing finishes with new finishes, exposed natural raw textures with clean uniform surfaces, and soft materials against harder ones. The branding and cultural objectives of the client were achieved by designing an office that matches their fresh new image and provides a space that facilitates a new collaborative office culture.
A complete interior renovation of this private residence communicates that a new and sustainable form can be invented while highlighting and celebrating the neighbourhood’s historical legacy. The house celebrates and reminds us of the social importance of the front porch. Its material palette is chosen to be deliberately commensurate with established patterns. The form of the carport and absence of an enclosed garage increases the likelihood of spontaneous contact between neighbours in the few seconds between car and front door. The house is respectful to the context from within as well.
Views from the house’s horizontally oriented windows offer spectacular panoramic views of neighbourhood houses churches and schools that are not commonly experienced by residents. The Niagara escarpment is visible to the north, west and south. It promotes a new perspective. Open living spaces promotes interaction between the resident family and offers a “venue” for community activity.
HAMILTON INTERIORS MAGAZINE – Inspiration Beyond Design, Fall, Stanley Residence
E-ARCHITECT – The Stanley Residence in Hamilton, United Kingdom, February, Stanley Residence
HOME ADORE – Private House in Hamilton by dpai, USA, March, Stanley Residence
In 2013, Dr. Robert Fitzhenry donated generously to the School of the Arts (SoTA) for a new addition and interior renovation to the existing studios and classrooms at Togo Salmon Hall. The objective was to engage community practitioners, alumni, faculty, staff and students in the design process to understand what the needs, potentials, and caveats of the project would be. The new addition provides vastly expanded floorspace and amenities for more equipment-intensive media — printmaking and sculpture — including facilities for lithography, etching, and silkscreen, as well as wood- and metal-working, and one of Canada’s few remaining metal casting facilities housed in a University fine arts facility. Once-windowless studios for upper-year students have been expanded, and flex-studio and new media facilities balance the use of traditional media with an understanding of the shifting nature of creative practice with the emergence of new tools. Gentle north light pours into the interior of the double-height painting studio and the addition of a 25’x25’x25’ glass-enclosed atrium (“the Cube”), provides a powerful interior environment for critique, exhibition and performance. The SoTA’s new urban prominence has strengthened connections with other faculties so that art students can offer their unique perspectives to engineering and humanities students, and vice versa. Because of urban connections at two levels, the highly transparent “Cube” is now in frequent demand as an event space on campus, while broadly showcasing the work of students and faculty members during both working critiques and final exhibits.
“It has been a pleasure to work with dpai on our art studio expansion and renovation project at McMaster University. dpai’s friendly consultation throughout the process was effective and much appreciated. They applied their expertise to our unique demands, arriving at aesthetically dynamic solutions for a complex network of work spaces. The result is a functionally and visually cohesive space.”Professor Judy Major-Girardin McMaster School of the Arts
The Hambly House is a rare example of 1930s Streamline Moderne architecture in Hamilton, and one of only a handful of Art Moderne houses in Ontario. Since the purchase of the house by its new owners in 2012, dpai worked with the clients to design a full restoration with an additional second storey wrapped in floor-to-ceiling glass. The renovation respects the original character and detailing of the designated heritage house while celebrating its contemporary spirit with a bold addition. The interior has been completely refinished and clean, minimalist custom millwork was designed throughout the house. The dining room addition at the rear opens the house to the backyard and celebrates views of the 300-year-old maple tree.
2015 Award of Excellence in Architecture, Hamilton Urban Design and Architecture Awards
This renovation project involved the reorganization and re-branding of both the Farmer’s Market and the Central Public Library, two of Hamilton’s most important civic destinations. The new interior design of the Library features public spaces, reorganized and enhanced collections, and increased computer and internet access through the introduction of a 50 workstation information commons. The renovation of the Farmer’s Market focused on improvement of the HVAC system, lighting, plumbing servicing, and an overall reorganization of the functional layout. The detailing of the new façade of the additions assists in re-establishing a connection with the street thereby supporting Downtown Renewal and the overall health of the urban environment. The project has also provided an opportunity to engage the public, staff and politicians in a discourse on the value of good design.
“I have worked with many architects on many projects; this project was the first time I found myself letting go, confident that our hopes and visions for the building were being heard and were being translated into a workable plan combined with an amazing AWE factor. Use of the building skyrocketed and has remained high ever since the transformation performed by David and his team.”Former Chief Librarian Ken Roberts Hamilton Public Library
The second floor of a three-storey commercial warehouse in Toronto’s oldest standing row of buildings, is now home to a busy, real estate, design PR Firm. dpai was commissioned to design an interior space that enables the firm’s flexible and collaborative work style, while functionally and aesthetically aligning with the firm’s creative philosophy.
The existing textured, minimalist palette was emphasized. A boardroom and a pitch room were carved out with floor-to-ceiling glass partitions. At the back of the space, a new kitchenette opens onto an informal lounge area and a touch-down station was paired with lockable file storage.
The large, custom pendant fixture by Toronto’s Lightmaker Studio was intimately suspended over a modular custom sofa set upholstered in bright, eclectic fabrics. The blackened brass of the pendant fixture echoes the existing steel hoist beam, which lent a helpful hand in the fixture’s installation.
This 12-storey condominium building is designed with 90 units luxury sized units with 1+ 2+ & 3+ bedrooms. The development is catered towards an emerging market of down-sizing Ancaster residents who wish to maintain various aspects of living in their larger homes. Amenity spaces are expansive with a community garden, a bocce court, roof terraces, a gym, a yoga room, a spa, a movie theatre, a pub and indoor golf. Various gathering spaces are designed into the building with a party room/ bar on the roof and a dining room on the first level.
As a public institution, the new Helsinki Central Library is both representative of Finnish society today, and acts as an incubator for the evolution of the culture. It is not only a place where information is consumed and digested but also a forum for the creation of cultural content. The Library is a connector and provides a point of interface between Finnish Culture and the world. It is a symbol of the richness, diversity, and dynamic nature of the country. The mass of the building is elevated above a continuous plaza surface which extends infinitely into the fabric of the City, through the country, and beyond, thereby connecting Finland with the world. The “underbelly” of the building directly addresses the ground surface, providing a direct interface. The face of the underbelly (the inter-face) is clad entirely in a system of glass and LED light slats.
The main mass of the building has been formed through surrender to the forces at play: the presence of the Parliament Buildings, the views, the sun, and the program. The result is a sculpted form with varying percentages of clear glazing, acid etched glazing and titanium clad spandrel panels which exhibits interplay between solid and void, transparency and opacity, not unlike a block of ice as it is eroded and changed by the elements.
Part of the space created below the inter-face is enclosed program space, and some exterior public space. The boundary between these realms is transparent and meandering so as to be insubstantial. The interior spaces are very public in nature: main entrances to program above, café, exhibition, lounge, shops, and flexible performance space.
The Ted Rogers School of Management expanded their ability for diverse, experiential learning with interior design by dpai for the Classroom of the Future. The space was conceived as a flexible, non-hierarchical, non-directional prototype classroom that can be used as a lecture hall, study space, student lounge and venue for TEDx presentations. The space is designed around four custom soft geometrical saturated orange seating pieces, with dimmable ceiling fixtures constructed from arrays of closely spaced LED lighting strips and clad in a translucent stretch acoustic fabric. Additional seating is provided in two areas for laptop use, while soft blue seating cubes are distributed throughout the space for varied seating options.
The room also features multiple short throw, interactive projectors that cast images onto three walls, offering ultimate flexibility in viewing angles. The lecturer can roam about the space with a wireless microphone and remote for changing the projected images. A state of the art, centrally located, omnidirectional speaker ensures high sound quality in all parts of the room. Students can remotely receive the presentation on their own laptops to provide further functionality to the space.
Dpai was asked to renovate an existing reading space and respond to the current demands and expectations of faculty and students, while reflecting the changing layout of learning spaces. A central curvilinear partial-height partition was proposed to provide three meeting rooms for small to medium study groups and video confer-ences, while retaining light and vision through the space with gen-erous glazed panels. Access to natural light is a precious commodity in the modernist tower and priority was given to the open-study and small collaborative study groupings. The previously non-descript study room, a bonus space created as the physical volumes of the library, decreased and stacks were removed. It was given texture and a layer of new materials. A portion of the concrete ceiling was ex-posed, with the added benefit of increasing the height and volume of the study space.
“It was a pleasure for us to work with architects who understood so much about student needs and have a solid grounding in trends in the evolution and transformation of libraries. David and his team were very collaborative and responsive to our needs. They were ultimately able to unlock the potential within the constraints of a challenging building and were able to translate our vision into a dynamic learning space. The result resonates deeply with our students who have commented that the new space motivates, inspires and energizes them. Their only complaint is that we haven’t yet done the same with the rest of the library. I would welcome the opportunity to work with dpai again would recommend their team without hesitation.”Chief Librarian Mark Robertson Brock University
This twin pad arena reached LEED Silver status and is to date the most energy efficient facility owned by the City of Hamilton. Designed to meet current recreational needs, it is fully accessible, exceeding Ontario Building Code requirements. dpai partnered with rdh architects, leading the site planning and site plan control efforts. The master site plan involved the relocation of two soccer fields, the preservation of the existing single pad arena, and accommodating a proposed Ministry of Transportation highway interchange. dpai also participated in the design, construction documents and LEED certification process. The facility houses two full-size hockey rinks, one with year-round ice, and elevated seating for 900 people. Warm viewing areas of the rinks on both levels were integrated in the interior design, along with 12 change rooms, 4 referee rooms, a multipurpose room, meeting rooms, a pro-shop and a large central atrium.
dpAi was approached by White Star Group to create the image for a proposed condo building in a mixed-use development overlooking Hamilton’s west harbor. The terraced form of the building was a response to the development’s context. The slope of the terraces responds to the slope of Bay Street, and celebrates the view of Hamilton’s Bayfront Park and Lake Ontario. The building further celebrates the views with enclosed balconies on the North and West, and open air balconies on the East and South.
The structure includes 9 levels of residential units, 3 levels of parking, including a loading dock. The roof-top level is a proposed retail space with access to a terrace. The residential plaza also includes a gym that overlooks the future mixed-use square.
dpai helped University of Toronto’s (U of T) Food and Ancillary Services realize five unique, proprietary food concepts in the heart of downtown Toronto’s campus. dpai worked with the clients to develop separate branding images for a pizzeria, soup bar, salad bar, tex-mex and gourmet burger concept. Special attention was paid to every interior design detail to ensure the spaces for all food concepts reinforced the client’s food concept vision. dpai achieved that by designing elements such as custom pop art boxes, bicycle taxidermy artwork, custom industrial lighting and stunning custom designed steel, live edge and acrylic panel service counters. dpai was able to deliver highly custom designs successfully within tight timeline and budget and worked closely with U of T Food Services to incorporate new food service equipment.
The service counters were designed and built to last; the live edge wood, and undulating butcher block counter wrap at the pizzeria serve to lend warmth to the space and unify all 5 food concepts. This renovation raised the bar for design for food services on campus and set a new standard for food service counter design for future projects on campus. Stone Oven Pizza is currently outperforming its major chain counterpart on campus, and all food concepts points have been showing major gains in sales.
Connect Communities, a transitional residence for those recovering from Acquired Brain Injuries or Stroke, implemented a new treatment model in Ontario that assists their residents in a life redesign process. This treatment program’s traditional barrier-free code requirements be creatively avoided or hidden where possible, creating a definitively residential environment. The care facility belies its formal identity to fit within the scale and persona of the residential community it which exists. Boasting 42 bedrooms and ensuites, communal living areas connected by amenity spaces and offices, the facility is complemented by a tangible connection to the landscape and thoughtful access to the surrounding community. A treatment room includes consideration for flooring and equipment as well as a ceiling mounted patient lift to assist in client rehabilitation and fitness programs. Care was taken to provide both privacy to the clients in the treatment room, but also provide views out to the protected conservation lands outside.
The building sits on a slab on grade foundation that respects the protected karst geology beneath. A compressed approvals and construction schedule was aided by a pre-engineered steel structure that is prefabricated and assembled on-site in large panels – saving time, ensuring tight construction tolerances and increasing safety on the construction site.
When the Department of Kinesiology needed to design facilities to house new biomechanics, physiology and motor-control labs using existing space in the Ivor Wynne Centre Building they turned to dpai. Short on time, but in need of a thorough assessment of the space, dpai led user groups through a participatory design process that was crafted specifically to facilitate the compressed schedule. With a scope of work that included all interior design and furniture selection, the end product is filled with light and transparency and a once hidden department was now front and center.
“We were renovating an existing use research and educational space in an older building on a limited budget. The team from dpai took the time to thoroughly assess our current and future needs and managed to channel our vision into design features that have had a lasting positive impact on all users of the space. We have found that the space is adaptable to our needs, robust in terms of utilization and comfortable and energizing to work in. From start to finish, the team from dpai was amazing to work with. Their attention to detail, commitment to quality work and focus on customer service resulted in an outcome that far surpassed our expectations.”Dean of Science Maureen Jane MacDonald Ph.D. McMaster University
David Premi acted as Project Architect and Design Team leader for the Brock University Plaza 2006 project. dpai was responsible for all contract administration services. The 71,000 sq.ft. building included a new 13,000 sq.ft. fully fit-out Campus Store on the ground level with two 14,000 sq.ft storeys of academic offices and teaching spaces above. The building is connected to the existing Student Services Building on three of five levels and will act as a gateway building for pedestrian traffic arriving by both automobile and mass transit.
The building also houses the LifeSpan Development Research Centre which includes the departments of the Brock Research Institute for Youth Studies (BRIYS), Social-Personality Group, Hormone and Brain Development Research, Infancy Research, and Neuropsychology/ Psychophysiology Labs. The building is a key element in the development and expansion of the South Campus. The building attained LEED® Silver Accreditation and includes: stormwater management quality control, light pollution reduction, energy recovery systems, enhanced commissioning, construction waste management, recycled content, regional materials and low-emitting materials, temperature and lighting control systems, enhanced daylight and views, external shading devices and an innovative conditioned air delivery system that utilizes the thermal mass of the building’s precast hollow core structural deck to store heating and cooling and to significantly reduce energy consumption.
The Caroline Family Health Team of Burlington, with eight physicians, allied health professionals and support staff required more space to house their busy practice. Several ideas were explored through feasibility studies, with the resulting solution to relocate the practice to a more suitable location with a total interior renovation to meet the needs of the clinic. The project explored the adaptation of a specific, user-generated design to an existing industrial “big box” space. The office layout was developed through participatory design workshops which included the entire clinic’s staff and the dpai team.
Mohawk College’s new Centre for Health Care Simulation at the Institute for Applied Health Sciences (IAHS) located at McMaster University, houses over 25,000 square feet of integrated clinical lab space and supports over 2,000 full and part time students per semester. The centre is an interdisciplinary learning environment enabling students to develop field and clinical skills as part of an inter-professional team. Students demonstrate skills and competency using technology enhanced simulation, paired with a simulated patient program. dpai designed the various space types to support and align with the IAHS vision and saw the multi-phased projects through to completion. The interior design work included a new ultrasound simulation lab, cardiovascular technology lab, accessible testing centre, computer and silent study lab, integrated and collaborative resource library (including, a new service hub, a large anatomical model display case, various collaborative and solo study areas, small meeting rooms, brain storm area and study lounge). The project also included a new staff workroom, research lab, point of care demonstration lab, an expanded nurse clinical tutorial lab and two new ADL (apartment simulation) labs.
"I was impressed on many levels with the DPAI team. They are professional, responsive, respectful and did a very good job of engaging all the stakeholders in the process. They were flexible and accommodating to the changing scope and requirements of the project. The space has been transformed from a 20 year old traditional learning environment to a modern, energetic and creative space that attracts students from all across campus."Paul Armstrong, Vice President Academic Mohawk College
Theatre Aquarius was originally constructed in 1991. With funds for the initial construction being limited, functional and aesthetic compromises were made during construction. The design team engaged with the Theatre to address ongoing issues plaguing the building; to date, the roof along with all rooftop units and the curtainwall in the main lobby have been replaced. Functional issues dealt with, the Theatre has been able to turn its attention to aesthetic and urban design issues. One of the urban design deficiencies of the original building was its entrance. The small canopy and double swing doors were out of scale and provided an awkward transition from the sidewalk to the lobby. Adorned only with a few incandescent Tivoli lights, the canopy did little to enhance the Theatre’s street presence. The new canopy design brings the street to life with a continuous 1m-high video display wrapping around the new canopy accented with bands of LED lights shining down from the perforated metal soffit, providing presence and luster befitting a major Performing Arts Centre, while new automatic sliding doors improve accessibility, giving all patrons a dignified entrance-experience regardless of age or mobility. The original entrance to the building under-performed in terms of urban design – the small canopy and double swing doors were out of scale with the lobby and street elevation, providing an awkward transition from the sidewalk into the lobby. The new entrance canopy is considerably larger than the original and is supported by the existing decorative structural grid adorning the lobby – leaving the oversized canopy columns to be removed, clearing the entrance-way, and framing the view west towards James Street and the Stelco Tower beyond. As theatre goers pass under the canopy, button LED lights sparkle in the canopy soffit illuminating the sidewalk and playfully dancing on the glass of the new automatic sliding doors. Patrons are whisked inside in an elegant and accessible manner – a thank-you to government funding for barrier free improvements is in order.The generous canopy provides Theatre Aquarius a practical shelter and a formal exterior gathering space, ultimately demarking Theatre Aquarius the anchor of the “King William Arts Walk” - the burgeoning commercial strip from James to Ferguson – a role now fulfilled with dignity. The new canopy uses the existing decorative grid for structural support and fills an entire structural bay with its width – instantly upgrading the entrance to the theatre lobby in a way that seems to have been planned by the original designers and architects. At dawn the canopy appears as a shallow rectangular box cantilevered over the sidewalk – supported elegantly by steel rods above – then springing to life during prescribed hours the entire perimeter emits colour and light in a preview of the action to follow inside the theatre. Videos screens compose the perimeter of the canopy – providing the theatre a new way of engaging the community on the street: King William street – a designated special entertainment district would seem to have been calling for such a beacon amid the surface parking lots and other various plots of development potential.
2018 Award of Merit Urban Intervention, HBSA Achievement in Architecture Awards, Theatre Aquarius CanopyTestimonials
“Theatre Aquarius, like many institutions in the non-profit sector, has big dreams, grand visions, and limited resources. That is exactly why a partner like david premi architecture has been so essential for us. They share our inspiration, and have the flexibility and responsiveness to help us actualize those ideas, while taking innovative approaches to ensure that the finished project reflects the vision, and not the roadblocks that were overcome along the way.”Lorna Zaremba, General Manager Theatre Aquarius
This architecture, interiors and urban design studio is located on the 18th floor of a corporate office tower in the core of a city in the throes of robust renewal. The space was designed collaboratively by the entire team of designers and support staff that occupy it. Bathed in natural light, every workstation in the studio is provided with unobstructed city views. There are no private offices, which eliminates hierarchy and nurtures collaboration among the team. The firm has gained a new level of connection with their work by being literally enveloped by the city. In fact, many of the firm’s projects are visible from the studio.All existing ceilings and floor finishes were removed. Most of the final interior design incorporates exposed concrete floors and ceilings to increase the perception of height and create a raw aesthetic feel to the space, aligning with the firm’s penchant for simple, clear and minimal design solutions. Balancing the rawness of the exposed concrete are whispers of light wood and soft, supple handed textiles in hues of pink and yellow. Multi-coloured throw rugs in blues, pinks and yellows soften the concrete floor while a rocking chair beckons you to sit awhile. Swaths of pink interior glazing seen immediately upon entering the studio lend a rosy hue to dramatic sunsets.
The open multi-purpose area functions as a waiting room for clients, vendors and guests; a café; a lunchroom; and event space for world events, news, movies, continuing education lunch-and-learns, informal meetings and workspace. Here, a series of programmed and facilitated panel discussions are regularly held to discuss design and policy issues affecting the city and its residents, facilitating deeper community connections. The space is designed to employ two main axes, east-west + north-south. Expansive glazing permits the space to be as open as possible, connecting you with your surroundings instantly upon entry to the studio, and from anywhere on the floor. This connection immediately orients you giving a sense of ease and comfort the moment you arrive. The Boardroom and Fabrication Lab + Materials Library are clearly visible upon arrival and provide critical infrastructure for experimentation and innovation, housing a 3D printer, laser cutter, cutters, full virtual reality capabilities and materials samples. The entire studio is equipped with wi-fi helping to enable this agile workspace. A shower and nap room round out the facilities, provided to support a variety of different work and lifestyles. The space is designed to support a positive and collaborative work culture based on a clear set of shared values.
A fibroblast is a type of cell that manufactures and maintains connective tissue; the structural framework in animal tissues. Besides their commonly known role as structural components, fibroblasts play a critical role in an immune response to a tissue injury, and the healing of wounds. Fibroblasts produce collagen, a primary component of scar tissue.
The Fibroblast Tower is a prosthetic intervention that is designed to begin the healing process of a natural ecosystem, the Niagara Escarpment. Seen as a barrier, the residents of the City of Hamilton have attempted to conquer this World Biosphere Refuge by scarring its surface with roads, paths, and funicular railways to overcome travel challenges. The result is a dysfunctional relationship where the escarpment has become a symbol of the City’s political and environmental shortcomings.
The Niagara Escarpment is both a connector and a divider. It connects land and water, nations, urban and rural environments along its length. It provides a conduit for wildlife. The Bruce Trail runs the length of the escarpment from Queenston on the Niagara River to Tobermory on the Bruce Peninsula, providing a venue for uninterrupted nature walks of 890 kilometers in length. The breadth of the escarpment divides the environments above and below, creating a barrier for travel and movement of goods.
The Niagara Escarpment is a UNESCO designated World Biosphere Reserve and is heavily protected from further damage caused by roads, ski areas, resorts, railways, buildings, and wind farms. The continuity of the Escarpment in Hamilton has been breached by several vehicular access points that connect the upper and lower city. The most drastic of these rifts is where the six-lane high speed highway known as the Claremont Access intersects with the older “Jolley Cut”. This has become a hostile environment where pedestrians, hikers, cyclists and wildlife are threatened by forced interaction with vehicular traffic. These man-made arteries deny the natural movement and erosion of the escarpment rock, wreaking environmental havoc on fragile ecosystems.
dpai were engaged by the Anglican Diocese of Niagara to develop a strategy for sustainability of their Cathedral Place site. Fund for upkeep of the historically designated Cathedral were dwindling and a sustainable source of funds were required to save the building. The resultant mixed use development will provide this sustainability. The Diocese has partnered with Windmill Developments from Ottawa, and dpai have partnered with RAW design from Toronto.
This 9 storey, 73 unit development will add needed density to the former Town of Dundas. The design incorporates natural limestone into the facade, taking cues from the historical Town Hall across the street. Fenestration patterns are sympathetic to the tradition of industrial warehouse architecture in the immediate area. In addition to the design of the building, DPAI prepared the Urban Design Brief.
Applications were submitted to the City of Hamilton to amend the city’s Official Plan and Zoning By-Law. The application won broad staff support and was approved by Council in December 2015. The council decision has been appealed by neighbours to the OMB. A pre hearing is scheduled for August 2016.
dpai assisted living hope Christian assembly in converting a 1960’s warehouse in Hamilton’s east end into a second campus for the church. Participatory design sessions were carefully designed to assist in programming the space and in determining budgets and scope of various project phases.
The design included exterior upgrades and a full interior renovation. The exterior corrugated metal cladding was repaired and repainted to give the building an upgraded look. A new building entrance was introduced at the rear along with a new large window that floods the common areas of the foyer and café with natural light and views of the green escarpment backdrop. The existing building interior was gutted down to its structure and new programmatic zones and spaces were arranged into volumes with a clear diagram that accommodate the diverse needs of the congregation.
The King William Performing Arts District Concept Plan proposes the creation of an integrated, multi-use district centred on Theatre Aquarius with a mixture of performing arts, retail, commercial and residential uses bringing vibrancy to the area and sustainability to the Theatre, while connecting the district to other parts of downtown along King William Street. This study was commissioned by Theatre Aquarius, Hamilton's premier professional theatre company with performing arts facilities located on King William Street in downtown Hamilton. As a cultural anchor, the Theatre draws more than 100,000 visitors a year to its facility, contributes more that S 12 million dollars in direct economic benefits to Hamilton each year. The study was undertaken with partner CivicPlan.
As with many cultural institutions, the long-term sustainability of the Theatre requires proactive planning to ensure its ongoing success. In addition to proposed expansion of the institution, DPAI examined existing limitations on the Theatre’s ability to grow as a destination in the downtown. After reviewing local by-laws and plans and consulting with representatives from the performing arts community, neighbourhood, the City of Hamilton, and local post-secondary institutions, DPAI produced a proposed design concept of the district.
SouthTown is a unique district nestled below the Niagara Escarpment near downtown Hamilton. It encompasses the prominent streets of James and John South and includes major attractions such as St. Joseph’s Hospital, the Hunter Street GO Station, the Augusta entertainment area, and the historic James South Terraces. The vision for South Town recommends several actions to guide improvement in the district.
To name a few, the City of Hamilton can help improve the physical condition of streets and sidewalks by investing in urban design that maximizes the use of the more popular corridors. This includes a redesign of the sidewalk in front of the historic James South Terraces, the introduction of public art at key gateways, and the transformation of Augusta Street into Hamilton’s first Woonerf, or pedestrian prominent street, that would become the social centre point for the district. Development of mixed use office, residential and street-front commercial/retail should also be encouraged in the prime building sites.
Overall, the SouthTown concept builds on the inherent strengths of the district, including historical character, central location and existing major nodes, while carving out a distinct identity separate from, but complementary to, the adjacent central business district. In doing so, SouthTown will become an even greater destination for living, working, shopping, and entertainment at the centre of a resurgent Hamilton.
The Cannon Knitting Mills are a historic complex of industrial buildings in Hamilton, dating back as early as the mid-19th century. The Mills were for generations an economic powerhouse in Hamilton as home to the Chipman-Holton Knitting Co. The buildings’ history is ready to be reclaimed as plans are drawn for its next chapter — as pioneers in sustainable urban growth strategies, DPAI has been at the forefront of envisioning the rebirth of the Cannon Knitting Mills as a community and entrepreneurial hub in the city.
With a footprint of half a city block and rising to three to four storeys, the Mills are capable of housing a diverse and mutually-supporting range of programmatic activity, from live-work studio space opening onto Beasley Park, open-plan office space in century-old brick warehouse, to large public exhibition space and atrium and a brew-pub in the cavernous old boiler room. The complex will be extensively renovated with new sprinkler, mechanical and electrical systems. The existing timber frame structure will be restored and repaired as required. The final scheme will incorporate 90 new residential units with storage and amenity space included. New retail/ commercial space at street level will be incorporated.
The Cannon Knitting Mills looms over Beasley Park: at 110,000 square feet of the richest urban industrial space in Hamilton, the complex of five adjoined brick buildings is poised to be a game-changer in the city’s already-rapid downtown renaissance. With portions dating to the 1850s, the complex stands as a monument to Hamilton’s urban-architectural grace of a rich industrial heritage. DPAI is proud to be leading the ongoing development strategies for this pivotal project.
This development overlooks Gore Park, Hamilton’s central urban park and most popular public space. The development will introduce residential units to the upper levels and the ground floor is proposed to be restored as commercial storefronts.
The existing historical buildings of 18-28 King Street are proposed to be cut back to reduce the building depth that creates dark interior spaces, which also frees up space at the rear of the site for parking and upgraded services. The facades of the historic buildings are proposed to be restored and incorporated into the project. A new infill building at 30 King Street is designed as a modern response to the scale and materiality of the historical buildings, and 5th floor addition is set back and detailed minimally to visually recede and not compete with the historic fabric. The infill building will also include a new elevator at the rear that provides access to upper level exterior corridors that service the units.
Existing floor structure and floor heights are maintained on upper levels, but the ground floor is proposed to be reconstructed at a lower elevation to achieve a flush entry to the park, which improves accessibility and connection to the public realm.
Dpai worked closely with Council, senior staff, the heritage committee and the legal department to arrive at a design that best serves the community and satisfies the client.
This retirement residence presents an opportunity to retrofit an existing suburban structure to provide a desirable use in a suburban setting. An existing 2-storey L-shaped commercial strip is proposed to be renovated, and to receive an addition of a third wing to facilitate the expansion of an existing 16-unit retirement home to 100 units. To facilitate this expansion, the existing ground floor commercial units will be converted to residential suites, the existing second floor apartments will be re-designed to suit the retirement home’s needs, and a two-storey south wing will be constructed along York Rd.
The proposed addition and renovations will improve the existing L-shaped building’s streetscape presence by adding the missing frontage along the York Rd. property line. In addition, the relatively long building facades will be broken down into components that more appropriate in scale to the neighbouring residential properties by introducing shallow recesses and projections in the south-façade and alternating cladding materials. The addition is proposed with brick veneer in conjunction with metal siding, and the existing brick veneer will be stained to match the new siding.
The addition creates an interior courtyard which will be the primary exterior amenity space for residents. Sheltered on three sides, the courtyard provides both privacy and protection from nuisance noise from York Road. New concrete and unit paving will provide a safe walking surface and create visual interest for the courtyard. Planting beds will separate the several informal spaces within the courtyard allowing for privacy between intimate seating areas and the open dining patio.
The Intersect Offices are two 2-storey office buildings designed with a flexible layout to accommodate a variety of possible tenant types and suite sizes.
Formally, the office buildings are designed to create a visual play between each others’ masses. Each building is massed with a lower and upper solid that intersect each other. The upper masses appear to be two parts of a whole. The shape of the buildings respond to the shape of the site and the upper solids are oriented toward the nearby intersection to increase the building’s visibility and to animate the context.
The rapid growth of this Fortune 500 global corporation called for a new modern facility that reinforced their innovative and strategic position in the marketplace. dpai helped to synthesize their teams into a centralized location that would exemplify their shared values. Covering two large irregular shaped floors, the 60,000sf innovative workspace is located in the heart of downtown St. Catharines; its inhabitants injecting and revitalizing the core. The project creates synergies and adds human-centered wellness spaces such as Yoga Studio, Treadmill Workstation Area, Mothers’ and Prayer rooms. The space affords social spaces and private spaces for a balance of work and rest for this talented and dynamic workforce. Social spaces dual purpose as meeting and gathering spaces, such as the “Stadium” tiered seating areas. Large windows in all areas for both floors enable an abundance of natural light to filter in. The layouts support and accommodate growth and flexibility, while the entirety of the workspace helps to attract and retain the best talent.
Black and white contrasting field finishes and architectural wrapped forms combine with strategic splashes of saturated colour reinforcing brand identity. The saturated colour provides wayfinding to fun social gathering and collaboration spaces. A sculpturally formed reception desk and biophilic elements define the first impression. A wrap up acoustic felt drop ceiling and custom serpentine accent lighting provide a warm quiet hug upon entering. A semi-private workspace including snack bar serves as a touch-down space for guests, while hidden closets tuck away guest valises. The high-level security systems are well integrated yet recede and the Client Innovation space is a mere sampling of the vast amount of, yet visually quiet audiovisual technology throughout the space.
The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Public Library engaged dpai to conduct a feasibility study for a future library addition to the Carlisle Community Centre and Arena, located at 1496 Centre Rd in Carlisle.
dpai met with library staff and end users to identify key program and space requirements, which included: 3,000sf of space, transparency and street presence, three distinct areas for adults, teens and children, flexible public staff area with private secure staff lounge and kitchenette, provision of a central flexible space for after-hours use, an “express area” that could be sectioned off for after-hours, unsupervised use, and full compliance with the Hamilton Barrier-Free Design Guidelines. dpai worked alongside structural, mechanical and electrical consultants to develop a complete design brief as well as Class D costing and conceptual renderings. The end result was to achieve a simple, functional and logical interpretation of the program arrangement by arranging the private (“opaque”) functions into 3 solid “blocks” (book drop, staff back-of-house, and WCs/utility spaces), while the stacks and main workspaces remain flexible, transparent and open. The exterior walls form an alternating pattern of solid and void, providing space for shelving against the wall, and opening up with portions of glass at ground level to create a sense of visibility, transparency and security from the street and parking lot approach.
Along with the complete feasibility report, dpai presented the results at a Library board meeting and assisted in answering questions/identifying areas of future concern.
Spaces are shaped by the people who occupy them. This includes public space, which is any area available to the public that is open to experience and enjoy. We own public space. We make it what it is.
THIS IS NOT A PARK is a pop-up opportunity for the public to enjoy an urban park experience through engagement and human activation. A sign reading “THIS IS A PARK” illuminates when participants enter the space. Without the presence of people, the sign turns off, reading “THIS IS NOT A PARK”. The portable park demonstrates that urban space comes to life when in use and that any public space has the potential to be enjoyed, even in the most unlikely of places. THIS IS NOT A PARK brings to light and celebrates our city’s underused spaces.
THIS IS NOT A PARK was originally designed for 100in1 Day Hamilton, an event showcasing innovative urban interventions by everyday residents around the city. The juxtaposition between the shortage of downtown park spaces and the abundance of forgotten or misused spaces in Hamilton calls for action. Common spaces such as sidewalks, alleyways, parking spaces and empty lots all have the potential to become vibrant public realms full of interaction and life. The installation of our “pocket park” aims to activate these spaces and will be showcased in a number of locations throughout Hamilton which we have deemed “forgotten”.
We aim to build a sense of community within these reclaimed urban spaces by encouraging meaningful interpersonal interactions and by inviting participation from all members of our city.
dpai led a series of renewal projects in Jackson Square Mall Complex in Hamilton’s core, including renewal studies, entrance renovations, new washrooms, and branding development with BRANDSPACE.
Comprising six blocks of densely knit urban fabric at the Cartesian origin point of downtown life in the city, Jackson Square’s scale – a nine hectare footprint, composed of 390,000 square feet of retail space, an equal area of office space, and several civic and cultural institutions – easily dominates its surroundings.
Renewal and rehabilitation of the Complex is crucial to urban growth strategies in central Hamilton and reclamation of the Core as a vital locus of civic and commercial activity.
dpai led the interior design, FFE, tender and contract administration services for Grant Thornton’s (GT) Hamilton branch. Project goals included creation of an interior space befitting GT values, provision of client engagement, entertainment opportunities, and ultimately a space that has a transformative effect on and supports greater connection between team members and clients. This budget friendly interior design project modernized the space with minimal demolition or revision to the interior architecture. A fresh, modern, warm, unique and fun environment with a focus on biophilic elements was created. New modern furniture was chosen to increase sight lines and connection between team members, provide diverse collaboration opportunities, and accommodate various working styles of a team who often work varied hours throughout the year. A fresh, modern reception area greets visitors with a view to the café work lounge beyond on the main level. The new café work lounge provides bar top workspaces, providing a view to the urban park outside. On the 2nd level, two new touchdown, quiet spaces, a quiet lounge area with soft seating, and a newly enlarged area with updated kitchen complete with an ice well and live wood harvest table for client and team kitchen parties round out the interior space.