Ideas About Projects
Institutional Educational Residential Urbanism Commercial Interiors Public Private

Corporate Commercial

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors, Private
  • Client: Confidential
  • Collaborators: CBRE, Artemide Lighting
  • Size: 60,000 sf
  • Location: St. Catharines, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Naomi Finlay

This Fortune Global 500 company with about 600,000 staff worldwide engaged DPAI as prime consultant to design a state of the art, modern facility consistent with their brand; one that would reinforce their innovative and strategic position in the marketplace, amalgamating two offices into one centralized location over two floors (60,000 sf) in St Catharines, ON. The project’s mandate created synergies, reduced redundancy and accommodated our client’s rapid growth, while providing spaces that would attract and retain the best talent. A variety of meeting spaces with video conferencing abilities, collaborative spaces, event spaces, yoga studio, innovations showcase, reception, cafe with a fully equipped cafeteria style break area, games room, mother’s and wellness rooms, prayer room, all gender washrooms, universal and barrier-free washrooms, training centre, admin and support spaces were provided.

Dpai Office

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors
  • Size: 6500 sf
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

The firm’s rapid-growth and the demand for space befitting the team’s culture and needs resulted in DPAI’s relocation to a 6500-square-foot space in a corporate tower in Hamilton. DPAI assumed the 18th floor, transforming three enclosed office suites into one open, transparent space with democratic access to 360-degree views of the city and natural escarpment. Visitors are welcomed by the warm glow of rose-coloured glass looking to the Dundas Valley, exposed concrete floor and ceiling slabs, clean white walls and Scandinavian inspired furniture. The studio houses a fabrication lab complete with a 3D printer, laser-cutter and an Oculus Rift virtual reality system. The need for privacy and client meeting space are addressed with two collaboration rooms and a glazed boardroom for large meetings and charrettes. A shower and nap room support the team’s diverse working style and flexible hours.


  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: The Seedworks Urban Offices
  • Collaborators: Historia Renovation
  • Size: 1394 m2
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

The building, dating back to the 1890s, 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 second floor is home to downtown Hamilton’s first co-working space and includes two glazed meeting rooms and a central lounge with tiered upholstered seating facing the staircase projection wall. Along the western and southern walls is the kitchen, 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. Over the course of the last few years, as needs of tenants changed, a separate suite of open and closed workspace was created on the main floor, adding options for private office space to current and prospective users.


2013 Heritage Property Conservation Award, Hamilton Municipal Heritage Committee


BUILDING MAGAZINE – Canada, May 2017, Share and Share Alike, The Seedworks Urban Offices.

Real Offices

  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: Real Properties
  • Collaborators: ARC Engineering, Seguin Engineering
  • Size: 190 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Project Architect: David Premi
  • Project Team: Petra Matar, Patty Clydesdale

This office renovation provides a new home for the property managers of Jackson Square indoor shopping mall, a 40-year-old commercial complex is located in Hamilton’s city core. The existing space was composed of raw concrete and block, initially planned to be a restaurant but was never developed. The space is comprised of two distinct portions, a lower one overlooking the plaza, and double height space towards the back. 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.

The client shifted from a private office model to an open plan design. The program included a private meeting space, board room, visible reception point with access control and gathering area. The space was designed to have the communal and public functions facing the plaza, with the private office functions occupying the double height space in the back. The open plan office is symmetrically laid out with desks installed against the existing concrete block walls. The bright red Jackson Square brand colour is strategically placed throughout the space on furniture upholstery, linear acoustic panels and in the alcove on the back wall. Baltic Plywood panelled walls and millwork provide warmth and bring natural elements to the space..

Warehouse Office

  • Type: Commercial / Interiors
  • Size: 2,000 SQFT
  • Location: Toronto, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Year: 2016
  • Client: Confidential

Originally built in 1836, 169 King Street East is a three-storey commercial warehouse in the oldest known standing row of buildings in Toronto. The building is most recognized for housing the Daily Leader newspaper, a driving economic force in the mid-to-late 19th Century. A former restaurant, the second-floor space became home to a full-service public relations agency. The existing interior space contains a glass encased steel stair with timber treads, exposed original brick walls, original operable windows, a slanted interior window, double height ceilings complete with skylights and an original working steel hoist beam. The space provided a textured, timeless, minimalist palette that both architect and client agreed to emphasize. A custom blackened brass light fixture creates an intimate plane and is suspended above reconfigurable lounge furniture. Suspension was made possible by an original hoist beam that after a bit of gentle persuasion, smoothly relocated to allow for perfect positioning.

Caroline Medical Group

  • Type: Private, Commercial, Interiors
  • Client: Caroline Medical Group
  • Collaborators: N/A
  • Size: 1393.5 m2
  • Location: Burlington, ON
  • Status: Complete
  • Photography: Jeff Tessier

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.

Grant Thornton

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors, Private
  • Client:Grant Thornton
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

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, maintaining a balance of open collaborative workspace with enclosed private offices.

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.

Jackson Square

  • Type: Commercial, Interiors, Public, Urbanism
  • Client:Yale Properties
  • Collaborators:BRANDSPACE
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Complete

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.

Cannon Knitting Mills

  • Type: Private, Residential, Urbanism, Commercial
  • Client: Hamilton Realty Capital Corporation/ Forum Equity Partners
  • Size: 10,000 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: Concept

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.

Gore Mixed Use

  • Type: Private, Commercial
  • Client: Markland Property Management
  • Size: 3417.36 sqm
  • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Status: In-Progress

The Gore Block Mixed Use Development overlooks Gore Park in Hamilton’s central downtown core. The proposed development, located at 18-22, 24 and 28 King St. East, will revive and preserve this historical landmark with leasable retail space on the main level with an upper 5 storeys reserved for office space. The development also plans to feature publicly accessible outdoor space and an internal courtyard, contributing to the vision of a pedestrian-friendly downtown.

The proposed structural system is Mass Timber, a rapidly renewable resource. Through high performance envelope design, and innovative mechanical and electrical systems, the intention of the development is to meet the performance criteria of a Net Zero or near-Net Zero building. Access to an underground parking garage will be located on the alleyway behind the building.

The proposed project considers the preservation and renewal of the 4 designated heritage façades that frame the south side of Gore Park. As the most intact historic streetscape on Gore Park, the conservation of the façades will preserve the history and character of these notable buildings. Extensive conservation has been, and continues to be, undertaken by a team of heritage specialists to restore original elements and integrate the façades into the new structure.

DPAI has worked with Hamilton’s City Council, staff, and respective to arrive at a design that best serves the community and satisfies the client.