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.
This office 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 remodel, 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. It’s 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/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 double-height painting studios and the addition of a 25’x25’x25’ glass-enclosed atrium (“the Cube”), provides a powerful 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
dpai was Prime Consultant for the Master Accommodation Plan (MAP) of 145,000 square feet of interior space at their Town Hall located on Trafalgar Rd. dpai provided the MAP and designed and implemented the addition and interior space for Phase 1a, 1b and 1c. The MAP was required to accommodate an expected population and staff growth of 25 per cent within 10 years due to the rapid increase in Oakville’s suburban development. The MAP optimizes location, functionality, synergies and interior space usage with a phasing plan that minimized disruption to ongoing operations and ensured cost control efficiency. The MAP incorporated the Town’s newly developed Facilities for Accessible Design standards and dpai’s team worked with the Town’s Facilities department to massage their newly developed workplace furniture footprint and standards. The aim was to accommodate the expected growth along with developed swing space strategies, utilizing Town owned properties. dpai provided programming and space planning for these swing space options. The project’s Phase 1a, b and c were implemented under a traditional Design, Bid, Build contract. Major elements of the project included an addition to their shipping and receiving area, new accessible parking, waste depot, and interior design for a 24/7 customer service centre, centralized conference and meeting centre which dual purposes as the Town’s Emergency Response Centre, and a new consolidated entry into the building.
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 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 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
onnect 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.
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.