Category Archives: Uncategorized

City Spotlight: The Waterdown Rotary Memorial Skate Path

 

Panel 1_sm.jpg

INVIZIJ Architects and Toms+McNally teamed up to create a unique skating pad, The Waterdown Rotary Memorial Skate Path, at Waterdown Memorial Park.

The idea behind the project started when Graham McNally’s (of Toms+McNally) grandfather, a long time member of the Rotary Club of Waterdown, wanted to build a skating rink for the youth of his beloved town. After consulting with the city, it was clear they wanted a path and not a rink. By weaving a path through the park it became more inclusive while also reducing the liability of hockey.

At the time Graham was still at INVIZIJ architects. However, as the project progressed and time went on, he left INVIZIJ to start his own firm with Principal Architect Philip Toms. From that point forward INVIZIJ would design the path and Toms+McNally would design the corresponding building.

Screen shot 2016-09-21 at 7.31.47 PM.png

Over 50 path options were explored.

The project wasn’t always smooth sailing. The city’s planning department informed the architects of a road-widening plan on Hamilton Road, which meant they would have to move the original location proposed. Councillor Judi Partridge and the recreation departments met with park stakeholders to reprogram the ball diamonds and soccer fields to ultimately find a new site for the path.

Cost estimates kept coming in over budget with the path itself costing around $1.3 million. Instead of building a new amenity building Toms+McNally proposed to keep and build around the existing washroom facility (designed by Richard Lintack). This solution not only saved money, but also had the added benefits of working with existing sewer and water connections.

Screen shot 2016-09-21 at 7.33.21 PM.png

An axonometric diagram of the amenites building.

Half of the old cinderblock building was demolished and the remainder was wrapped inside a new enclosure clad in brick and glass. The new building includes a community area, offices, a backroom for the zamboni and refrigeration, and a corridor for access to the pre-existing washrooms.

IMG_4177.JPG

The communal area for lacing up skates and keeping warm was wrapped in glazing, creating a more welcoming, transparent space, with better views for parents to watch their children.

IMG_4179.JPG

A canopy with sconces for better visibility at night.

It’s an economical building with little frills. Except for one: the canopy at the south west corner. Raised above the roof on steel columns, the asymmetrical canopy levitates above the entrance. It’s a statement big enough to turn a simple building into a noticeable piece of public infrastructure, while also acting as a counterpoint to the taller refrigeration plant at the north of the building.

IMG_4184.JPG

The Rotary Club of Waterdown and the City of Hamilton funded the project, which opened this summer to the applause of many in the community, and the city deserves major credit for being with the architects every step of the way. It’s this collaboration and teamwork that ultimately lead to the skate paths successful implementation.

FullSizeRender (2).jpg

Ward 15 Councillor Judi Patridge cutting the ceremonial ribbon on July 9th

Get your skates sharpened for the winter (or bring your rollerblades for the summer!) and don’t forget the hot chocolate.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

HBSA Presents Today’s Modernism: Art + Architecture

e-vite2

The Hamilton/Burlington Society of Architects and TBA presents an exhibition about art, architecture, and what Modernism means today.

Set in Perkins + Will’s recently completed Barber Atrium expansion and the Lower Level Salon of the Beaux-Arts Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, this presentation pairs the modern work of local architects and artists.

This exhibition runs from September 9th to October 2nd and the reception is being held Friday, September 16th from 7:00 – 9:30PM.

Support the arts, support your local architects, and check out a worthwhile show.

See you Friday.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

ARKISAK: Totes for a good cause

satchel.jpg

Who doesn’t love tote bags?

High-end design line perspectives from some of dpai’s well-known projects will be printed on quality canvas tote bags and satchels which will be available for purchase at select downtown Hamilton locations this weekend.Model ex.jpg

The projects printed include: The Hambly House, The Hamilton Public Library Central Branch, The Birks Clock, and The Seedworks Urban Offices.

dpai architecture inc joined forces with Hamilton Farmers’ Market, Hamilton Public Library, The Hamilton Store, and Reprodux, to raise money for the Hamilton Arts Community.

The canvas tote bags will be $15 and the canvas satchels with a zipper and adjustable strap will cost $25. The satchel with the HPL design will be available at the Central Library at select times during Supercrawl weekend and the canvas Birks Clock tote bag will be available at the Hamilton Farmers’ Market during the Market’s open hours. If you can’t find them there, all designs and items will also be available at The Hamilton Store.

Proceeds from sales will go to the Hamilton Arts Council and not-for-profit organization An Instrument for Every Child.

ARKISӒK is an initiative that aims to support the arts, while highlighting the importance of taking action and driving Hamilton’s extraordinary artistic infrastructure from within.

What better time to buy a tote and support the arts than on Supercrawl weekend?

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A new life for The Pasadena

IMG_3821.JPG

The historic Pasadena Apartments is rising from the ashes.

Located just off James South on a sleepy stretch of Bold Street, Pasadena Apartments have always stood out.

The red brick. The large projecting cornice with delicately brutish corbels. The detailed bay windows and projecting balconies. It’s easy to see why this building (dating back to 1914) pops in an area surrounded by high-rise apartments, stone terraces, and quietly handsome homes.

Then came that terrible night in February of 2014. The fire started in the boiler room and spread up all three floors, which caused a lot of damage. Thankfully, nobody was harmed. Units were charred, the roof collapsed, but the building was salvageable. The bones were still there. For over two years it sat boarded up, sad, waiting to be saved.

And that’s exactly what’s happening.

The new owner, Paven Bratch of Metro Partners, saw a second life for the then roofless walk-up. A modern, urban, city-on-the rise kind of plan, which consists of, you guessed it: boutique condos. The Pasadena. The units will be chopped down in size, from 17 to 32, but they will be stacked with upgrades and a better, more fluid design for a living space.

Kitchens will be bigger, walls will be sound proofed, washer and dryer units are to be added, and independent heating and air conditioning controls will be in each unit. That’s just a few upgrades. There is a laundry list of features and finishes.

IMG_3826.JPG

A view of the city looking North from the new rooftop

It will also see new contemporary amenities, like a rooftop patio with barbecue, and safety provisions while preserving the historical features of the building. Lintack Architects, no strangers to repurposing old buildings, is the firm in charge of designing the redevelopment and they want to make sure this buildings character remain the same.

IMG_3823

The central, spiralling red oak staircase will receive a new balustrade of spindles since the old set doesn’t meet modern code. It will be raised 15 centimeters, making the handrail at waist level for the person of average height. Floors are also being restored to their original state.

On the exterior, details like the crown moulding, corbels, dentils, and other original features will be replaced wherever necessary, as some have fallen victim to the fire. The goal is to give the shell of the building the same aesthetic as before, preserving its charm and giving it the San Francisco-esque feel which made it so special to begin with.

Units for The Pasadena start at $260,900. Completion is scheduled for Spring of 2017.

 

The Pasadena Apartments were heritage designated in 1986.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

20 buildings that make Hamilton so great

1) Yeah, I’d say the Lister Block is pretty damn awesome. The white terracotta and brown brick make it look like an edible piece of cake.

IMG_2990.JPG

2) The Medical Arts building is a work of art. How awesome are those urns?

IMG_0015

3) Stanley Roscoe’s City Hall. A building too beautiful for bureaucracy.

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 3.30.53 PM

4) The brutalist Hamilton Place. A gothic-inspired fortress on the exterior. A visually and acoustically masterful interior.

IMG_0162.JPG

5) Treble Hall: A facade that makes you stop and stare. Also, can you say Wine Bar?

IMG_0247

6) The city’s first and best Skyscraper, the Pigott Building. Anybody want to split on a penthouse?

IMG_2764

7) Stelco Tower might be rusty (thanks to stelcoloy), but it is still one badass building.

IMG_3026.JPG

8) It might be a copycat. Honestly though, who cares? The Landed Banking and Loan Company Building is one special piece of architecture.

IMG_2783

9) The Right House is more than just alright. It’s allllll right (bad joke).

IMG_0568.JPG

10) The Hamilton Public Library Central Branch and The Farmers Market. Books and Food. Concrete and glass. Nuff said.

IMG_3040

11) We have a freaking castle. (Dundurn Castle)

IMG_9969.JPG

12) A FREAKING CASTLE.

IMG_9971.JPG

13) OH HEY LOOK IT’S ANOTHER CASTLE. (Scottish Rite)

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 3.37.34 PM.png

14) We all have a love/hate for the city’s tallest building, 100 Main.

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 3.34.37 PM.png

15) All white Victoria Hall. A facade that makes you happy.

VICT.png

16) The Royal Connaught. A lobby suitable for Royalty. We won’t talk about the rest of the development though.

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 3.33.21 PM.png

17) Can we please get this building designated? (The Coppley Building)

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 3.35.41 PM.png

18) The TH&B Go Station: An Art Dec(G)o beauty.

IMG_0026.JPG

19) Liuna Station is perfect. Look at the garden. Look at those columns. The curtains inside the halls? Versace.

IMG_0295.JPG

20) Let’s just admire this for a second. (Cathedral Basilica of Christ the King)

Screen shot 2016-05-06 at 4.43.03 PM.png

5 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Entertainment, Uncategorized

A look at the new RBG Rock Garden Visitors Centre

IMG_3357.JPGThe new David Braley and Nancy Gordon Rock Garden Visitors Centre is ready just in time for spring.

The building is a grand gesture, inflecting North towards Aldershot. Its leaf-shaped roof is anything but ordinary, as it swells towards the gardens beyond.

Not only is the building noticeable, so is its entryway. Swooping, welcoming, the entrance is easily navigable. Even with it’s looping drive and expansive grass, which will surely attract Canadian Geese by the flock. Landscape architect Janet Rosenberg curates just a taste of what’s to come.

IMG_3358.JPGWalking towards the entrance of the new Visitors Centre is when the immensity of the building is first felt. Designed by Toronto firm CS&P Architects, there is a touch of Eero Saarinen’s modern influence in its curving imagery.

The front of the building bends in a crescent shape, flanked by small ponds, with feature walls clad in stone. There’s a sense of motion to the building. It’s non-static. The leaf-like hyperbolic paraboloid roof lifts up like the wings of a bird to a maximum height of 26 feet.

IMG_3309.JPG

IMG_3334.JPGThe vistas from inside the main event room overlook the newly landscaped gardens below and Princess Point beyond. Illuminated glulam beams of Douglas fir line the ceiling like the veins of a leaf. The steel struts, just outside the windows, like trees in a forest. The allusion to nature blends the centre with its surroundings through subtle gestures of crafted symbolism.

IMG_3315.JPGThe building includes offices, event space, public washrooms, and a café. A patio connected to the café is located just outside of the building, a romantic setting to enjoy a drink and overlook the beauty of this man-made paradise. There is also a courtyard for weddings and events, surrounded by walls of limestone, on the opposite end of the building.

IMG_3341.JPG

IMG_3344.JPG

At the backend, or bug end, of the building steel struts like angled stilts silently hold the roof up as if it’s weightless. The edge of the roof projects beyond the doors, dipping with a chain downspout, which would give the impression of droplets from a leaf during rainfall.

The new gardens are another story. Serene. Quiet. Beautiful. They are a paradise, an oasis, and an escape from the city beyond. It’s like stepping into a foreign land, beautifully landscaped to feed the imagination with nature as poetic inspiration. Words don’t do it justice.

See this new $20 million rejuvenation project for yourself on May 20th, when the doors open to the public. It’s worth the visit.

Leave a comment

Filed under Architecture, Entertainment, Uncategorized

A closer look at 123 James Street North

IMG_3201A year after completion, it’s time to take a closer look at 123 James Street North and the impact it’s had on the neighbourhood.

There was much trepidation when Lintack Architects first released the renderings. Will it fit in with the streetscape? Is it what the street needs? Who or what will occupy the building? Isn’t there enough office space available for rent in the core? Is it actually going to be built?

IMG_3203.JPGThis 32,000 square foot building does mingle well with the streetscape for a few specific reasons. It was designed to meet the datum line of the adjacent buildings, so the height was not an issue. Brick was used to blend with the facades already lining the street and although it’s a larger builders brick, it still bodes well with the surroundings.

IMG_3214.JPGCornices clad in matte black metal mirrors much of the heritage on the street, with a modern take. It may be less ornate, but the idea is there. The cornice cladding could be interpreted as an interaction, or homage, to the black clad façade of it’s neighbour across the street, 118 James Street.

IMG_3211.JPG

A cylindrical glass corner punctures the sky with big strip mall numbering. This part of the building is often the recipient of some harsh criticism. It reminds some of the Meadowlands, or suburban architecture. One other flaw would have to be the tinted glazing on the upper floors of the building. Less inviting, this glass can give the onlooker a feeling of intimidation. Though the windows are lined with stone lintels and windowsills, which also compliments the heritage characteristics of the street.

IMG_3209.JPGA lot of questions were also raised about why the building is only commercial and not a mixed-use development. The programming of this building was clearly designed with what the client, Jack Beume, had in mind. The site required remediation making the option of a residential development much more expensive. Still, the decision to go with a commercial building paid off, as it is nearing capacity and it’s still just an infant. It’s brought jobs and businesses to James Street North.

The Central and Beasley neighbourhoods are two of the least dense neighbourhoods in Ward 2, but the focus of major infill should come from the empty parking lots that are scattered amongst the core. Adaptive-reuse, midrise development, and remedying the parking lot plague are just some of the directions to take in creating a smart, diverse building stock in two of Hamilton’s hottest ‘hoods.

There’s a lot to consider when evaluating the success of a building, especially in it’s infancy. 123 James is an exception. Like it or not, its impact on the street has been positive. And it’s better than a parking lot.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized