Kitchener, Ontario

Program: A 480,000-square-foot mixed-use office and commercial complex spanning a city block in downtown Kitchener. The project transforms a defunct tannery into a hub for the area's growing technology sector, with office tenants including Communitech and Google, public courtyards and event space, a health clinic, and workspace for local artisans, among them a photographer and a cabinet maker.

Design concept and solution: Seeking to bridge Kitchener's industrial heritage and its recent tech-sector activity, the RAWdesign team wanted to streamline the site's maze of buildings and add-ons without uprooting the existing artisan-tenants. RAW preserved the masonry shell and divided the site into three main buildings: two devoted to tech offices and one housing workspace and retail for the artisans. The architects removed the tannery's smaller structures to create pathways and reveal the logic of the block. They kept the interior spaces shallow and cut courtyards into the site to maximize daylight. To preserve the tannery's industrial texture, they painted the steel structure, sandblasted the existing brickwork, and refinished the wood floors on the upper levels.

12 Mercer Street, Level 4
Toronto, ON
M5V 1H3

Location: Kitchener, Ontario

Completion Date:
Base building (lobby, corridors, washrooms) completed December 2010; Digital Media Convergence Centre and Tannery event space completed September 2010; various tenants ongoing

Total construction cost: $56 million


Owner: Cadan Inc.

12 Mercer Street, Level 4
Toronto, ON
M5V 1H3

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Roland Rom Colthoff, Design Lead, OAA

Vanessa Fong, Project Architect, OAA

Project Team:
Richard Witt, OAA
Andrew Thorpe, OAA
Kenzie Thompson
Patricia Salik
Stephanie Au

Architect of record: RAWdesign

Interior designer: RAWdesign

Base building
Electrical: Warren Locke, The Walter Fedy Partnership

Mechanical: Ed Fowler, The Walter Fedy Partnership

Structural: Nigel Thompson, The Walter Fedy Partnership

The Walter Fedy Partnership:

DMCC + Tannery Event Space
Electrical: Cahn Le, MCW Consultants Ltd.

Mechanical: Jonathan Delahunt, MCW Consultants Ltd.

Structural: Ken Fong, Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers

MCW Consultants Ltd.:
Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers:

Heritage: ERA Architects

Landscape: The Planning Partnership

General contractor: Zehr Levesque Inc.

Photographer(s): Cindy Blažević

CAD system, project management, or other software used:
AutoCAD, Rhino, Photoshop



Exterior cladding
Masonry: Existing, salvaged masonry for patching + repair

Metal/glass curtainwall: Provincial Glass

Concrete: Tri-City

Wood: The Timeless Material Co.

EIFS, ACM, or other: Shear Metal Products

Built-up roofing: Thermal Roof Management

Wood: Ridley Windows

Aluminum: Provincial Glass

Vinyl: Dashwood Industries

Glass:Provincial Glass

Metal doors:Knells

Wood doors:Knells

Fire-control doors: Winser doors

Security grilles:Dynamic Closers

Locksets: Knells

Hinges: Knells

Closers: Knells

Exit devices: Knells

Pulls: Knells

Security devices: Knells

Interior finishes
Acoustical ceilings: Nietsch Drywall (Ont) Inc.

Suspension grid: Nietsch Drywall (Ont) Inc.

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: JG Group

Paints and stains: Mike’s Painting & Decorating

Wallcoverings: Mike’s Painting & Decorating

Floor and wall tile: RichCraft Interiors andWBT Corporation

Elevators/Escalators: Kone Elevators