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
Location: Kitchener, Ontario
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.
Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Vanessa Fong, Project Architect, OAA
Architect of record: RAWdesign
Interior designer: RAWdesign
Mechanical: Ed Fowler, The Walter Fedy Partnership
Structural: Nigel Thompson, The Walter Fedy Partnership
The Walter Fedy Partnership: www.twfp.com
DMCC + Tannery Event Space
Mechanical: Jonathan Delahunt, MCW Consultants Ltd.
Structural: Ken Fong, Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers
MCW Consultants Ltd.: www.mcw.com
Landscape: The Planning Partnership
General contractor: Zehr Levesque Inc.
Photographer(s): Cindy Blažević
CAD system, project management, or other software used:
Metal/glass curtainwall: Provincial Glass
Wood: The Timeless Material Co.
EIFS, ACM, or other: Shear Metal Products
Aluminum: Provincial Glass
Vinyl: Dashwood Industries
Fire-control doors: Winser doors
Security grilles:Dynamic Closers
Exit devices: Knells
Security devices: Knells
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