Constructed in 1902 as a livery stable, the restoration of this three storey brick, stone, and heavy timber structure from light industrial to contemporary space presented a challenge: a rare design feature of heavy timber trusses and steel cables at the third level, which supported the second floor below. The function of this original suspended system was to allow for easy passage of horses and carriages on the main floor, without the hindrance of columns. To preserve the open space, the project team decided to retain this unusual element.
There were two main phases to the work: the first consisted of repairing and rehabilitating the existing building, including a seismic upgrade, while the second phase involved architectural interventions to satisfy the needs for future use. The low back third of the existing roof was removed and replaced, and the slope reversed to provide higher head room; this allowed for much needed light with the addition of south-facing clerestory windows.
A “service zone” is tucked along the masonry party wall and around the existing wooden freight elevator, providing a new secondary staircase, washrooms, and adaptable spaces for future kitchens or server rooms.