485 KING STREET WEST
Kaprielian Verhiel Architects Inc. is proud to announce that our project at 485 King Street West has recently been completed. Located in the heart of Toronto’s Fashion District, the recently repurposed brick and beam warehouse building has been given a new life by our conversion to an office and retail establishment which Baro Restaurant now calls home.
The client, Allied Properties, an owner, manager and developer of office buildings throughout the city, prides itself in the reuse of industrial structures into comfortable, urban office spaces. At Kave Architects, we aimed to design the space as a bright, contemporary new landscape for people to work and be entertained in while expanding on the original architecture of the historic building.
The city of Toronto is undergoing many restoration projects throughout the city. Preserving Toronto’s Heritage is a crucial part of any architects work and at Kave architects the preservation of the history and culture of every site is crucial. The 485 King Street project is an example of how old and new can meld to create interesting and unique urban environments.
The original building featured exposed brick with structural wood frames and windows around each side of the façade with grand windows to the street, however the existing building had the windows infilled, a failing wood structure and existing bricks which had aged and were now in need of immediate repair.
The protection of a building’s history and original essence was a very important aspect over the course of this project. The abundance of natural light, exposed structure and character was incorporated into the design process and renovation of this old industrial building.
The current state of the building required several changes to be implemented to restore it back to its original state and a trendy space to enjoy in Toronto. The building was gutted while keeping the existing wood structure, making way for a completely new system. This new system of steel and concrete was interwoven behind the existing wood and brick to maintain the building’s character while upgrading the space to accommodate the new activities.
The windows were re-opened and maintained in order to preserve the charm of the old building as well as to allow for an abundance of natural light. The existing brick was sand blasted, repaired and built upon to expand the use of the building to include high ceilings and a rooftop patio. Finally the original sign on the side of the building was reinstated in order to keep a piece of Toronto’s history and add to a recognizable feature of the building from the street.
The clean, modern style of the polished concrete floors accent the rustic look of the wood and brick to help create the atmosphere of a contemporary entertainment space that also emphasizes its historic roots.
The rooftop is a defining feature of this project. The glass stair enclosure, sheltering the entrance to the rooftop terrace, builds vertically upon the industrial aspects of the existing building, to create a recognizable feature on the building which is an illuminated beacon at night and a creative view from the rooftop to the exposed structure of the building below. The rooftop itself features a new raised brick parapet around the entirety of the perimeter that has been composed of new brick and store which seemingly matches what is existing below. The rooftop space was intended to become a hub for entertainment and social interaction which certainly will be recognized throughout the area.
The front entry was re-envisioned to become something which was fully opened at street level, full glass windows with separated entrances, new steel and wood canopy that provides protection from the elements while tying back to the industrial roots of the building.
The finished result creates three tiers of entertainment and community spaces, each with its own distinct character and history. This first and most public tier would be the walkway between 485 King Street West project and its neighbor. As seen in the render, the transition space would showcase the vintage sign and create a brightly lit walking corridor that promotes interaction between people in the neighborhood. The second tier would be the restaurant, now a staple in the city with a recognizable entrance and open feel. The third and most private would be the third floor loft space and the rooftop terrace, a beacon in the community and space for many events to come where more history will be made.